Top Ten Tendentious and Tiresome Terms – Part Deux

Another list of woke words and terms that don’t help communication but obfuscate and promote the aims of a particular ideology – which has no use for free speech and free expression.

Another list of woke words and terms that don’t help communication but obfuscate and promote the aims of a particular ideology – which has no use for free speech and free expression.

Back by popular demand, here goes a second run at au courant words and phrases that should be viewed with caution if not deep-sixed from present English usage.

If something is labelled problematic, oddly there aren’t “solutions” other than to ditch the offending matter or idea altogether.

My apologies for mostly picking on the words of wokites but these militant idealogues are the guiltiest bunch of lexical manipulators today. We should not lamely cede language territory to them.

  1. Solutions: Frequently used in advertising or corporate names and brands, it implies that you have problems to be solved. Not “needs” or “wants” which normally would be sufficient impetus for purchase of goods or services. You’ve got problems so we’ve got solutions. Really?  So, the grocery store should offer food solutions? A library or search engine offer information solutions?  How about the bathroom – elimination solutions?
  2. Problematic : If something is labelled problematic, oddly there aren’t “solutions” other than to ditch the offending matter or idea altogether. So it’s very fashionable with today’s woke crowd, who often deliver the adjective in a sanctimonious tone. But that’s the failing of fashions and fads generally – no real improvement on what went before. Why not just say something or someone is wrong or flawed? Myself, I always preferred the old-school phrase “you have fallen into error.” But this new adjective is worse because it’s an agenda-driven code word. You might even say it’s problematic.
  3. Of Concern : This started out innocently enough as “species of concern,” but now it’s spreading like Covid “variants of concern.” My dear wife, oops I mean partner, now refers to me as a “husband of concern,” a better pet name I suppose than her previous “special needs husband.” It seems a spin-off from the overuse by people who say “I have concerns” about your position, your proposal or such. The so-called concern is often a whine about some progressive niggle that hardly matters. Which is the problem – no metric for the seriousness of the concern. But a responder is nonetheless cowed into submission so as not to “disrespect” anyone.
  4. Cultural Appropriation : Easily one of the most bogus ideas from the wokeroos yet. Cultural sharing and merging are amongst the finest things that our often-flawed species does. So appropriate away I say! Question: if a foreigner complains to you about some alleged cultural appropriation, should you even respond if he/she/they speaks in English? And don’t be using numbers – “whiteness” appropriated them from the Arabs who appropriated them from the Indians. Degrees too; don’t be pulling 180 turns and no measuring 90-degree angles – all 360 degrees were mis-appropriated from the ancient Babylonians. Good God, it couldn’t be plainer that modern science and medicine, to pick only one example, are wonderfully rich fields of appropriations and we’re all better off for it, even oppressed minorities. And how about music? You white guys better not be playing any Delta blues. And the Japanese and South Koreans better stop playing baseball. So feel free, I say, to wear Mexican sombreros without giving offence; they are likely made in China anyway.
  5. Birthing Parent: You wouldn’t want to be assuming that only mothers can give birth, would you? After all, you might misgender someone. If so, time to call in the bias response team for an investigation. So, for the sake of a one-in-ten-million chance that a father shockingly becomes the birthing parent, we must “de-gender” our language to purge such hetero-normative words as “mother” or “father.” “Birthing parent” is so far-fetched I predict it will be amongst the first wokespeak to be thrown overboard from the woke boat. The first of many one fondly hopes. But in case I lose that bet then I will suggest that we can no longer tolerate the oppression of having a Queen. Thus “Birthing-Parent Monarch” please. Long may “they” reign. Then followed by “Non-Birthing Parent Monarch Charles,” in more innocent times King Charles.
  6. Chestfeeding : This euphemistic term makes a nice combo pack with the woman-dodging ‘birthing parent’ term above. After all, mentioning that breasts could be the source of infant nourishment might give the wrong impression. Someone could be triggered! Misguided souls who believe the wrong idea that only women give birth and nurse babies must now sign a pledge of reform and attend sensitivity training. For the sake of the one-in-ten-million men who might actually give birth and breastfeed we must de-gender our well-established (for good reason) vocabulary. But hey, lots of lucrative work for publishing editors to replace words for new editions and librarians to purge collections I suppose. Trebles all round!
  7. Free Gift: As opposed to a gift you pay for, no doubt? How did such a glaringly redundant term get past the copyeditors at ad agencies? It was probably focus-grouped, which reported people felt warmer with two warm words stuck together. Redundancy or logic be damned. Also, I’m against bunny rabbits.
  8. A Positive Customer Experience: A touchy-feely spin on customer satisfaction. It yields new employee titles for salesclerks or service managers such as “Customer Experience” representative or supervisor. A negative customer experience must always be avoided. Me, I look for positive experiences in all things. Don’t ask.
  9. Micro-Aggression: Another woke favourite and patently silly. Don’t you be frowning or rolling your eyes if a wokie says something stupid. Another good candidate for throwing overboard. From British common law we inherited a useful concept called de minimis non curat lex (appropriated from those Latin-speaking Romans bien sur), which roughly means that the harm complained of, if any, is so miniscule as to be a waste of the court’s time in adjudicating.
  10. Trigger: (pronoun alert) When a thin-skinned young snowflake hears words that remind them of a harrowing experience from their troubled past, you have triggered them. Hard to fathom they had any past harrowing experiences though, having been cocooned by their indulgent helicopter parents since the cradle. More likely their hyper-sensitivity arises from learning the revelations of Critical Race Theory from kindergarten on. Nonetheless, it could be that you indeed committed a micro-aggression or said something “inappropriate.” Best to walk on eggshells lest the poor snowflake must retreat to a safe room to recover before they melt.

As always, I welcome feedback from my dear readers. Please write me with any suggestions for tiresome or tendentious words or phrases that need to be mocked or jettisoned at dm***@sy*******.ca