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Another brief commercial interruption

I will have Part 2 of Miss Harris' Wild Ride up later. Right now I have a complaint.

Bloggers often complain that they are not taken seriously by Big Deal For-Pay Writers in the tradmedia.* Therefore whenever some old crusty pro who sees a threat to his by-the-word paycheck on the horizon writes some outdated and inaccurate smear of blogs because it takes him a week to crank out a three-point essay, we get all het up and write angry rebuttals.

That's all very well and good, but I suggest that neither the pro writers nor the amateur bloggers have actually confronted the real problem of blogs, and that is this: bloggers have this cute little habit of falling in love with a word or a phrase, and then using it until the very sight of it induces irritation and the immediate desire, at least on my part, to throw my computer in the nearest lake and take up some other sort of hobby, such as outdoor backgammon or scrubbing the tile grout in my bathroom. However, in the interests of time I will focus on the most annoying word, the one that was the literal straw to my camel's back. That word is:

Fellate. This is a fancy word for sucking on a man's penis. Why the good old phrases "blow job" and "oral sex" won't do I don't know -- while references to this sex technique are themselves used with far too much frequency as a substitute for a more eloquent and less obscene way to indicate contempt for someone, at least those two phrases don't have an uncomfortable resemblance to "fillet." After seeing the word "fellate" and its various tenses approximately 5,897,345 times in blog posts and comment threads I know I'll never be able to look at a plate of butterflied pork chops the same way again.

One more thing: I think the sad thing is bloggers use the word because they think it's shocking and they are trying to be forceful to some sort of imaginary bourgeois schoolmarm. People. It's 2007. "Ass" and "bitch" and references to semen and cervical tearing from rape are accessible to preteens on A&E (CSI: Miami being a major provider of much of this must-know anatomical knowledge). Preteens are wearing clothing advertising that they are sexually ready. It's not shocking, it just makes you look obsessed and rather unimaginative.

*tradmedia -- "traditional media." I made that up just now, or maybe I read it somewhere. I demand that everyone immediately substitute this word for the overused and inelegant "MSM."

Update: I don't read those kinds of blogs either. That's the problem. For example, there you are, looking for some pithy political commentary on an outrageous situation, and you're hit in the eye (figuratively speaking, people!) with this sort of thing. There isn't enough soap in the world to clean my brain now, are you all happy?

Comments (4)

prairiecat [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I like "tradmedia" - "MSM" conjures up something sado-masochistic in my sick little brain, & even if it's fitting, it still bothers me. So, whether you made it up or not, I'm willing to use it.

As for the over-use of words, the one you mention is almost as useless as 'awesome' these days, isn't it? Doesn't shock, doesn't awe, isn't even terribly obscene or vulgar anymore, just repeats blather that others have written. It's not daring or a sneer at 'the man'...I guess a thesaurus isn't part of most blogger libraries? I like to use & read words that fit but that are different from those every other schmo uses. I have a bit of an aversion to lazy writing, even though I'm often one of the laziest. My favorite schoolmarm taught me well, it seems...

Speaking of lazy writing: Any guesses on what this season's "gravitas" is going to be? Has one already been chosen? I don't watch television, especially network news, I mostly listen to talk radio & sports radio, so if there's a new one already, I missed it.

CGHill [TypeKey Profile Page]:

At least you didn't say "It sucks," a phrase almost as ubiquitous, and one which I probably grind out too often.

I don't like "MSM" because it implies there's something "mainstream" about an institution whose denizens voted for Clinton even more loyally than did black voters. My substitution has tended to be "Establishment Media" because I'm trying to resonate with those hep to the jive young whippersnappers who are always refusing to trust anyone over 30 and I hear "establishment" is like a four-letter word to them.

As for "fellate," I remember some leftblogger named Hesiod overusing that word in comment threads at Instapundit, which should tell you how far back the OCD-style fascination with that word actually goes. In blog years, nostalgia cycles run about six months.

Luther McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page]:

That's one of the problems with ninety million blogs... words get used up rather quickly.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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