Watch You Mouth!

I call this “Watch Your Mouth!“.

It has to do with the way people speak. I’m easily annoyed by people’s speech habits and I regard certain words and phrases as warnings to break off contact immediately. In the interest of maintaining good mental health I try to avoid the following people:

Those who cannot resist saying “God forbid!” every time they mention the possibility of an accident or death, even though they don’t believe in God.

People who say “God rest his soul” following the mention of a dead person even if they hated the person and they don’t believe in God. These are the same ones who knock on wood and really mean it. Sometimes they’ll even glance around half-heartedly for something to knock on before giving up and just standing there like the morons they are.

And speaking of morons, can’t we somehow prevent adults from using words like “tooshie” and “boo boo” and “no-no” when speaking to grown ups? Why don’t we just send these people  to their rooms without supper? Tell ’em there will be no “yummy” in their “tummy”.

While we’re at it, let’s include all those colorful risk takers who actually use “heck” and “darn” for emphasis. What the fuck is this, 18 Century North America?

I also think we’d be better off if we could eliminate anyone who has a “can do” attitude, or is referred to as “take charge”, “all business” or “no non-sense”.  Have these people sedated

And let’s include the ones who describe themselves as “goal oriented”. PLEASE! Leave me alone!

Then there’s these people who tell you “I’m a people person! I’m a people person!”. I say to them “O, yeah? Me too. FUCK PEOPLE!”.

And what about these guys who have no job and they say to you “Are they keeping you busy?”. I happen to resent even the assumption that there are people who have the authority to keep me busy, least of all do I appreciate it from some guy who doesn’t seem to have a whole lot to do himself!

Let’s punish every homely man who ever thought it was clever to say “I’m not just another pretty face!”.

I think it’s time to start slapping around these people who can’t tell a simple story without repeatedly saying “You know what I’m saying?”. Here I am, trying to listen to the guy, and he’s a person who is constantly checking on how he is doing! “Blah blah blah blah blah, you know what I’m saying?” NO. The question is not do I not what you’re saying, the question is do YOU know what you are saying. You follow me on that?

I’m also getting tired of “arguably”. It’s weak. It tries to have things both ways. Take a stand!

And here are some jock sports fan adjectives that need to be outlawed. Listening to the color commentators for at least an hour you will be amazed at the number of times you hear the following words:


Do these guys sound like maybe someone’s penis size is on their minds?

I can also do without people who tell me something, anything is either “The name of the game” or “That’s what it’s all about”. O, it is, huh? Well, FUCK YOU!

And let’s lose this guys who think it’s cute to say “Ouch!” when someone delivers a small amount of pain.

There’s another strain of speaker that I try to avoid. The pretentious and arrogant person. People who refer to themselves as “Yours truly”. What kind of grandiose crap is this? Some of them even speak of themselves in the third person. Athletes and entertainers are big on this demented shit. “I’m gonna do what’s right for Leon Spinks!”. I think people like this are mentally ill.

I also instantly dismiss anyone who tells me that some other person has “class”, is “classy”, or is a “class act”. The last of these being the most arrogant. What these speakers are telling is that they are among the few people who recognize class. It is their obligation to point it out for sorry ass folks like you. If you manage to listen to them just a little longer you’ll find that they are completely full of shit. And this is the same type of person who uses the word “tasty” when referring to music.

 The previous reference to class is of the same order of arrogance as the phrases “Not too shabby”, “He’s not dummy”, “I give him high marks”, “He’s got his head on straight”,  and “He really showed me something”. All of these phrases reek of presumed superiority.

And just when I thought all those precious twerps were about to stop saying “Not to worry”, and “By the by”, along came “What say you?” and “At the end of the day” to deepen my suffering. “At the end of the day” is probably most pretentious expression to come along since the “Moi” and “Ciao” crowd descended on us. “Just a tad” has a phony ring to it, so does “Just a scosche”. SPEAK ENGLISH!

Be on the alert for anyone who tells you something they did was “life affirming”. Some celebrity more than a decade ago said he stopped his TV show because it was “life affirming”. What a skeezix!

