Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm Banning Words Today!

In romance circles there are periodic kerfuffles about offensive language, themes, descriptions, and situations. I have always believed that it’s a big world out there and we should all just find something we do enjoy and ignore the other stuff. Who am I to tell you what words to write or read?

So open-minded, right?

Except…I decided I do care. And I also decided that I’m in charge. There are words that are offensive to me and I want them banned right now.

Except...(another exception already? I suck at fanaticism)...I’m too lazy to figure out how to get things banned through official channels and I don’t really like petitions, besides, would I have to walk to all your houses to gather signatures? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

So this is a list of words I will forthwith cease and desist from employing in speech or written expression both professional and personal. (That’s a little petition language in case I do decide to come around your neighborhoods with a clipboard.) Please do feel free to join me in the bannage, though, ‘cause a protest is always more fun with a group.

You're Outta Here!

Ping: When used to mean you’ve contacted or attempted to contact another human being. Example: Did you ping Roy about the meeting on Friday?
Acceptable exceptions: Ping pong, ping pong table, and when discussing Ping the Duck.

Euphemisms for erection: Sorry. There’s just no way to describe that little (or not) piece of physical business without using the proper name. Euphemisms including arousal, length, and heat all make me laugh. Not the desired response, especially not in that important moment.
Acceptable exceptions: Anything goes if you’re writing on the walls of a public restroom. Also, if you’re under the age of twelve and can’t say erection without giggling, I’ll give you a pass; everyone else, let’s grow up!

Hopefully: We’ve had enough chances and we keep getting it wrong. This morning I used it incorrectly for possibly the first time since Sister Raymond explained it to me back in sixth grade. Therefore…BANNED!
Acceptable exceptions: None. Hopefully (insidious, isn’t it?), this one can be released in a few hundred years once the improper use has died out completely. I guess if you're one of those people who aren't bothered by this one, you can use it. I can't because then I hear Sister Raymond bellowing about slouching and sloth and other bad habits of poor grammarians. (I am such a bad fanatic.)

Podcast: This goes in the banned-on-account-of-being-unnecessarily-complicated category. You know what a podcast is? It’s a recorded audio file you listen to online. Why was a new word invented when we already had interview and audio and sound and about a million straightforward ways to describe this thing without the techno-babble?
Acceptable exceptions: Allowable only in the inverted form, as when discussing shelled peas thus, “I cast the pod in the compost bin.”

All right. That’s enough for today. I need to start googling Government+banned+Words+ellen+hates+Language+reformation+Starts+Now. Anybody want to toss a few more words on the scrap heap while I’m doing my homework?