HART: It’s ‘Like, Literally Amazing’ How Sloppy Language Has Become

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Ron Hart Ron Hart is a libertarian humorist and author who can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com.
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Maybe I am getting old. I remember a time when TV and water were free and porn cost money. I remember when LGBT meant a lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato sandwich.  Members of my generation can actually fly into an airport or eat a sandwich without posting it on Facebook.

We older folks are different from Millennials; they like to film themselves doing just about everything they do, including sex. I differ. When I am done with sex, the first thing I think is, “Well, at least no one had to see that.”

Now, I’m certainly not a “grammar Nazi” or a word-nerd, especially given the locker-room opinions I spew weekly (some would say “weakly”). But young people out there really need to focus on cleaning up their language, especially as it relates to overusing three words that are dumbing down the English language: “like,” “literally” and “amazing.”

For the 40-and-unders out there, you know how you use the word “like” in, like, every other sentence?  Don’t!

When folks my age (those who can remember the TV show “Cheers”) interview you for a job, your use of the word “like” as some filler crutch word is maddening to us.  And when done in a high-pitched, nasal, Kardashian-Valley Girl way, it’s akin to torture. The “uptalking” you use to end each sentence makes it sound like a question. It is a sing-song way of speaking that most Millennial women do. But it makes you seem vapid, imprecise and, quite frankly, stupid. This has gone on too long, and I have been meaning to say something about it.

So, please stop.

You know how you kids use the word “amazing,” like, all the time?  Don’t.

Witnessing your child’s birth is amazing. Your sandwich from Whole Foods is not “amazing.” Neither are the jeans Ashley just bought nor the top she wears with it.

The synonyms in the dictionary for “amazing” include: astonishing, wonderment, astounding, stunning, shocking, breathtaking, spectacular, stupendous and phenomenal. Ashley’s jeans have been mass-produced in a Chinese sweatshop for fifty years; there is nothing “amazing” about them. So please stop using “amazing” for anything mildly above average. People who are constantly “amazed” are low-IQ folks.

Also, when you order in a fast-food place in front of me, do not start every order with “Could I have … a Big Mac?”  Of course you can; just step up and say, “Big Mac, please.”  No one ever tells you that you cannot have a Big Mac.  It is not a question to the server; it is your order.  Be quick, precise, pay, and get out of us older folks’ way.  We do not have much more time to live.

The words “like” and “amazing” tend to be used by young women. For some reason, the men of this generation have taken to ending their sentences with a groan or a tapered-off grunt. I’m not sure why that started happening, but it also is annoying. Please stop.

Maybe it is a primal noise whereby modern-day men, neutered in college by the system, become wussified men seeking to reclaim some sort of caveman-like aura. Look guys, you like to grow beards now, but you cannot change a tire or drive a stick shift car. So, stop it with the faux macho/Mumford and Sons persona. We ain’t buying it.

Lastly, you know how both men and women use the word “literally” way too often? Please stop.

“Literally” is a crutch word used when you are trying to bring emphasis to an otherwise boring story about yourself. I heard a guy say the other day, “It was literally raining cats and dogs.” Now unless there was an explosion at the humane shelter, this cannot “literally” be true. For “literally” to work, what you are saying must have a figurative meaning that is actually happening. That does not occur in every other sentence when you are telling a story about you and your roommate Skeeter going to a concert. If you use it too much, you can join a literary society: Americans Who Figuratively Use Literally, or A.W.F.U.L.

I get the dialect and colloquialisms of the English who say, “She’s in hospital” and African-Americans who use the word “ax.” But please do not let the words “like,” “amazing” and “literally” get used as often and in the manner they are.  It is just plain annoying.

Younger folks even go about advertising differently, and Biden’s handlers are capitalizing on the phenomenon.  They are hiring social media “influencers” to sing his praises.  Girls who dance on TikTok are his biggest purchases.  Our president is paying young girls to do provocative dances for him.  Like father, like son.

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator who appears on Fox and CNN.  You can reach him at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.