And can’t we figure out something evil to do to these people who call themselves “survivor”? Such self-regard! “I’m a survivor!” Good! Well, be sure to tell everyone at your funeral that you’re a fucking survivor!

This one is almost too easy: Guys who cant leave a room without saying “I’m out of here!”. You know what I say to them? “Good! STAY THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!”.

There are also certain reckless people in this country who are abusing “ongoing” and “early on”. Leave these terms alone, please? They mark you as a counterfeit. “Early on” has faux poetic aspirations and “ongoing” has only a very narrow area where it is distinctly appropriate.  And some of these “ongoing” felons are the same ones who have vandalized the phrase “even as we speak”. First, they shortened it to “as we speak”. Then they started using it every four minutes or so. “Even as I write this, my pissed offedness is ongoing”.

And fuck all the asshole people who say “God bless” and then don’t bother to complete the sentence. Who are they?! I haven’t the slightest. But if I were God, I would not honor such request.

Anyway, enjoy!

15 Rules To Live By

I’m going to give you fifteen rules to live by because life is not as difficult as people think. All you need is a good set of rules.

1.) Relax and take it easy.

Don’t get caught up in hollow conceits such as “doing something with your life”.  Such twaddle is outmoded and a sure formula for disappointment.

2.) Whatever it is you pursue, try to do it just well enough to remain in the middle third of the field.

Keep your thoughts and ideas to yourself and don’t ask questions.

Remember: The squeaky wheel is always the first one to be replaced.

3.) Size people up quickly and develop rigid attitudes based on your first impression.

If you try to delve deeper and get to know people you’re asking for trouble.

4.) Don’t fall for that superstitious nonsense about treating people the way you would like to be treated.

It’s a transparently narcissistic approach and maybe the sign of a weak mind.

5.) Spend as much time as you can pleasing and impressing others, even if it makes you unhappy.

Pay special attention to shallow manipulators who can do you the most harm.

Remember: In the overall scheme, you count for very little.

6.) Surround yourself with inferiors and losers.

Not only will you look good by comparison but they will look up to you and that will make you feel better.

7.) Don’t buy into the sentimental notion that everyone has shortcomings.

It’s the surest way of undermining yourself.

Remember: The really best people have no defects. If you’re not perfect something is wrong.

8.) If by some off chance you do detect a few faults in yourself, here’s what you have to do:

First, accept the fact that you are deeply flawed, then make a list of your faults and dwell on them. Carry the list around and try to think of things to add. Blame yourself for everything.

9.) Beware of intuition and gut instincts.

They are completely unreliable. Instead, develop pre-conceived notions and don’t waver unless someone tells you to, then change your mind and adopt their point of view. But only if they seem to know what they’re talking about.

10.) Never give up on an idea simply because it is bad and doesn’t work.

Cling to it! Even when it is hopeless! Anyone can cut and run but it takes a very special person to stay with something that is stupid and harmful.

11.) Always remember that today doesn’t count.

Trying to make something out of today only robs you of precious time that could be spent daydreaming or resting up.

12.) Try to dwell on the past.

Think of all the mistakes you’ve made and how much better it would be if you hadn’t made them. Think of what you should’ve done and blame yourself for not doing so. Don’t go easy, be really hard on yourself!

13.) If by chance you made a fresh mistake, especially a costly one try to repeat it a few times so you would become familiar with it and can do it easily in the future.

Write it down, put it with your list of your faults.

14.) Beware also of the dangerous trap of looking ahead.

It only gets you in trouble. Instead, try to drift along from day to day in a meandering fashion. Don’t get sidetracked with some foolish plan.

15.) And finally, enjoy yourself all the time and do whatever you want.

Don’t be seduced by that mindless chatter of going around about responsibility. That’s exactly the sort of thing that will ruin your life.

Indiviuality II: Groups, Unions, Associations

I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists!

I often warn kids by saying “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you that there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” What you should tell them is “Maybe not, but there is an ‘I’ in ‘independence’, ‘individuality’, and ‘integrity’.”

