Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gone Green

Consider the following:
"The only constant is change."

And what is changing today? My blog! I have LITERALLY gone green, with a touch of blue up there in the sky. So is this blog about change? No. Color? Not really. It's about words. And to that I say, duh.

The use of the word "literally" has been all but literally banned by my family of Word Not'sies. We have reserved its use for instances where it literally means literally.

I have personally banned, "It is what it is." and "Life's too short." and I'm working on putting an end to "At the end of the day..." and its whore of a cousin, "In any event...".

In the case of "literally," my daughter has chosen to substitute the phrase "not figuratively" to give her the adamance-soaked-bullwhip-wielding power of "literally" while avoiding the getting-shot-in-the-grammatical-groin by a loved one for its misuse.

Now consider this:
"Green is not a color. It is a way."

The Quote Whisperer himself, Oscar Wilde, said that very thing about art, but when he walked the mortal earth--spreading the seeds of mighty quotes along his path--green was the color of envy and money and the Grasshoppers at the Algonquin Hotel bar. What green didn't mean "back in the day" (banned!) was ecology-teaching, environmentalism-preaching, earth-friendly outreaching.

The times, they are a'changin'. Today "green" means many things. Not literally. If it were literal, the definition of green would be (if you are reading this to someone else insert air quotes here) "many things."

Today green often refers to (besides the color of grass, peas, and baby poop) a movement (which is literally incapable of motion and utterly unrelated to baby poop) where more people (the opposite being fewer people) buy, consume, and discard less crapola (the opposite being more crapola).

What a world, what a world, where "more" is the opposite of both "less" and "fewer," and where "lesser" is in bed with "greater." Great. Just great. (an expression of disappointing inadequacy)

Are you getting this? If you are not getting this, don't feel bad. It's possible you are reading badly. This time read carefully. And if you still don't get it, maybe it's because you had a bad teacher and the reason your reading is so bad is because you were taught badly by a bad teacher. I'll say it again, don't feel bad. You are not a bad person. You just read badly.

Great. Now I feel bad.

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