There’s a recent trend that I am dubbing Copy-Paste journalism. You know, the thing where online publications don’t even bother to write their own take on a story, and decide to just run a story from another publication. Repeat offenders of this might as well change their publications tagline to “What the other guy said.”
So, in the spirit of ever-declining journalism, I got to thinking about the things I repeat all the time. If you’ve ever worked a customer service job or customer-based job, you know what I’m talking about; there are certain phrases and words that you just say over and over again.
Furthermore, people do this every day. They go around doing the same things, saying the same things, thinking the same things.
It’s about time to stop, don’t you think?
Specifically, stop saying the same things over and over again. Learn a new word each day, build your vocabulary (or if that sounds hard, maybe you should just stop talking period.)
The other point I want to make is that there’s a lot of redundant information out there, and just because a lot of people are talking about it does not mean it’s worthwhile. You would be amazed at the habits people get into, regurgitating information without verifying its accuracy beforehand. (Not that I’ve ever done that. Ever.)
For example, here’s some common terms and phrases that you’ve been saying incorrectly your whole life:
– The Los Angeles Angels – If you’re not from an area with a Spanish-speaking population or never studied the language, you might not know this commonly-mentioned sports team is an exercise in redundancy. The phrase above is technically correct, but to a bilingual person it reads “The The Angels Angels.”
– Chai Tea – Though this phrase is likely heard a hundred times each day in Starbucks and other coffee shops across the country, it’s really pretty atrocious. “Chai” means “tea” in Hindi, so what we’re all really saying is “I’d like a Tea Tea Latte, please.”Regardless, the proper term “Masala Chai” or “spiced tea” isn’t really appropriate for the powder- and syrup-based American versions.
– The Sahara Desert –Okay, this one took me by surprise. For one reason or another, though most likely because I was raised in a landlocked State, I heard “Sahara Desert” my whole life up until this point. As you can probably guess, Sahara is derived from the Arabic word for desert, and so this phrase becomes “desert desert.”
(More fun redundancies at the horribly designed but great Fun With Words)
At this point you’re probably thinking, “Is all this really important? So what if some of the terms we use aren’t absolutely correct? Also, would I listen to some jerk that told me to shut up earlier?”
To which I would probably respond, “Did you really come to the Internet, to read my blog, and expect to find something important?”