While eavesdropping in on conversations occurring in public, I find myself getting bothered by little things. Lately, the issue that has been getting under my skin is abuse.
Word abuse that is.
It is a tragedy when a delicate word is torn and twisted around until it loses its meaning. Especially the l-word: “literally”.
Nowadays people misuse this word, thinking it is permitted by the English gods to do such thing and that there is no harm in distorting the value of the subjects at hand. Typically this misconduct comes about as a means of expressing the seriousness of the matter, for example, the exquisiteness of a cupcake.
It starts off as a what you think is a simple conversation as you try to explain how amazing the newest raspberry chocolate chip Sprinkles cupcake is.
Before you know it, as a means of emphasis for the godliness of the cupcake-frosting combination, the word slips out and you say, “this is literally the best cupcake.” A statement based purely on bias that could easily be made accurate adding only a few words, something along the lines of “I’ve ever tried”.
When facing reality you may acknowledge the cupcake’s mediocrity and the fallacy of your statement, considering that the actual odds of that being true are quite slim. In fact, there are ninety-two registered cupcake bakeries in the state of California alone, which adds up to approximately 1,932 cupcake types, not counting the packaged goods carried by supermarkets or orders you can place at Costco or Ralphs.
It is almost scary how careless we become about word choice when not making a conscious effort to write an essay in English class. We let our emotions get the best of our ability to speak and end up sounding like modern day cavemen.
You see, I too understand the fascination of having the power to be dramatic and over exaggerate, but I only appreciate it when done correctly playing by the rules of the English language.
It is no wonder our elders cringe as soon as we open our mouths to voice our opinions. We go the extra mile in trying to sound “hip” but instead sound close to an episode of Clueless when we acquaint with each other, speaking in acronyms and abbreviated form as if it is easier to do so.
Minor steps can change the perception the older generation has of us, leaving them more satisfied with what will be the United States’ future leaders.
Hopefully by default, it will exterminate the dependency we have on autocorrect and cellphones as a primary source of communication. Through replacing word ignorance with sarcasm and irony, we can shift the stereotypes placed on us for the better and get some laughs out of it too.