Books for Everyone!

August 2019

The Skilled Saw

I’d like to take a SKILSAW to the term, skill set. I’ve heard it, and now have read it, once too often.

The watering down and weakening of language — any language — has become so monotonously pervasive that I feel I must protest. And none too loudly, lest it lose any impact! My literary saw is all too skilled!

It’s a worldwide phenomenon, this push by peddlers of poisoned thoughts to wreak havoc on tradition and norms and convention through the atrocious asinine use of “language” that mimics real speech.

Real thought is obviously quite beyond the capacity of the hipster-speaker, and by hipster, I mean wayyy too many people born after the mid-1960s. These people are the Nixon babies-and-on — not “up” because there is nothing upward or uplifting about them. Their scenarios only get worse.

These loudmouths stand on their soapboxes and truly believe they created the soapbox. I have had quite enough of the glaring incompetence of those uppity, purse-lipped preachers and the haughty, whorish mother superiors, some of whom have never had children. Each Societal Expert has yet to get a life!

The ooh-ing and ahh-ing or, conversely, the grunting and groaning, over the latest in films, fashion, fiction, “news” and whatever else gets tossed in your face (the first 10 seconds of any trip to IMDb online constitute an affront to the senses) — this electronic barrage of banality has reached the point where I only use the bare minimum number of websites for retail and work.

Everything else is the re-workings of decimal dust, the minute ratings of the forgotten minutia of our lives, of life. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the rounding-offs of insignificant digits and data. Out, out, brief broadcaster — the person who used to tell you the News, not what to think about the News, what to think about everything! And if the Talking Head does not know a whit about It, then it’s not worth knowing!

The Indo-European language tree is being starved of coherence, essence, sense, and heart, as well as clarity of mind, much like that tree of liberty that Thomas Jefferson demanded be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. The tree of language needs to be refreshed with the words of patriotism that will take down tyrants, both big and small!

Lest you think the American “media” are the only ones who have completely succumbed to poor grammar and poor taste (and the two are inter-related), I submit, in my own translation, a portion of a Frenchman’s review of a biography.

This book was published several years ago. It tells a disjointed tale of a dead actor, a tragic man whose bony bones were picked at the end of his long life by this “professional” vulture, a TV-talking head. Hopefully, this poseur can profit from the corpse and attain the fame he did not attain in his own failed “film career” and thus, he had to lower himself to the TV camera and become a News Celebrity.

His book is filled with:

. . . barbarisms, back-to-back, of the nuanced-type, vapid English terms that sound learned, instead of their equivalents in French . . . These few examples are from the first third of the book. I wearied of finding even more errors. And let us not forget the changes of tense. In a paragraph of 10 lines, we find the present, the imperfect and the future anterior. This book would have deserved, before publication, a hell of a re-writing, as they say in good French.

“Good French”, le bon français, is going the way of the French in a land where the elected Head purposely chooses NOT to use le subjonctif, the subjunctive, in proper usage in an oral pontification to his public that might find his use of the necessary proper grammar a bit too proper, too classist, too elitist, too FRENCH.

Even l’Académie française, once the pompous custodians of the language, la langue française, has become an insufferable club of Political Correctness, virtue signaling instead of signaling the improper use of the French tongue! And to think, Charles Baudelaire almost committed suicide over not being accepted into this clique! Chuck is certainly having the last cynical laugh!

The Brits are at last onto this one. Their Parliament has recently re-instated the marvelously practical use of Imperial measurements, along with grammatical rules that, initially, I found a bit off-putting. No need to go full-throttle Puritan in the defence of language!

The land of Shakespeare, however, has become such a dog’s breakfast, linguistically and otherwise, that some order must begin somewhere. And so let’s begin with the spaces after the full stop! Next stop, respect for English traditions! Harry Potter-isms can most certainly yield to quotes from the Bard!

In Western Civilizations, The Levellers of Society have attempted to trowel off meaning from language; as a logical consequence, they have succeeded only in clumsily violating language itself. The suffocation of any word occurs whenever it has to be “qualified” by two or three more words to try to soften the blow of THE REAL MEANING!

The mastery of any real language is the challenge of this century. French Ebonics now encourages slurring syllables and injecting a Middle-Eastern word or two to create Modern French. Zut alors ! The French language is not Modern!

American English has always been plagued with too many influences, but the “influence” of wordy “hipster” talk is media-generated, not mass-engendered.

Let us all begin to speak again as if the 1970s never happened! Only then can we have a solid and solemn chance of teaching language and literature as if they are still alive! Only then can we speak freely and honestly — meaning what we say, and saying what we mean.

I end this linguistic lecture with three quotes — one from a Founding Father who was not always known for his honesty; one from a late, great actor who performed with utter honesty; and one from Mrs. Midlands Anonymous at a current-events website of provocative honesty.

Thomas Jefferson: Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Jack Hawkins: Above all, I was taught to love and respect words. Each word had to be the right word; and each had to be spoken in a way that its weight and importance demanded.

Mrs. Midlands Anonymous: It’s all gone pear-shaped for the political stooges who have fronted up for the banksters.