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Politics

Words that weren't banned and those that should be

Kathleen Parker on

But the evidence suggests that my friends are a peevish lot when it comes to mis- or over-used words, which makes me like them even more. My own personal list, the phrasing of which is rhythmically pleasing if obviously redundant, begins with nouns that have been "re-purposed" as verbs.

When a friend recently said to me that she hadn't been "gifted" in a long while, I thought (to myself), "So I see." Then, "lo and behold," (a phrase that will be allowed at Christmastime), I was informed by a linguist that "to gift" has been a verb since 1550. He noted, however, that he would have interpreted my friend's statement as meaning that she hadn't been given (as a gift) in a while. That, too, I'm sure.

To put it bluntly, "awesome" isn't anymore. "Snowflake" produces more ennui than insult. "Pivot," "veritable,' "in reality," and "best practices" wear us down. As do: "reach out," "share" and "think outside the box." "Own" it, if you must, but I'd sell it on Ebay. Just sayin'.

"Breaking news" IS news. It's devastated, not "decimated." You don't "effort," for heaven's sake. You make an effort. Or, maybe just try. Which apparently is a thing. No problem? You're welcome. And I take back my thank you.

Literally, where is all this "low-hanging fruit," if you don't mind my asking. And, no, you're not recording me "for quality and training purposes." You're collecting profane diatribes to read at the company holiday party. Nice try. Or just, "nice." Sick. Stop it.

We're not going to "unpack" anything, unless you're my valet, or "drill down," unless you're the plumber. We're sick of optics, mansplainin', onboarding and THIS, as in "what she said." We've had it with closure and ideating, as well as doubling down on the whole nine yards. No one is "woke."

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At the end of the day, when all is said and done, the fact of the matter is we were all vulnerable as fetuses, some of whom were surely bound to become transgender because evidence-based diversity is what it is.

But, no worries. It's all good. Believe me. Bigly.

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Kathleen Parker's email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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