Some people lament that speaking and writing these days are simply a collection of faddish clichés patched together like the sections of prefabricated houses made of ticky-tacky. They see modern communication as a mindless clacking of trendy expressions, many of them from movies and television sitcoms.
Why is English parlance in such a parlous state? Maybe it’s because verbal knee-jerkery requires no thought. It’s so much easier to cookie-cut the rich dough of the English language. It’s so much easier to microwave a frozen dinner than to create a meal from scratch. After all, when we were children, we loved to pull the string on the doll that said the same thing over and over, again and again.
That’s what fadspeak is — the unrelenting mix of mimicry and gimmickry. Fadspeak comprises vogue phrases that suddenly appear on everybody’s tongues — phrases that launch a thousand lips. Before you can say, “yada yada yada,” these throwaway expressions become instant clichés, perfect for our throwaway society, like paper wedding dresses for throwaway marriages. Fadspeak clichés lead mayfly lives, counting their duration in months instead of decades. They strut and fret their hour upon the stage of pop culture and then are heard no more.
To demonstrate, I offer here a narrative composed almost entirely of clichés — not just any clichés, but fadspeak clichés that have slithered into our language just in the last decade or two or three. That I can actually cobble together a coherent rant composed of new clichés is, I believe, a sad tribute to the ascendancy of fadspeak.
Hey, would I, your deep-pockets, drop-dead-good-looking language columnist, your poster boy for user-friendly writing, ever serve you anything totally bogus like fadspeak? I don’t think so. Not a problem. I have zero tolerance for anything that lowers the bar for what makes world-class writing.
Work with me on this. I’ve been around the block, and I know a thing or two. I’m not talking trash here. I’m not the 800-pound gorilla out to bust your chops. I feel your pain, and I’m your new best friend. At this point in time, you’re on my radar, and I know you da man!
Anyhoo, off the top of my head, the bottom line is that fadspeakers and fadwriters — and you know who you are — are so clueless. I am shocked — shocked! — that they just don’t suck it up, get up to speed, go the whole nine yards, push the envelope, take it to another level and think outside the box. All they do is give you that same-old-same-old, been-there-done-that kind of writing, and you can take that to the bank.
Hey, people, this isn’t rocket science or brain surgery. Call me crazy, but it’s simply a no-brainer — a dropkick and a slam dunk. I will go to the mat 24-7 for fresh, original language. I’m like, is this a great language or what? It’s a language to die for. OMG, how cool is that? Yessss!
Tell me about it. Fadspeakers and fadwriters play the old tapes again and again, and their ideas just fall through the cracks. They’re not playing with a full deck. The light’s on, but nobody’s home. Elvis has left the building. Ya think? Go figure.
Whatever. As if. At the end of the day, it is what it is.
Whenever I find some of these snippets of fadspeak strewn about a sentence, I’m in your face. I’m your worst nightmare. I’m the critic from hell. Those flavor-of-the-month phrases just make me go bananas, ballistic and postal. After all (and I’m not making this up), what goes around comes around.
’Kay. My bad. I’ve thrown my hissy fit, and we’re done now. Thanks a bunch for letting me share. Now that I’ve been able to tell it like it is, it’s time to pack it in. I’m outta here. Talk to you soon. Buh-bye — and have a nice day.
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