Avoid teams at all costs. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say “Hi! We’re the so-and-so’s!”, take a walk! And if somehow you must join and it’s unavoidable, like a union or trade association, go ahead and join but don’t participate! It will be your death.

If they tell you you’re not a team player just congratulate them on being so observant!


My Reality Shows! :)

I’ve decided to cash in on TV’s reality show trend! And I ave several ideas, but they may need a little work, you know, before I approach the networks. Here’s what I’m working on:

1.) This first idea grew out of Survivor but I have a new twist. You put 12 people on a barren island and you let them starve to death. You make sure they get NO FOOD  but you provide plenty of fresh drinking water. You don’t want them to die of thirst. You want them to starve to death. Now that would be entertaining enough but here’s fun part: You make sure that half of the contestants are large, aggressive, physically fit individuals and the other half are small, mild-mannered, and physically weak.

Then you wait them out and see who survives. What’s more than that is you watch HOW THEY SURVIVE! The show is called


The only part I haven’t decided on is to provide them with utensils.


2.) Here’s another idea that I think has a pretty good shot at the networks…


Each week you put a different homicidal maniac in a van filled with assault rifles and ammunition and you provide him with huge amounts of speed, crack, acid and PCP. Then you just let him drive around a highly urbanized city for several days and you video tape everything he does. Naturally, you clear all this with the police so that they don’t interfere with the smooth flow of the show.

At the end of 13 weeks you take all maniacs, give them fresh supply of drugs, and turn them loose at amusement parks with rocket-propelled grenades. Actually, now that I think about it, this idea is too good for the networks. I gotta put it on pay-per-view.

Here’s a variation for the finale (in case the people at amusement parks get squeamish):

You give the maniacs the same drugs but instead of grenade launchers you go back to the assault rifles. Everything’s the same but this time you put them on an ordinary non-stop passenger train from New York to Los Angeles. You strap video cameras to their heads and you let them run loose on the train, allowing them to befriend the other passengers.

Remember! It’s NON-STOP! No one can get off! I guarantee you that there’ll be a lot of great footage. By the way, to save a little money, this could also be done on a Greyhound bus. But you need a really good driver so he won’t get easily distracted.


3.) Here’s a show that I’m proudest of because it took the most thought I call it


Our chosen guy is selected from letters sent into the show.

Step One: The lucky bachelor is sent out on 3 different occasions to pick up women in cheap bars and bring each of them to a hotel where he tries to fuck them. If they go along easily, he then convinces them to commit a perverted act involving a floor lamp, a woodpecker and a box of rubber  bands. An act most people would consider completely depraved. All these activities are video taped.

Step Two: We stop 3 men at random on the street and show them the videos and ask them which of the women the lucky bachelor should marry. That women is called  the designated bride. We then ask the 2 losing women to vote on which of the three random street guys look like the best fuck. That guy is called the designated best fuck street guy.

Step Three: We take the 2 losing street guys and the 2 losing bar girls and feed them near fatal dozes of aphrodisiac, put them in thong bathing suits, and turn them loose on an adult sex shop with unlimited credit. This footage, strictly an added feature, could possibly be some of the liveliest on the show.

Now the alert reader is probably wondering and saying “What happened to our original bachelor?” Well, in

Step Four: We arrange for him and the designated best fuck street guy to stage a bare knuckle street fight to the death in the center aisle of the St. Peter’s in Rome during a papal high mass. The 2 men must keep fighting until one of them dies. It’s important to the show! As a side feature, we keep a camera trained on the Pope and every time he falls asleep during the fight, we give the guys an extra $100. The reason on why it is important that one of them dies is because the next day, in the same church, we’re going to hold

Step Five: A combination of a wedding and a funeral! The loser of the fight gets the funeral. The winner gets to marry the designated hotel fuck bride, with the remaining losing bar and hotel participants serving as bridesmaids and pall-bearers. We then give the newly weds all the leftover drugs on Maniac On Drugs and send them on a honeymoon to some nice and conservative golfing resort where they’re required to take large amounts of drugs and 2 weeks of golf and tennis lesson.


