Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fashion and Grammar Gripes -- issue 500, May 18, 2007

Somebody please tell me why super-short shorts and super-short dresses are trendy right now ...

Mod mini-dresses and late 1970s-era hot pants have no business coming back in style just after I've finished an all-cheese diet and gained 12 pounds. (I had been on a no-cheese diet for six years for medical reasons, so I went a little nuts with the pizza and cheeseburgers as of late).

Also annoying ... the Hollywood pin-up look is huge right now. Huge! I mean it's kinda cool to look like Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe. That never gets old. Audrey Hepburn, even. But how is it humanly possible that the same woman who gave us "Drrty" five years ago may now just be completely responsible for inspiring a fashion trend?

Yes, this is what I'm talking about ...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think she was wearing black leather chaps, a thong and nipple rings about two seconds before she started listening to that phonograph.

I'm going to start dressing like Rosie the Riveter. Maybe that will come back in style.

As for grammar gripes, I've been reading far too many women's magazines lately, and the trend of ending words with "y" or "ish" to make them all the more adjective-y is getting way out of hand. "Lucky" does it most often, but the others are really starting to follow suit with this. The worst part is that these writers now feel the need to add these unnecessary suffixes to words that are already adjectives!



These are adjectives! Just say beige! It's fine on its own!

Do these writers believe that women will enjoy what they are reading more if it is delivered in a sing-songy tone of voice? (That was an appropriate use of an adjective ending in y, by the way).

Does this come from the constant up-talking everyone does these days? My guess is that people are voicing statements like questions not because they come from the valley, but because we live in a society filled with such constant communication that we must pose our statements like questions, just to make sure the other person is still listening.

That might be another reason for the trend of starting sentences with the word "So." When I was a freshman in college, my next-door neighbor had an odd tendency to open the door and start conversations with me or my roommate with the word "So," as though she had already been in the middle of telling us something. It was quirky and funny, at the time. We didn't know anyone else who did that.

But these days, this kind of behavior is normal. These days, so many people never have breaks from receiving some kind of information ... whether it's from a cell phone, the internet, the radio, a television, an ipod ... it's so near-constant, that it is changing the way we think ... and when it changes the way we think, it changes the way we talk.

More revelations of prior complaints ... the constant use of "at the end of the day" is just an indication of lots and lots of people hating their jobs. Either that, or it's lots of people focusing on living "in the now." This whole recycling movement might change that. Instead of hearing, "well, at the end of the day" maybe we'll start hearing, "well, at the end of the century" ... since we are embarking on seriously long-term projects.

But that's probably a far-fetched idea.

I'm getting really tired of hearing about "being green" though. It always makes me think of Kermit the Frog. Today I was in a store that played "Leaves that are Green" by Simon and Garfunkel, and I had to wonder if the store was playing it simply because of this whole "Green" movement. Now that's just sad.

But it did strike me as odd when I left the store and walked out into the mall, only to hear "The Sound of Silence."

Who plays "The Sound of Silence" in a shopping mall? That can't be boosting any sales. Except for maybe sales of black turtlenecks and guitars.


lac said...

From Wry Writer -- Hi,
Sleeping pill time. You shouldn't be reading "Lucky" and posting at 3 in the morning (not being judgmental, just concerned). Actually, do you have to read "Lucky" at all? Isn't it just all about the pictures?

I was a fashion copywriter for a number of years. I knew it was time to quit when I was excited that my headline "It's Liz to Wear Everywhere" graced a double-truck ad in the Boston Globe. All of those English classes gone to waste. All of those brain cells yet to die.

Can't help you on the short movement. On the five women built for it, it looks great. There was just a show on "The Connection" on NPR today about "rethinking thin." The guest author was putting forth the arguement that we're all pulled to the weight that our body deems natural for us. It's all outside of our control -- and we're only 5 - 7 lbs. heavier than previous generations on average. Perhaps the average comes from blending the obese with the anorexic.

Welcome back to cheese. All things in moderation and the sexiest body is the one you are comfortable in.

Bon weekend.

lac said...

From Fly to Blue --

I enjoyed reading your blog. I have some of the same gripes, especially about the darned short shorts and dresses.

lac said...

From Popular Ink -- My biggest pet peeve transcends current fashion or fashion currents. I think there should be a PSA about simply using a seam ripper and taking out those threads they baste over a kick pleat or a pleated skirt so it hangs nicely on a rack. I do a little informal poll walking up subway stairs and usually see about 10 or 15 persons in the space of as many minutes. Pull the thread!!

lac said...

From JIB -- Well, I definitely agree with you about people's usage of the phrase 'at the end of the day' being indicative of the growing antipathy they are likely to have towards their jobs.

Can you believe the that the environment that we live in is one where many people work to survive, as opposed to working to indulge in their creative outlet or hobby or anything similar.

I meant to say 'hobb' but I just got caught up in the overuse of 'and sometimes 'Y' trend; it is very trendy.
I'm just kidding, of course.

Once again, I agree with your point-- with regard to attention-grabbing intonation --enough to probably use it myself to form a bigger conclusion in a Jpinion sometime and that's presuming that it is not the bigger conclusion in itself.

I cannot agree with you on the Green Movement, however.

The Green Movement introduced a concept to the world in the early 80s that is used today in politics except for the opposite reasons. Scientists in the 1980s couldn't wait until they had evidence to say that a change needed to made in the way we live to protect the earth. So they suggested a presupposition as fact to the globe. Well it worked, and the specific reason I can't agree with you is because of the movement in the paper (all over it) and on TV;l I had to join the revolution. I am happily supporting the environment and even picking up other people's trash in there ignorant negligence-- it feels good.

Back to the brief point, however; in politics now the politicians use the same tactics of not waiting for evidence of something to say a change needed to be made. That's how the government granted itself the ability to wiretap our phones and to check our emails and bank accounts without fear of criminal prosecution even if they disclosed that information to third parties. Can you believe it? It's the same concept reversed.

It's also a triple negative (to explain the principal in both paragraphs): Not having the evidence that something might be a problem is not a reason for not taking action as if it were a problem.

Great blog.