Thou shalt not

January 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Words & Phrases* the media should really stop using:

  1. “Speaking out” – as in, “So-and-so is speaking out about her ordeal.”
  2. “Slam” – as in, “Celebrity A slams Celebrity B for her comments about Celebrity A’s new movie.”
  3. “Who’s to blame” – as in, “Neighbors/the community/lawmakers/fill-in-the-blank want to know who’s to blame.” 

If we can learn to avoid these trite and annoying pitfalls, I think we will be a better society, better citizens, and better human beings.

In other news, I think that in 2010, by using those shiny metal spoons from the cafeteria to eat my oatmeal in the morning, I prevented approximately 225 plastic spoons from going into a landfill.  So I think I’ve already achieved better human being status right there.  However, it didn’t stop Them from manufacturing those 225 spoons, which still exist in real space, and which will eventually go into a landfill anyhow, so I don’t think my little action is a net gain for the world’s morality or a net loss for the world’s trash pile.  Also, it probably required energy, soap, etc., to wash the 225 shiny metal spoons.  Not sure how to tally that up.  However, if I managed to keep another human being employed as a dishwasher washing said 225 spoons, then maybe I’ve counteracted any other losses contracted.  I wish there was a better system for measuring this.  I wish we could assign units of recycling, or at least Brownie points or gold stars.  Like calories.  (They’re not really real, but we treat them as if they are.)  With my new patented Von Behren Recycling and/or Morality Brownie Point System (the VBRAOMBP system),we could have a metric, a rubrick if you will, for knowing whether or not we’re goin’ down the tubes as a people, or if we’re gonna be able to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps!  I’m going to award myself 5 gold brownie point stars for the whole spoon thing.

*Law librarian term of art!

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