4.) This next one is my make-over show. My working title is


You start by picking 3 incredibly beautiful and successful supermodels. And then, against their will, you sedate them, strap them down, and subject them to extensive plastic surgery. You give them big misshapen noses, sagging eye bags and plenty of wrinkles and drooping skin on their faces. Then you pump enough fat into their asses, hips and thighs to make them really unhappy.

When they come out of the anesthesia, the audience yells “Try looking like that for a change!”

I’m so excited about this one that I’m working on a variation that involves involuntary sex change surgery!


Well that’s it for reality shows! I suppose all that’s left for me is to tell you about a show called “Bowel Movement”. Basically, it’s a show that involves a fixed position camera, a toilet and a series of guys with diets organized primarily around beer and extra spicy Mexican food. Perhaps it’s better if I don’t go into too much detail at this time.

And you know something I’m thinking? This one might actually belong on cable.

Well, that’s it folks! I’ve done all I can to develop a hit show but the creative process can take you so far. The rest is up to you. The public. And I’m counting on your good taste!


Misconceptions about us atheists.

It is commonly imagined that atheists think there is nothing beyond human life and human understanding. The truth is that atheists are free to admit that there is much about the Universe that we do not understand.

It is obvious that we don’t understand the Universe but it is even more obvious that neither The Bible nor The Qur’ an reflects our best understanding of it.

There could be life on other planets. Complex life. Technically accomplished civilization. Imagine a civilization that’s a million years old, as supposed to a thousand. Atheists are free to imagine this possibility! They are also free to admit that if such brilliant extraterrestrials exist, The Bible and The Qur’an are going to be less impressive to them than they are to human atheists.


It is also often imagined that atheists are, in principle, closed to spiritual experience. But the truth is that nothing prevents an atheist from experiencing self-transcending love, or ecstasy, or rapture or. in its simplest form, awe. In fact, nothing is preventing an atheist from going to a cave for a year or a decade and practice meditation like a proper mystic.

What atheists don’t tend to do is make unjustified and unjustifiable claims about the cosmos on the basis of those experiences. There’s no question that disciplines like meditation or prayer have a profound effect on the human mind. But do the positive experiences of, let’s say, Christian mystics, over the ages, suggest that Jesus is the sole savior of humanity?

Not even remotely! Because Christians have been having these experiences, but so do Buddhists, and Muslims, and even atheists! So there’s a deeper reality here and it makes a mockery of religious denominations.

The fact is that whenever human beings make an honest effort to get at a certain truth, they reliably transcend the accidents of their birth and upbringing. It would be absurd to speak about Christian physics, although Christians invented physics and to speak about Muslim algebra, although Muslims have invented algebra. It will one day be absurd to speak about Christian or Muslims ethics or spirituality.

Whatever is true about our circumstance, in ethical and spiritual terms, is discoverable now! And can be articulated without offending or making device of claims about the unique sanctity of any book or dedicating our lives to rumors of ancient miracles.


Finally, there is this notion that atheism is responsible for the greatest crimes in the 20th century. Now this is actually amazing because this is the most frequent objection that I have come across but I’ll deal with it briefly.

It’s amazing how many people think that the crimes of Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot and Mao Zedong were the result of atheism. The truth is this is a total misconstrue of what went on with those societies and these psychological and  social forces that allow people to follow their dear leader over the brink.

The problem with fascism and communism was not that they were too critical of religion, but the problem is that they are actually LIKE religion. These are utterly dogmatic systems of thought. More than half a decade ago, Rick Warren suggested that North Korea was a ‘model atheist society’ and that any atheist, with the courage of his conviction, should want to move there.

The truth is North Korea is organized exactly like a faith-based cult, centered on the worship of Kim Jong-un. The North Koreans apparently believe that the American shipments of food aid that they receive from them to keep them from starving from death are actually devotional offerings to Kim Jong-un.

Is too little faith really the problem with North Korea? Is too much skeptical inquiry is what is wrong here? Auschwitz, the gulags, and the killing fields are not the product of atheism. They are the product of other dogmas such as nationalism and other political dogmas.

