Kim & Rima McKinzey rkm at SLIP.NET
Tue Dec 28 07:29:29 UTC 1999

Got this from a friend.  Now don't go and quibble about some of the terms -
or some of the rhymes - or some of his attitude, but he certainly spent
some time on it.  Rima

Pack It In!

By Geoff Nunberg
Language Commentary, "Fresh Air," (Nat. Public Radio)
December 20, 1999

Before we start on the carousin'

On the eve of year two thousan',

Let's clean out our linguistic closets

Of their detritus and deposits,

The babble, balderdash, and bugs

That rankle underneath the rugs

With solecisms, slang, and slag,

And sweep it all into a bag.

Then, as the afternoon gets late,

Let's gather on the Golden Gate,

And with one stroke, bold and defiant,

Make English Y2K compliant.

Let's clear out our congested cargo

Of business cant and corporate argot.

We'll ditch proactive for a starter,

And "We don't work harder, just work smarter"

Lose sight of visions, goals and missions,

And pitch out value propositions.

Synergistic or synergetic? --

Either one gives me a headache,

And the concept of convergence

Is in need of some submergence.

Consign restructure to the void,

And downsize should be redeployed.

At least, the next time we get canned,

We'll know exactly where we stand.

Let's lose "win-win," that favorite phrase

Of all the Harvard MBA's,

And cast on the outgoing tide

The box they like to think outside,

In hopes that in the coming age,

We'll all be on a different page.

It wasn't very long ago

The Internet was comme il faut,

And only the most avant-garde

Had @-signs on their business card.

But now that even aunt Estelle

Has got herself a url,

And Vinnie at the barber shop

Made millions on his first-day pop,

We've reached the point where talking geekish

Is starting to sound so last weekish.

Emoticon and digerati

Aren't worth a wooden zloty.

To portal we can give the gate,

Mindshare will do for tuna bait,

And since you asked, IMHO,

Those email acronyms should go.

And ere the sun sets, let us jettison

Newbie, netiquette, and netizen,

Nor should we miss this opportunity

To deep-six "virtual community,"

e-this, i-that, and without qualm,

Let's unplug everything.com.

On literary critics' patois

I think we must declare a fatwah;

It's hard to part with hegemonic,

But in the end you'll find it tonic.

Think how much groovier texts are rendered

When they're just sexed instead of gendered,

And curling up at bedtime, who wants

To be holding something nuanced?

Of that chic expression "pomo,"

I'd just as soon that we heard no mo',

Nor any others of the host

Of vocables prefixed with post-.

We seem to be, for all our fears,

Still modern after all these years.

I'm sure that ages hence will honor us

If we stop cooking up new genres,

Let's spare the coming centuries

Prequels and rockumentaries,

And pause not even for a comma

Before discarding "docudrama."

And ere the clock chimes, let us vow

That critics twenty years from now

Will earn themselves an instant wedgie

Whenever they use "taut" or "edgy."

Before we can put on our nightcaps,

We've other words to feed the whitecaps:

Let's leave off calling rumors "buzz,"

And blow off anyone who does.

"Wake up call" has gotten thin --

Next year we'll all be sleeping in.

And anything you feel like sharing

Kindly offer to the herring.

And as we're chucking out the dross,

Make sure we don't neglect to toss

Those interjections, coy and clever --

Like "Let's not go there," and "whatever!"

(And while we're at it, do I gotta

Even mention "yadda yadda"?)

Arrivederci to "ExCUSE me";

You simply no longer amuse me.

Farewell to "Duh!," and, apropos,

Let's say buh-bye now to "hellO?"

Now as we watch the century go out,

There's only one more thing to throw out:

Let's cast onto the coastal shelf

The word millennium itself

(I'm glad to bid that one adieu --

The fact is that I never knew

If it should have one n or two.)

And as night falls on the Presidio,

Let's all go home and watch a video,

To pass the century's final hour

(That is, assuming we've got power).


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