fatman Find the clues!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

'Uber' is the New 'Irony'

It would be esquivalient of me to not comment on how much I hate hack writers and hack writing. I am not for one moment suggesting that I'm better than these f-ckers, but the print medium is rife with the la-di-dah types who think they'll pretty up banal articles for glossy magazines by thumbing through a thesaurus ( do people ' thumb through thesauri' these days? Or is it all electric-like?) and plonking in words that look cool.

Not too long ago 'irony' was the word that was dripping off every page of fashion magazines, porno featuring hairy amputees, music rags, architecture lit ( if you class Wallpaper* as lit.) and other styles of magazines I find every time I go to the dentist for my monthly filing down of my fangs- incisors that beg to drain blood from hapless backpackers. The problem is no one seemed to know what it actually meant. Alanis Morisette certainly friggin' didn't.

Now 'uber' is the new culprit. Every "trendy" magazine uses 'uber' in front of household words to make it sound (bleagh) chic. Uber-cool, uber-geek, uber-nomics, uber-sapien, uber-long, uber-intelligent.

There was a time back in school when my vocabulary was pretty good. But no one understood what the heck I was saying. So I decided to dumb myself down several notches to words that can be belched out and doesn't make your jaw sore by the twelfth syllable. It worked. It's Homer Simpson lodging a crayon up his nose- I'd erased the complex words from my mind somehow and began misspelling words that even dyslexics wouldn't. As my grades steadily plummeted I found more of the other kids understanding what I was saying. Which isn't always a good thing. But this Taoist/ simplification of life means I devote less time trying to understand pretentious people and more time drinking. Which reduces my vocabulary even more.

Reading makes my Brain hurt,

P.S. esquivalience—n. the willful avoidance of one’s official responsibilities . . . late 19th cent.: perhaps from French esquiver


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the really, really neat part of this post: "Esquivalience" is not really a word. Henry Alford phoned me he was writing his article. I picked the wrong word as being made up.

3:39 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Anonymous- Ka-Chow! I love facts like this and actually had read the Alford article back in '05. Though it scares me somewhat that you were a part of this (which in context of the piece would make you Garret Thomson) I still have to say I was mondo impressed at your efforts. And in fairness you were up against crossword-puzzle editors and folks who work on fat dictionaries. Look, around 10% of the words Shakespeare wrote were made up but they slowly made their way into common usage. Which is a good thing. Without him I couldn't call someone a barefaced liar. Long-haired hippies would just be hippies. My lackluster attempt at humour would just be a "shit effort".

6:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I'm not Garret Thomson. But you're close. Garret and I know each other through email exchanges. Garret did the programming for the pseudodictionary and I'm an editor. Alford called both of us. He must have liked his phone interview with Garret better -- or was put off because I didn't want my name used.

10:43 pm  

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