Today is Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ask Anne: Hey, folks, no problem?

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Well, around me a lot of people have not been aping their betters. Im noting, as is our QP of T (Question Person of Today), quite a bit of just plain aping. Or, not to insult our primate friends the apes, quite a bit of imitation of the worse behavior and speech, narcissistic, rude, careless. Truly care less.


[ATA (According to Anne) Narcissism is inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. It takes its name from Narcissus, a figure in Greek mythology who loved only himself, causing great grief, including that of poor Echo, earlier cursed by a wronged goddess after Echo interfered to protect the goddesss straying husband. Echo could then only repeat the words of others. After breaking Echos heart, Narcissus finally falls in love, but its with his image in a pool. He wont leave it, and cant understand its resisting him. Refusing food and drink, he withers away. A flower pushes through the earth where Narcissus had lain. NOT where Narcissus had layed FOR PETES SAKE! Guess what the flowers named?]


I think the response No problem could perhaps be used graciously, perhaps, but generally its flipped off with the casualness now awarded another empty phrase, Have a nice day. Can one say No problem without a brush off wave of the hand?


Users of No problem are sending a message all right, something like, You are an inconvenience, but I suppose Ill get over it. Now go away. Tut, tut.


[ATA Recently theres been a real flurry of use of alright to replace all right, even in national print sources. Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, not the most industrious and firm of sources, allows alright, giving a bit of patchy history in defense. Oxford Advanced American Dictionary says dont use alright in formal writing. Why use alright at all? All right always works.]


ONE MORE THING: Rudeness (and we are getting hefty chunks of it everywhere, not just in big northern cities) is not limited to the young. I cringe at the impolite antics of my age group (the almost ancient) and fear Im out there imitating them. Well, beware that, too, tomorrow when youre busy bewaring the Ides of March.


ONLINE DEPARTMENT How to Write Good (Thanks, P.W.) [Please note the tongue in check element, starting with the title!] by Frank L. Visco (vice-president and senior copywriter at USAdvertising) My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules: 1.Avoid alliteration. Always. 2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. 3. Avoid clichs like the plague. (They're old hat.) 4. Employ the vernacular ordinarily. 5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. 6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary. 7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive. 8. Contractions aren't necessary. 9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos. 10. One should never generalize. 11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. 12. Comparisons are as bad as clichs. 13. Don't be redundant; don't more use words than necessary; it's highly superfluous. 14. Profanity s___s. 15. Be more or less specific. 16. Understatement is always best. 17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement. 18. One-word sentences? Eliminate. 19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a turtle. 20. The passive voice is to be avoided. 21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms. 22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed. 23. Who needs rhetorical questions?


BW (Bigtime Word) myrmidon any follower, servant, or underling who carries out orders remorselessly, blindly.One always hopes ones children could be a bit more like this.

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