Saturday, May 31, 2008

Overused word of the year.

You may not remember this post. Even so. There is a newcomer this year, taking the reins from the likes of pretentious and hypocrisy. Curiously enough, new word serves a function similar to that of pretentious. Both designed to vilify someone with an opinion (or even when that person is stating facts or making rational arguments,) however authoritative, in fact better suited for when the speaker has more authority. Both designed to make us think less of the argument in the process.

And the overused word of the year is...



A good example of the use of the word comes from here. Sure, Sharon Stone was an idiot for making those remarks, and yes, we ought to put her down for that. But how do we go from her asinine remarks on Chinese bad karma being responsible for the recent earthquakes there to her being elitist?
She is just another useless Hollywood elitist opening her mouth rather than her heart, and that is far too often the case,' wrote a reader called Kevin, on the forum.
Okay okay, so this is a rediff article. And they insert junk that people post on public forums into their news articles. Maybe then, my basis for claiming that this word is so readily used is not all that sound after all?

How about the Republican congressman John Duncan from Tennessee then, who commented on a study which proved that abstinence-only sex education programmes did not work:
it seems rather elitist that people with academic degrees in health think they know better than parents what type of sex education is appropriate
So if you have specialized knowledge in a certain field and choose to tell something to those who don't, you're elitist. Gotcha.

And yet in the same vein they call Sharon Stone elitist. For talking about karma. Did she become a Buddhist monk sometime after making Basic Instinct 2?

It would only be superfluous to chronicle in detail the number of times Obama has been showered with this particular epithet.

On an entirely unrelated note, has anyone noticed that in almost all instances of the common usage of the word 'usage', there is no alteration in the meaning when it is simply replaced by 'use'?


Mohan K.V said...

Hmm, I haven't come across to much of it, I thought 'disingenuous' would make it :-)

Re. sidebar, oh yes yes yes! Method and Methodology, too! Down with syllable inflation! :-)

PS said...

Disingenuous a? Hmm, don't think I've heard it being used that much.

The US election coverage filled with 'elitist' allegations.

Heh. Methodology.