I watch a lot of TV news shows. Maybe that’s to my discredit, given that my wife and are holed up at the moment in an RV and the weather outside has been too cold to do much of anything.
What I am hearing is beginning to bore me to sleep.
I keep hearing the TV talking heads — the pundits, if you please — repeating the same “cool” words and phrases they like hearing themselves and each other say.
“At the end of the day” remains at the top of my list of phrases to jettison.
“Walking back” a statement is another one that is gaining ground in the toss-it-on-the-scrap-heap contest.
There also are “cool words” that seem to crop up in pundit-speak. “Kalashnikov” is one of them. It kind of rolls off the tongue and when I hear pundits and/or commentators mention the weapons used on a battlefield, they are bound to mention “Kalashnikov” rifles because they like sound of the name. Admit it: You know what I’m talking about.
Here is one of my latest “favorites.” It’s when Congress and the president keep “kicking the can down the road.” This usually refers to non-decisions they make regarding budget matters.
Congress cannot get a long-term budget approved. The president cannot persuade anyone on Capitol Hill to do anything. What happens? They end up “kicking the can down the road,” which is code for “failing to do their job.”
Come to think of it, why don’t the talking heads just say it loudly and proudly, that our government leaders are, um, you know … ?
The pundits sit around those tables talking to each other and they speak in that strange jargon that they use with each other or when they’re on the air talking to you and me.
Look, I’m not a grammarian. I don’t pretend to be a wordsmith in the mold of a Faulkner, Steinbeck, a George Will or a William F. Buckley. I tend as well to fall back into habit-forming word usage and phraseology.
I suppose if I’m patient enough, new phrases will sprout, kind of like weeds in the garden. We’ll all know them when the pundits keep repeating themselves.