"Clueless", Paramount Pictures
Valhalla High School

Why we “Literally, Can’t Even” speak correctly

"Clueless", Paramount Pictures
“Clueless”, Paramount Pictures

As more and more new phrases of slang have started to weave themselves into the vocabularies of the youth of modern society, it appears that multiple “word crimes” and grammatical errors grace themselves upon the tongues of society which makes everyone sound more foolish and illiterate by the minute. The burning question that deserves an answer is this: How have we, as a society, reached this communication conundrum? The answer is simple: laziness and ignorance.

“Seriously, I can’t even.” The ambiguity of sayings like this arise due to the fact that many people are beginning to take shortcuts in the English language.  The reason people take these “shortcuts” is because they either lack the vocabulary to express themselves or they do not have the complete will to fully and rightfully express themselves. At the end of it though, it is truly just lazy language.

Phrases like “I can’t even,” or “all the feels” are some of the most popular lazy language sayings. Utilizing these kinds of sayings allow people to opt out of actually having to come up with better more thought out words to describe what they are feeling. People are starting to like the less-is-better mentality when it comes to communication because language seems to have lost the flare it once possessed.

The result of lazy language is the unintentional misuse of words and lack of understanding of what one is really saying. The most misused word in today’s society is arguably the word “literally.” Too many people incorrectly use the word “literally” to add emphasis to what they are trying to convey when they are in fact expressing a figurative idea as seen in the following, “I am literally dying from this homework!” A bigger problem than this is that many people are completely oblivious to what they actually mean when they speak improperly.

So, what is the point of all this hullabaloo?

This is all a part of the evolution of the English language due to the increase of technological communication. Throughout the history of man, language has evolved to fit the times: it is inevitable for society to be susceptible to change. So in a modern day sense, it is completely understandable that the way we talk completely revolves around one of the biggest impacts upon this century: technology, specifically texting and instant messaging.

As a teenager I am no stranger to using this kind of language and to be honest I think it would be almost impossible to find someone of my generation who does not speak this new lingo. Whether you like it or not, this “lazy language” is here to stay and with time will become progressively more abbreviated and misused. So, say hello to a world of “K ‘s” and “lol’s.”

-Quinn Rafferty

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