New Words & Phrases Have Infiltrated Our Daily Conversations

 

 

Maybe it’s my status as a senior.  Maybe it’s my waning attention span.  Or maybe, just maybe, there are changes in the words and phrases we use (well, not all of us) that have infiltrated our daily conversations.

Just yesterday, misinformation was crowned Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year.  Gee, I wonder why.  While the word has been around since the late 1500s, it made a huge comeback this year as the amount of false information on the internet expanded.  (Why limit this phenomenon to the internet?  Why, indeed?)  Every day, we are bombarded on cable news shows, newspapers, speeches with misinformation.  As the folks at Dictionary.com made abundantly clear, misinformation is not the same as disinformation.  The latter is deliberate, often propaganda.  Misinformation is stuff that people spread, sometimes innocently.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/26/us/misinformation-dictionary-word-of-the-year-2018-trnd/index.html

Here’s another example of a phrase that has wiggled its way into daily conversations.  “You as well.” Back in the day when you wished a person a “Good day,” the common response was “Thank you” or “You, too.”  No more.  Today, it’s “You as well.”

“Have a good day.”

“You as well.”

“Enjoy the movie.”

“You as well.”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to a salesperson, a young friend, a consumer associate—”You as well” has usurped the basic “You, too.”

Granted, the latter does sound more erudite, more á la the King’s English—more like the way characters on the BBC converse.  But I don’t believe for a second that the people using this expression have spent time in Great Britain or have earned graduate degrees.

Every time someone responds to my polite wishes for a good day with a “You as well,” I stop in my tracks and wonder where the hell this came from.  Not us Baby Boomers, that’s for sure.  Millennials?  (Those born between 1981 and 1996.)  Those rascals seem to be changing everything else, so why not common words and expressions?

Here’s another one of my pet peeves when it comes to the words we use.  Have you noticed how the word right is thrown around and ends many a declarative sentence?

“Trump is a liar.  Right?”

“The meeting is tomorrow.  Right?”

“The country is divided.  Right?”

The word begs for affirmation.  It’s as if the speaker isn’t sure about what he/she/they is saying and needs others to shake their head in agreement or to respond verbally.  This “right?” business unnerves me, particularly when the speaker obviously knows what he/she/they is saying. (Maybe it’s the influence of the millions of U.S. citizens who speak Spanish.  After all, many Latinos end their sentences with “Si?”)

I’ll keep you posted when the next word or phrase infiltrates our daily speech and makes me want to scream.  And, yes, please send me a comment with any suggestions.

“Have a good day.”

“You as well.”