Friday, May 29, 2015

Read this Genius Post -- What Happens Next Will Blow Your Mind! (LOL)

I'm not sure where it came from, but my distaste for visible and obvious trends is a powerful factor in my daily life.

I had a bout with trying to be trendy when I was a little kid. Somewhere around fifth or sixth grade, it was hip to carry a big, brightly-colored, plastic comb in one's back pocket. Both for boys and girls. For some reason, I wanted one, so I asked and I received. I brought it into school on Monday (What's that thing in my back pocket? Oh...); forgot about it on Tuesday; might have remembered on Wednesday (Why do I keep getting stuck on my chair...Oh...) and then left it on my dresser, probably for the rest of my adolescence.

That is about the only time I can remember having consciously attempted to be part of a trend. The benefits of a complete disinterest in participating in trends include not being totally embarrassed when looking at high school yearbook pictures. No "parachute pants" or "Z Cavaricis" for me. The high school me is either in jeans and T-shirts, button-downs or golf shirts. I mean, we are all limited by what is available during a time period, so there is no completely escaping trend unless you go to school dressed (literally) like a clown, but one can always avoid the trendiest of trends if one wants.

But my disinterest developed over the years into a real distaste. It makes me downright uncomfortable to see people following so methodically -- so minion-like -- every new trend. (I am glad, for that reason, that I work in a school with uniforms -- which do two things: 1) eliminate "trendy" dress and 2) [contrary to what one might expect] promote real individuality in kids: they must be individual as opposed to simply appearing to be. Our kids are originals. )

For me, language trends are the most grating of all, though. In the voice of my alter-ego (The Emperor) over at When Falls the Coliseum, I devote a lot of time to devising Dante-esque punishments for those who succumb to language trends.

Truth is, I just can't see how people can comfortably utter words and phrases like "life hack" and "shaming" and "lol" or how they can write blog title that include phrases like: "... what happened next gave me chills." I can't imagine ever using the word "genius" as an adjective -- a deed you can't escape if you spend two minutes in front of a TV.

It makes my skin crawl.  I really, physically recoil from trendy language.

Why, I wonder? Maybe it is because I am a sincerity addict. Your words should be your words. Nobody escapes trend completely, I suppose, and one could argue that cliche is the same thing (and I do use cliche sometimes -- I admit that) but maybe it is the stark obviousness of language trends that gets to me. It's like announcing, before you speak: "Hey! I have no expressive abilities of my own (lol!), so I'm going to use this genius phrase! When I first heard it, it gave me chills..."



  1. I feel the same way- up to a point. I won't reject something just because it's popular, although I'm less likely to be interested if it is. I have to admit there are a couple of phrases from the last decade that I find amusing, such as "Bromance" and "D.I.N.K.S" (double income, no kids). And naturally, I can't think of any others because language trends are (luckily) usually fleeting & not worth stressing about.

    1. Hi, Marly -- thanks for reading. Yeah - I really feel the same way: if we avoid trends because they are trends, we are not really being individuals.. Even with my trumpeting, I, a child of the eighties, still say "Dude!" when I am excited, exasperated or angry. None of use is exempt from all trends...