Archive for November 29th, 2012

Words That, If I Use Them: Shoot Me

I became Old Man Shouts At Cloud at a too early age.

In my very early 20s. When I was first assaulted by the word “facilitate.”

To this day, I do not know what that word actually “means.”

And that is the problem. For the word doesn’t “mean” anything. It is a no-word. A word invoked solely to cover Crime.

From its first appearance in my life, to its last, it has functioned but as a signal that I am about being Robbed.

Of money, or, most often, of the space to create.

Through a series of no coincidences, that it would be too much of a tangent to here relate, I had, very early on, read my Orwell—the Real stuff, the essays—and so was attuned, long before “facilitate” was thrust in my face, to the mustering of words to conceal, like squid-ink, Assaults.

“Facilitate” just means that somebody—I suspect a sort of machine, having taken human form—is about stealing from me.

Next, not too many years later, came “mic.”

This, a product of knuckledragging. De-evolved ’80s drooler musicians who, perceiving the English stamped imprint above one of the holes in their amps—”mic”—believed that to be the proper abbreviation for “microphone.”

No. There had emerged, decades before, a perfectly serviceable, and apt, abbreviation for microphone—”mike.”

I know that this—the fuggin amps—is where the pre-monolith “mic” came from. Because I had played off the same sort of goddam amps for years.

But this was the era of “punk.” When it was actually a Crime to, say, be able to play your instrument.

Once, I recall, when reviewing a punk band, I made the mistake of observing that a woman had mastered the guitar.

When my piece appeared, she was summarily heaved out of the band. Run out of town like a three-legged dog. While letters flowed into the paper suggesting that I be lynched in the County Square.

Similarly, familiarity with the English language was considered so “uncool” that anybody who even spoke of such a thing needed to, at the very least, be dropped down a well.

Thus, “mic,” drooling, knuckles dragging, displaces “mike.” So that, today, imbecility and illiteracy has so overrun the land, that, now, these days, “mic” is considered the appropriate abbreviation for “microphone.” While “mike” makes the majorly portion of English-speaking humans just scratch their heads.

“What dat mean?”

And I—I, am a man without a language.

For, to this day, whenever I encounter “mic,” in any piece of writing, I immediately turn the page: that piece is dead to me.

There are many more such examples. But I will not bore you with them here. For no one likes to listen to an old man, shout at clouds.

However, in an attempt to try to coerce you past the “furthur,” I will say that, therein, lies fevered jeremiads against two word-formations that have metastasized across the nation, since the re-election of the black man: “pivot,” and “fiscal cliff.”

furthur=>


When I Worked

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