Word Whacked

OK. Once more into week out. Which raises the question of how did Saturn’s day get to be the busiest day of the week? And it’s all little things so that there is much to remember to do but each is so insubstantial one has problems remembering whether it has been done or nay.

One of my pet peeves is how the bogs bog down out language with their modifications and perversions of the language. I particularly do not like the misuse of “literally”

Literally, adv. 1. According to the primary and natural import of words; not figuratively; as, a man and his wife can not be literally one flesh.  [1913 Webster]

of how every phrase ends with “you know”, which at least has the benefit that in conversation I can say “No, I don’t.” at each utterance and quickly reduce the shlumpf to tears or cursing or something other than the contradictory phrase. If anything the usage seems contradictory. Literally has come to mean actually or something akin since the words that follow cannot be literal and the repeated indication of “you know” either indicates insecurity – not surprising in humans, bogs especially, – or making the whole conversation irrelevant.

Nonetheless, I was rather taken by an article [Link] in Scientific Americal entitled ““Chemical” Is Not a Bad Word”. Having started college as a chemistry major, and then later adding maths and physics as additional majors as an act of desperate reality, I have especially problems with dealing with how bogs misuse chemistry terms. For example, I shop at Earth Fare and Fresh Market which make ado about selling ‘organic’ foodstuffs. My initial and abiding thought is “so what?”; organic just refers to the presence of carbon compounds and that’s a sine qua non of food. And people.  But what the bogs mean is something else and since they are religionists on the matter totally closed of mind and behavior of any rationality or discussion. To them “organic” is good and not “organic” is evil. I have this so far controlled desire to lock them in a room with a relatively high concentration of mercaptans, preferably extracted from an actual mephitis mephitis so it will be “organic”.

These tend to be the same people who use the term “chemical” to mean not “organic”, i.e., manufactured. Since many of the compounds produced in laboratories and chemical plants are the same as produced in Nature, the distinction is patently specious and deliberately divisory, even evil. Which is a nice thing to think of these smug, self-righteous zealots. It does not hurt that they smell more than a bit nasty since they tend to use soaps of poor effectiveness and unoften to sustain the water supply. I have entertained the hypothesis that this odor has impacted their brains but closer cogitation indicates the opposite.

I have to admit that I have reached the age where I despair of correcting these errors. There are too many bogs and they cannot be rescued. But I am also not yet of an age to adopt the conclusion that they need to be eradicated for the good of the species. I hope that day never comes – cleaning up after it would rather compromise the water supply.

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