I imagine the creation of the English language went a little something like this:
Creator #1: Annnnddddd done. The English language is now complete.
(Obnoxious) Creator #2: *flips through the rule book* Hold up! We’re not finished! Everything in here makes entirely too much sense.
Creator #1: Isn’t that the point?
Creator #2 (whom I loathe): No! This is boring! Throw some oddities in there to spice it up.
Creator #1: If you say so…
It was a moment of weakness that would change the entire course of human history, one second of peer-pressure-gone-wrong that turned a perfectly good language into one filled with phrases and terms that are far too complicated and just plain confusing. Don’t believe me? Here are some examples:
You Killed It!
I watch a lot of singing shows. (Fact: if you eliminated every artist on my iPod that came from American Idol, you’d end up with a very embarrassing collection of Taylor Swift and teeny boppers that most people would discard around their 13th birthday.) If I’ve learned anything from them over the years, it is that the American public (and celebrity judges) have lost all understanding of the meaning “to kill.” Example (names have been changed to preserve the identities of those involved):
Jandy Rackson: Man, you KILLED that song, dawg!
Benny from the Block: Jandy is right. You SLAYED that tune! It gave me goosies!
Arwen’s Dad: Wow oh wow. You downright MURDERED that. Beautiful!
What planet have I been living on? Because I was under the impression that killing had a negative association. Since when did it become a joyous gesture? And where will we draw the line?
That British Guy: To be honest, I think you just MASSACRED that song. Brilliant.
NY: I agree. I think you BRUTALLY SLAUGHTERED one of my favorite songs. It was touching, really.
Not Britney Spears: Wow, you just VIOLENTLY DISMEMBERED that classic. Bravo!
And just when you think you understand the rules, the word “butcher” comes along with its negative connotation and throws everything off again. My brain can’t handle all these rules, guys.
Before you all get started, yes, I understand the meaning of this phrase but for some reason, I can’t shake the image of people hugging trees and petting mounds of grass when I hear these words. (“Why yes, these buses are environmentally friendly. Buses and foliage go way back.”) And on the other end of the spectrum, I can’t think of the words “environmentally hostile” without picturing people slamming cups on the ground in rage. Can these words be legitimate points of conversation? Are there people out there that list “Environmentally Hostile” on their online dating profiles or resumes? Are there other levels to this relationship? Can I be “Environmentally Amicable” or “In an Open Relationship with The Environment” or even “It’s Complicated with Mother Nature”? Someone give me some answers!
While “marriage” can be used to describe the joining of two people, it can also be used in a more general way to mean “to unite intimately,” as in, “Their shared interest in Furbies married the two heavyweight boxers in friendship.” Now, I’m for almost every type of “marriage” you can imagine (except for those marriages between people and inanimate objects…when I said “if you like your Barbie doll so much, why don’t you marry it,” that is most definitely NOT what I meant). However, using this word in a way that doesn’t imply a wedding ceremony is where I draw the line. Don’t ask me why. It’s just weird, okay?
You may have heard this a million times but that doesn’t make it any less true: “We’re expecting” is an unpleasantly vague term.
Exhibit A: We’re expecting a baby but if a fully grown man pops out (Benjamin Button style) or even some sort of alien-human hybrid, that would be fine too.
Exhibit B: We’re expecting a girl but if Bradley Cooper comes out, we’re gonna keep him.
Exhibit C: We’re expecting a muggle but the doctors say if I eat enough Lucky Charms, we can have a wizard baby!
Because “We’re having a boy/girl!” was apparently too boring.
I love the English language and not just because it’s the only language I can speak fluently besides Spanglish and Simlish (and occasionally Whale but only if I have no other options). However, I would love it just as much if it were only slightly less confusing which is why I will forever blame imaginary Creator #1 for listening to his pesky counterpart. I guess what I’m trying to say here is this: Don’t give into peer pressure. Moral of the story. The end. Wait, no, I revoke that statement. Moral of the story: We should all just speak like cavemen. It has less ridiculous rules and would be much easier overall. Okay? Good. Plan good. Caveman-talk fun. I go now. You go too. Bye. (See how much better that is?)
Image via WomanAroundTown.com