overhaul / undertow

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

stupid word usage

Quoted from the New York Times: "In a recent interview reflecting on events since Sept. 11, the defense secretary said he wants to change the U.S. military so it can better fight a 'virtual enemy.'"

Ladies and gentlemen, let me make something crystal clear.

The definition of "virtual" is, according to Websters', "almost entirely : NEARLY."

That means, kids, that a "virtual enemy" is almost an enemy, but not really. More like a made-up enemy. The way you had a pet dragon when you were little, but, well, not really, you know?

I also would caution you to think twice about using "actually" and basically" too, 'cos they're usually code for "Well, I don't know all the facts here, but I'm going to phrase this simply while using a word like "actually" or "basically' which will make it sound as though I'm much smarter than you and am breaking down very abstract concepts into simple statements so that your tiny little brain can comprehend it. But the truth is I don't know what I'm talking about much either and am just trying to make myself look better than you."

Sorry, old pet peeve resurfacing. Think carefully about it, though: how many obnoxious people do you know who stand there and talk at you throwing words like "virtually," "basically," and "actually" around, meking you feel smaller in the process?


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