As someone who is enamored with words and the power they possess, I am often deeply affected by language one way or another. I’ve always paid close attention to lyrics in a song, and I am positively euphoric when an author paints a vivid word picture for me, causing events and charactors to leap from the page and make me feel like I am having a real-time experience.
Conversely, I am irritated when a popular expression doesn’t make sense or ends up sounding downright silly. “Baby bump” is one such phrase. Words tend to create pictures in my mind, and to me, a bump is something that is frequently red, irritated, and may require draining. It’s also a nonsensical expression, because a woman’s protruding abdoman in no way resembles a bump. Honestly how gigantic is your garden-variety bump anyway? Even if I had found this term cute, endearing or original when I first heard it 40 kazillion time ago, the bloom would definitely be off the rose by now.
What I want to know is, once a phrase is coined why does everyone in the universe adopt it as if there were no other way to express the same occurence? Doesn’t originality count for anything anymore, or are we all just a bunch of drones churning out the same pre-fab phrases every time we open our mouths? Take the term, “At the end of the day.” I thought it was pretty succinct at the beginning, but after hearing it fall from the lips of every talk show host or news commentator, it began to lose its effectiveness. It’s like an irritating jingle that was kind of catchy when you first heard it, but after having it drummed into your conscious more times that you can count, you can feel your brain cells becoming dull from the incessant repetition. Thankfully “At the end of the day.” seems to have had its heyday and gone the way of other expressions that started out “hot” but suddenly were not.
Another word I’ve heard a million times lately is “stun,” as in “She stunned in a red Vera Wang evening gown only minutes after giving birth.” I’m not debating the fact that this celebrity looked amazing, especially given the fact that she was whisked from the delivery room to the red carpet, but the word “stun” strikes me as slightly extreme. Getting slammed by a stun gun would stun, having a grizzly bear jump out from behind your camper at Yosemite would have the same effect . These are adrenalin producing events. If I were stunned, I might drop a plate of steaming lasagna on my foot, or If I came out of my bedroom in the middle of the night and saw an intruder in a ski mask, I would be stunned. Oh yeah, I guess I would be happily stunned if my formerly non-verbal dog suddenly began reciting the Pledge of Alliance, and perhaps it’s just me, but a celebrity rocking elegant evening attire would have a far less shocking effect.
Since I never hear anybody else going on this type of word rant, it’s possible that I am sweating the small stuff here, and you might be stunned to learn that I do other things with my time besides being a member in good standing of the word police. After all, there are far greater issues to focus on At The End of The Day.