Off the Cuff but On the Mark: Consistency in Language and Annoying Phrases

Published on April 7, 2014

by Dennis Albini
Clash Daily Guest Contributor

** We are now in our 14th year in this new millenium and new century, yet almost without exception I hear people in the various media, as well as in mainstream America, describe the year as “two thousand fourteen” in lieu of simply stating “twenty fourteen.”   However, these same people would say, for instance, “I was born in nineteen fifty-four”…not nineteen hundred fifty-four.    What’s up with this! At least be consistent whenever mentioning any year throughout history.  Don’t people think through these things??!?
**  Movie catch phrases are driving me crazy, such as “You complete me,” (which, I believe, was introduced to mainstream America through Jerry Maguire circa 1996 (pronounced nineteen ninety-six).  This seems to have diminished now. 

However, the phrase, “It’s complicated,” is now rampant in movie-dom, and is actually misleading. In most instances the situation is not complicated but in essence very straight forward. 

However, the situation may be very difficult from which to extricate yourself, especially if sin is involved, but its not complicated.   For example, a person may have fallen in love with another person already married. They both may have very strong feelings for each other, which hinder their desire to be together “forever”, but it’s not complicated.  Scripture would demand that the both parties end the adulterous relationship to preserve the Honorable Estate of Holy Matrimony.   It may be very difficult, but certainly not complicated (unless you choose to remain in your sin… “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…”). 

**  Now delving into the world of sports, I’m weary of new terminology to describe something that was already serviced by a perfectly good definition, at the expense of almost everyone adopting the new word and not using the old one.  A case in point is the rise of the use of “length” in the National Basketball Association in lieu of height.  Almost without exception, at least in the conversations witnessed on many of the sports talk shows (both radio and television), length is the “word du jour” describing a players height. 

However, in fairness the analyst may also be using this word to describe the player’s reach, which is truly applicable in this circumstance.   The “fly in the ointment” for me is don’t simply abandon the use of the word “height” to  comply with a new catchphrase.  Integrate both words, otherwise over time the word “length” will become the new “straight line” and may eventually be replaced by something archaic like  “height.”

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