November 27, 2010

Overused Words

Have you noticed how Americans will take a word and use it to death? Then by the time they’ve finished with it no one can stand to hear it anymore so it gets retired and everyone says, “No one uses that word anymore.”

People need to realize there is a thesaurus. It sounds like a dinosaur and unfortunately has become one in many homes but it is a very useful tool. They even have free online versions of the paper and board tomes.

You don’t have to wear out a word spreading it so thin it no longer resembles its original meaning.

Here are some “for instances” I can hardly stand to hear come out of people’s mouths because they have been used to death:

Space: We no longer have a living room, kitchen, bathroom, house, building or even a church, everything is a space. Home improvement shows have run this one into the ground and broke it off. (I no longer use this word and cringe when I hear others use it.) Give a room a name for God’s sakes everything deserves a name and no matter how small a “room” is it deserves the same respect. Even the tiny walk through between my dining room and garage that holds my washing machine and dryer has a name: Utility Room. See how easy that was. Now go give the rooms in your home a proper christening.

Awesome: This used to have a tremendous meaning but now days can be an exclamation for something as trivial as “dinner is ready.” Surely we can be more inventive with the English language.

Random: There are other words that will work for this one. I’m sure you can find them it’s not hard, really it’s not. Various, different, aimless, unorganized, unplanned or even slapdash (my personal favorite) will work.

Cool: I’ll admit I still use this one quite a bit out of habit but it’s been around for years and trying to replace it with awesome only gives us a new word to cringe at hearing. How about trying words like great, fantastic, terrific, wonderful or magnificent. Originally this word had to do with the temperature of something and if things were truly cool we would need a sweater unless you are warm natured.

Lame: I think this one has finally gone out of fashion and I’m truly glad because I got tired of hearing things needed crutches.

Retarded: This one is offensive on so many levels I don’t really know where to begin. If you don’t realize why it’s considered bad form to use this one then I probably can’t help you.

What are some words you are tired of hearing and wish would retire to the great dictionary in the sky?

November 22, 2010

Fair Weather Friends

They are insecure individuals who only feel significant when following someone of importance. They want to be part of the popular crowd and being your friend gives them that standing in society.

Some are more obvious than others and it takes us a while to see through their game but unless you are really naïve you pick up on it in time.

Usually, I’m pretty perceptive of people and I’m better in person because I’m an expert body language reader but online it gets a bit trickier. You don’t have eye contact to help you see if they are sincere or not.

The best way to find out if these people are truly your friends or not is to lose status. Either you lose your job, you no longer belong to a certain important group or you no longer hold that important title you once had. Suddenly these “friends” move on to the next leader.

I’ve seen this with cheerleaders. You have to try out every year and it can be grueling especially in competitive cities like the one I live in. I’m not giving the name but we have frequently been national champions.

As long as you make the team and are one of the girls you are popular. The guys all want to date you, every girl wants to be your friend and dress like you. But say next year you don’t make the team or worse, you do something to tarnish your reputation like get pregnant. Suddenly you hardly have any friends at all and you are lucky if anyone wants you to sit at their table at lunchtime.

That prom night date turned into a bit more than she bargained for.

No, this isn’t my story. Heck I was never a cheerleader. I couldn’t get my long legs over my head, at least not for an acrobatic stunt.

What do we do about these friends? How do we know if they are real friends?
In most cases you won’t be able to find out but if you have a ton of friends and you are in a popular position, a celebrity or political figure I can guarantee you that most of those people are not real friends. It’s kind of like friending people on a social networking site. Sure your status says you have a thousand friends but you don’t really know most of those people nor do they know you.

While you are at the top they will give you the shirt off their backs but if you lost everything and needed a place to stay or money. That’s when you find out who is really your friend.

Most people are aware of this in the back of their minds but yet they are still very shocked when it happens and the first words you hear are, “I thought they were my friends.”