It was some expert on television the other night. He was comparing the fat content of two different cheesecakes. “This one has less calories than this one,” he announced.
“Fewer,” I muttered to the screen. “It has fewer calories, not LESS!”
My wife called out from another room: “Give it up! You have lost the less-versus-fewer war, “she declared. “That train has left the station.”
She’s right. I just haven’t accepted it yet. But I’ve decided that it’s about time.
A friend is fond of saying, “That ship has sailed.” My wife likes “That train has left the station.” I’ve combined them into “That train has sailed.”
It all means the same thing: Change is inevitable—even grammatically incorrect and cultural change.
So I’m waving the white flag on all of it—from the pointed to the pointless.
Like the oft-heard phrase “It put a smile on my face.” I’m no longer going to say, “As opposed to where else? Your rear-end?” That train has sailed.
For that matter, I’m also going to look the other way when I hear, “I was thinking in my head.” That head has left the station.
The next time I’m in a restaurant, I’ll simply ignore any overheard utterances such as:
“So I was like…and then she was like…and then we were both like…”
In a world of far too many incomplete similes, I’ll now just turn a deaf ear to like. I will. For real.
Why should I care if someone says, ‘totally’ when the word ‘yes’ will do?
“Hey, Dave! Did you eat the cheese fries?”
“So you didn’t just eat them partially?”
I think it’s also useless to rail any longer over the constant use of ‘absolutely,’ ‘definitely—and ‘for sure.’ After all, it is what it is—when it’s all said and done.
And it’s time (for people like me) to stop carping about ‘issue.’ True, the word used to refer to actual matters that were debatable—like slavery, poverty and human rights. But now, issues are what kind of condiment to use on a hoagie.
No one has a leaky faucet anymore. They have a faucet issue. Normally, a person could sop up the leaked water with a Kleenex—but not anymore, because that might cause a tissue issue. Yet, I will look the other way when I hear the word misused. It will no longer be an issue with me. I really mean it.
The so-called phenomenon of ‘up speak’ is locked into our world now—I’ve got to get over it. It’s the conversational habit of ending every sentence with a rising inflection—making everything sound like a question.
So if Lincoln were addressing Gettysburg today, his speech pattern would be: “Four score and seven years ago? Our forefathers brought forth on this continent? A new nation?” And so on.
But forget about it. That new habit is here to stay. At least for now.
So I’m not going to fight it…any longer?
And it’s not just screwy grammar that I will overlook. It’s all the other things that have become part of our new culture:
Remakes of perfectly good movies.
Phony outrage on talk radio.
Supposedly hip marketing in advertising.
Things that are ‘organic.’
Tweeting and Instagramming photos of food.
People saying “Umm,” “Ahh,” and “Y’know.”
Going forward, at the end of the day, I’m here to tell you—I’m over it. That’s how I’m trending.
So never mind that the word ‘awesome’ has now become completely devalued as a true superlative. I now accept that not only is the Great Pyramid of Giza awesome—but so is a Dunkin’ Donuts Sausage Supreme Omelet and Cheese on a Bagel.
Although the Pyramid might have less calories.
Yep, that train has sailed all right.