Monday, April 18, 2016

1631 A Crab about Grab

We’re getting grabby. Not physically.  “Grab” has become another one of those overused and useless words we hear in everyday speech. And hear again. And again and again.

The waiter will “grab” you those extra napkins you asked for… he’ll grab you more coffee.  He’ll grab your check.  

Think about the literal meaning grabbing coffee.  See that waiter with the bandaged hand?  He actually grabbed coffee.   

You can grab a cab.  You can grab a derriere (at your peril!) But you cannot “grab some news” as one radio guy used to say.

Overuse of “grab” is almost as obnoxious as having to hear "no problem" instead of “yes” or “thank you” or “you’re welcome.”

But this kind of overuse is like carbon dating.  Ten years after the fad dies off the people who use it are showing their age.  
If someone refers to the “cat’s meow,” you’ll know he or she is over 80 and probably over 90.  “Cool” has had three revivals, once in the 1940s, then after a one- decade break it returned in the 1960s and then again in the late 1990s.

With “cool” you need additional corroboration for this kind of carbon dating.

“Dig.”  Do you “dig rock ‘n’ roll music?” Do you “dig ya later?”  You are a child of the late 50s.

If you use “fat” as a compliment or appreciation (“that’s FAT!”) you’re a child of the 80s.

When an older person uses a word or phrase younger than his obvious age, it’s pretentious.  And on that note, I’m going to grab a beer and watch the cool game on the tube.  Want to join me? No problem. Just grab a chair, ya dig?


--Here’s a(nother) one those studies that academics use to state the obvious and help keep the cash flowing.  Results in a sentence:  Everyone lies but politicians lie more than others especially this year.  And we learn it at our parents’ knees when they tell us “be sure to tell grandma how much you like the birthday present” even if you don’t.

--Congrats to our friend and colleague Kevin Gordon who’s going to work at Public Radio at Temple University in Philadelphia as the afternoon drive personality.  Can someone on a classical music personality.  If you can call someone in that job a personality, Kevin’s the proof.

--We are a few days shy of ten years since our move from New York City to NewRoses, Pennsylvania. At one point, Wessays’™ advocated the abolition of New Jersey and the annexing of the resulting property by two “real” states, New York and Pennsylvania.  But after ten years in PA, we have learned to love NJ.

Grabbing Today’s Quote: “Are you sure John O’Hara started this way?” -- John Henry O’Hara of Pottsville PA, author of Pal Joey, Butterfield 8 and numerous brilliant short stories and columns of vitriol for magazines and newspapers.

-“Grab” or a word starting with those four letters appears in this post 20 times and that should be enough for the grabbiest of grabbers.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to from which I will grab them.

© WJR 2016

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