HART: It’s Like, Literally, Amazing

Ron Hart Contributor
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Maybe I am getting old. I remember when TV and water were free and pornography cost money. I remember when LGBT meant a lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato sandwich. My generation can actually fly into an airport or eat a sandwich without posting it on Instagram. 

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, I immediately comfort myself by thinking, “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 or 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 mostly millennial women do, and 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 also 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 them. The synonyms in the dictionary for “amazing” include: astonishing, astounding, stunning, shocking, breathtaking, spectacular, stupendous and phenomenal. 

Ashley’s jeans have been mass-produced in a Chinese sweatshop for 50 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 at 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 for the cashier, it is your order. Be quick, pay up, and get out of us older folks’ way — we do not have much more time to live. 

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

“Literally” is a crutch word, one 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 also actually happening. That does not occur in every other sentence, like 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 colloquialism of the English who say, “She’s in hospital” and African-Americans who use the word “ax.” In fact, I hear Unilever will soon market a new bodywash to white folks that they plan to call “Ask.” But please, let’s cut back on the words “like,” “amazing” and “literally.” It’s annoying.

I blame our expensive, non-judgmental colleges that have been dispensing terrible educations for decades. If you are willing to borrow stupid amounts of money in student loans and pay these dopey colleges $80,000 a year to have some Birkenstock-wearing woman to interpret “Beowulf” for you, then we should not have to pay off your student loans. Read “Lord of the Flies” on your own time. 

After enduring long self-aggrandizing lectures by tenured blowhards, I learned one thing: there is a fine line between a long college lecture and a hostage situation. I am proud to say I ran up no student loan debts in college. But it did take me 12 years after college to pay off my bar tabs around town. 

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author, and TV/radio commentator; 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.