I wonder if people ever listen to what they themselves are saying?
There seems to be an impressive rise in phrases, and utterances that are now in daily use but are completely meaningless.
One that I notice is the use of the word "later", as in "I'll talk to you later" or "I'll catch up with you later". Now I was brought up to believe that "later" was a vague term meaning "later in the day" or generally within a shortish period of time, but now it seems to refer to any time in the coming week or even month. Would you go on a two week holiday and tell your neighbour you'll be back "later"? As for "I'll catch up with you later": that means sweet fuck all. Catch up with me? Are they running behind me and intent on putting in a spurt of energy? Of course there is that compete abomination "laters" which is typical of the mindless and lazy use of language these days. Anyone who uses that word in my hearing gets very swift and painful retribution.
Another one that baffles me the the "to go" one. I would like a coffee to go! To go where? To go on my head? To go fishing? When you think about it, it makes no sense at all. "To take away" seems to make a lot more sense as it indicates my precise intention – to take it away from the shop. I blame the Mercans specifically for this one. They seem to be hell bent on destroying the language, which is fine if they would only stop exporting their horrible expressions across The Pond.
The advertising industry have a lot to answer for as well. They have started coming up with phrases which frankly grate on the nerves with their meaningless stupidity – "travel yourself interesting" – or phrases of that ilk. I defy any English teacher to parse the gibberish that's being pumped out these days. One of their latest is an advertisement for some car or other [I can’t remember which brand – ergo a crap advertisement] which implores us to "unlearn". Do they mean "forget"? And if so why not just say so?
"Red is the new black"? What the fuck does that mean? Red is red and black is black and ne'er the twain shall meet. As for "sugar is the new tobacco" – have you ever tried smoking sugar? Don't!
Of course one of the worst, which never fails to raise my blood pressure, is that horrendous "I'm lovin' it" which encapsulates modern language trends perfectly – lazy and meaningless in the name of a catchphrase. When you stop to think, what precisely does it mean? "I love it" works but "I am loving it" conjures up an image of a bloke wanking into his favourite sock and trying to express his actions to a bystander.
I'm hatin' it.