Monday, November 11, 2013

Deteriorating Language Skills--updated yet again

I was visiting with a much-younger woman this morning and she agrees with me:  today's young people are dreadfully short on language skills.  Naturally, there are a few exceptions, but television, video games, computers, and smart phones have replaced reading and conversation.   It should not be a surprise.  And look at what kids today see and hear.  I've posted about the disappearance of adverbs and the "verbing" of nouns, but these commercials cannot really be explained by any language rules.

Red Lobster workers "Sea food differently."  Doesn't sound wrong, but playing with spelling makes it strange.

The drive-up says, "This is how you Sonic." Apparently I don't sonic, because I have no idea what to do.

The clothing store has, "..savings that make you go Kohls." I don't know how to go Kohls any more than I know how to Sonic.

Sears is "where better happens." Better what?  I thought better described something.  Better happens?  Who knew?

T.J. Maxx wants to know, "What's your HomeGoods happy?" Does this make any kind of sense?

How about the Guilted Bear (maybe just a regional store) that says we should "Shop local and shop unique."  Exactly how does one shop unique?  Can we shop purple?  Or shop wild?

Chex Mix wants you to try a "bag of interesting."  Is that like a bag of hairy?  Same kind of word.

Fabreze makes it so you can "breathe happy."  Personally, I'm always happy to breathe, but the other way around?

Those are just the one-liners some advertising agencies thought up, but sometimes even the sentences used are crazy.  The only one I wrote down after I'd heard it a few times is for an over-the-counter medication.  "Nothing relieves nasal congestion faster or stronger..."  Can something relieve nasal congestion stronger?  Not the kind of sentence one uses in an SAT essay.

When kids listen to stuff like this for hours a day, it's no wonder they are not sure how to use the English language.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good, it's not just me.

Sometimes I see funnies or hear comments that make me feel like I'm not alone. I'm not the only one whose mind seems to take strange detours. Apparently there are more of us.

Wait a minute.  If there are too many of us, how will we ever get anything accomplished?  We must hope there are adequate numbers of youthful, efficient brains to counteract our need to retrace steps to remember what we were going to do.