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Monday, March 07, 2016

Duffelbag Words Revisited

reprint extract

I liked this, and I have lost touch with the concept of Duffelbag Words, which I think actually plays an important role in the country's speech today, heavily influenced by Sports and Cable TV.

 Ellen Gulbranson

... I am not referring to his [President George W. Bush's] verbal bloopers. Everyone does that. I mean that he is extremely mediocre in expressing himself. He is cursed by the prevalence of Duffelbag Words ( words derived from Sports metaphors of not a particularly brilliant type) which are among the less discrete charms of the Booboisie.
HOWEVER, the ultimate blame must be layed to the people of America ( people of the USA, that is. Canadians always complain when I imply America is the sum totality of the hemisphere). It is the people themselves who have allowed conceptions of finality, such as "culmination", "climax", and "denouement" to be collapsed into the all-around sports duffelbag expression: 
it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, 
or, better yet,
it ain't over 'til it's over!

It is the people themselves who abbreviate "recrimination" or "regret" or "review" into the sports duffelbag expression:  
Monday morning quarterbacking.
Or consider that the Secretary of State see fit to express not that victory was achieved at long last, rather that there was but a minute left on the clock!

Inspiration thanks to: H.L.Mencken
" College football would be much more interesting if the faculty played instead of the students, and even more interesting if the trustees played. There would be a great increase in broken arms, legs and necks, and simultaneously an appreciable diminution in the loss to humanity. "

we may see fit to add such items inspired by an insipid genius, such as:

... we will see what the weather has ON TAP for the weekend...

used by TV weather announcers and comparing meteorology to beer. It is not quite exact, as one usually has a choice in a tavern of more than one beer on tap, whereas the weather does not have waitstaff come to your table and enquire whether you want the IPA Sleet or the standard Lite Rain.

Another example is "working" for "taking place, happened and is continuing... ", such as

... an accident is WORKING in the left lane at rush hour...

While emergency crews are working on the accident, the accident itself is the picture of sluggishness, demanding to be towed hither and yon, rather like those 600 pounds hefties on the Jerry Springer Show when "Tiny" (God rest his soul)  used to have obesity interventions and bring them out of their houses with a forklift.



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