I guess it's traditional to get cranky with age over the changing use of language. But even when young I was something of a Grammar Nazi, thanks to my degree in Journalism and classes in which a reporting assignment would be knocked down a full grade for each spelling or usage error. I hope I've had the good sense to not go around correcting people in person, but I mentally "edit" all newscasts, and never fail to be bothered by such things as the ever common use of "less" for "fewer." As in "Benton County has less cases of Covid this week." No, that would be "fewer cases," because this is something you can actually count.
Linda, nobody cares. Okay.
My mother complained repeatedly about newspaper accounts describing a person as having "gone missing." Not sure why it bothered her, but it certainly did. My husband cannot bear being told somebody is "reaching out him," so keep that in mind if you are trying to persuade him to make a charitable donation. He will not feel charitable.
But personally I try to remain open to new expressions that seem to improve communications, and when a forester with whom I was consulting on a potential thinning job assured me that the loggers he works with are "totally dialed in," I rather liked that. I'd probably seen this new slang in writing but I don't know that anybody had ever spoken it to me before. And since we were talking about the plot of Doug fir we had planted, thinned and limbed for twenty years ourselves, it meant something to me to have it confirmed that these guys with the equipment would have a good grip on which trees to cut, which to leave.
I'm thinking that the annoying trend of congratulating people for their purchases started sneakily with waiters approving a diner's choice of entre; it's actually been so long since I ate in a restaurant, thanks to Covid, that I'd kind of forgotten! But where I really felt smacked with it was when I started publishing with BookBaby and began receiving this message: "Congratulations! We've sent you a payment!"
Yeah, okay. That's what you're supposed to do, right? You're publishing my book and when people buy copies on Amazon or at their local independent, you eventually forward me the $1.80 I get on the $18.00 book. Why is that cause for congratulations? When I get a nice check from Random House for my Children of the River royalties, do they enthuse with congratulations? No, they do not. They made the decision to publish my book over thirty years ago and it's been good for both us. They send the money, that's it.
Somewhere, I suspect, some youngish person in marketing came up with the notion that it would be good business to try to make people feel clever for their purchasing decisions, and it's alarming to see how this has apparently caught on. Far too many on-line purchases now come with this unpleasant condescension.
Today I got this message: OMG! Your package has been delivered! Congratulations!
People, we are talking about a package of underpants. Enough already. Have others found this annoying or am I just getting old?
Whatever, as the kids got us saying a couple of decades back.
But please don't let this stop you from buying my BookBaby published books! When they eventually congratulate me on paying me for your purchase, I promise not to hold it again you, my eventual reader, for whom I have nothing but goodwill.
Or should I get with the younger generation's program and say OMG! Congratulations for being smart enough to want to read my books!