Saturday, January 17, 2009

nasheman nation and egregious tautology

Typos are such a great source of humour once you get past gnashing your teeth and uttering unkind curses dedicated to the writer. Consider two samples, documenation and defination. The former seems a victim of the syndrome of the disenfranchised letter. The latter is one of the products of an inability to get out of school with the right spelling. In either case, one feels like paraphrasing the late Pancham: ye documenation/defination kaun saa desh hai bhaaii?

The pervasive progress of redundancy in spoken and written English is astounding. Blame it on crapspeak (also known as office jargon, corporate-speak). Blame it on people who don't let the speakers and writers of vacuous phrases just how painful it is to read what they have written or to listen to their bombastic nothingness. Being on the same page, going forward (shudder!), having a full plate, keeping something on your radar, having the bandwidth (wince!), hitting the ground running. All these are obvious stinkers. But what of the minor subtle killers like fellow colleagues (are there any of another kind?), serious danger (talk about undermining a perfectly capable word), mutual cooperation, original source (this packet actually came here from there), local resident (remember the days of 1040NRs?), continue on (the roof? the floor?), chief protagonist, general public (with specific privates, no doubt), on a regular/daily/weekly/monthly basis (what happened to "regularly/every day/week/month"?)? Why not just meet instead of meeting up? Why not just visit instead of visiting with?

2 comments:

Ramanand said...

That long-pending rant is finally up, I see.

George said...

just a preview :)

 
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