usingtherightwords

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I am Sick About ESPN’s Sick Use of “Sick”


Like it or not, slang permeates our everyday vocabulary. I use it, too, usually when I’m with friends. But I have noticed that the older I get, the less slang I use, partially because my generation’s colloquialisms fall into disuse and partially because I don’t know the current generation’s new slang.

But one I do recognize is sick. When I was a child, it most often meant “ill” or “tired of” (although I see in my dictionary the third definition says “undergoing menstruation,” which makes absolutely no sense to me but maybe does to an Orthodox Jew.

Today, sick means “really incredible, awesome or noteworthy.” I’m not unfamiliar with words that take on opposite meanings, for when I was younger, bad meant good.

What gets me is hearing obvious slang on a network, in this case ESPN. I might be a word snob, but a national telecast (in this case “SportsCenter”) is not the place for slang. The YourDictionary web site defines slang as “highly informal speech that is outside conventional or standard usage …” A Boston University site says slang “is used in informal situations. It is not appropriate in formal situations.”

To me, “SportsCenter” is a formal situation. So shame on you, ESPN, for allowing your anchors to mangle the English language and foster slang. You should be above that. Plenty of more appropriate words abound: great, incredible, awesome, unbelievable, amazing.

Heres another word you should know: thesaurus.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

 

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September 25, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. One of my pet peeves with newscasters is the use of the very casual slang phrase “went down”, as in talking about a crime and how it “went down”. Couldn’t they just talk about how it “happened”? It would sound so much more professional.

    Comment by Anne Davies | September 26, 2012 | Reply

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