Hitler did not engineer genocide in Europe because of atheism. Hitler does not even appear to be an atheist because he always involved Jesus in his speeches, but that is beside the point. He did it on the basis of other beliefs and dogmas and the purity of German blood.

The history of Muslim Jihad does have something to do with Islam. The atrocities of September 11th did have something to do with what 19 men believed about martyrdom and paradise! The fact that we’re not funding stem cell research at the federal level does have something to do with what Christians believe about conception and human soul.

It’s important to focus on the specific consequences of specific ideas.

I want to make it clear that I am not holding religion responsible for every bad thing that a religious person has done in human history or to be balanced against all the bad things that the atheists have done. I’m only holding religion responsible for what people do and will continue to do, explicitly for religious reasons.

Jesus, Prince of Peace. The Interview.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re privileged to have with us a man known all over  the world as the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ! How are you, Jesus?

JC: Fine. Thanks, and let me say it’s great to be back.

Can you tell us after all these time why you came back?

JC: Mostly nostalgia.

Could you tell us Jesus a little bit about the first time you where here?

JC: Well, there’s not much to tell. I think everybody knows the story by now. I was born on Christmas and uh, actually that always bothered me because that way I only got one present. You know if I was born a couple of months early I would have had two presents. But look, I’m not complaining. It’s only material.

Were you really born in a stable?

JC: Nah. I was born on a hospital. Bethlehem Jewish Hospital, but the hospital was located in a stable. That’s how the story got started.

And is it true that there was no room at the inn?

JC: Oh no, they had room. We just did not have reservations. My father Joseph, God bless him, he was a simple man. He did not travel much so he forgot to make reservations.

There’s a story that three wise men…

JC: Well there were three kings that showed up. I don’t know how wise they were. They did not look wise. They said they followed a star. That doesn’t sound wise to me.

Didn’t they bring gifts?

JC: Yes. Uh… God, frankincense and, I believe, myrrh. Which I never did find out what that was. You do not happen to know what myrrh was, did you?

Uh, well, I believe it is a reddish-brown, bitter gum resin.

JC: Oh great! Great! Just what I need! A gum resin. What am I going to do with a gum resin? I’d rather have the money. That way I can go out and buy something I need. You know, something I would not normally buy for myself.

What would that be?

JC: I do not know. Maybe a bathing suit? I never had a bathing suit. Maybe a Devo hat or a bicycle. I really could have used a bicycle. You realize the walking I did? I must have Canaan six or eight times, up and down, North and South, walking and talking, doing miracles, telling stories.

Tell us about the miracles. How many miracles did you perform?

JC: A grand total of 107 miracles, not counting the loaves and fishes.

Why don’t you count the loaves and the fishes?

JC: Well, technically that one was not a miracle.

It was not?

JC: It turned out a lot of people were putting them back. Did not like them. Actually not all of those miracles were pure miracles, anyway.

What do you mean? What were they if they weren’t miracles?

JC: Some of them were parlor tricks, optical illusions, mass hypnosis, hallucinations, and acupressure. That’s how I cured most of the blind guys. Acupressure.

So not all of the New Testament is true?

JC: No. Some of that Gospel stuff never happened at all. It was just made up. Luke and Mark used a lot of drugs. See, Luke was really a physician and he had access to drugs. Matthew and John were okay, but Luke and Mark would write anything.

What about raising Lazarus from the dead?

JC: First of all, he was not dead. He was hung over. That’s all.

But in The Bible, you said he was dead.

JC: I said he LOOKED dead. I said ‘Hey, he looks dead!’. You see Lazarus was a very heavy sleeper, plus the day before, we’ve been to a wedding feast and poured away a lot of wine.

Was that the wedding feast at Canaan where you changed the water into wine?

JC: I do not know. We went to an awful lot of wedding feasts.

But did you really turned water into wine?

JC: Not that I know of. One time I did turn apple juice into milk but I really don’t recall the water-into-wine thing.

Alright. Speaking of water, let me ask you about another miracle. What about walking on the water? I mean, did that really happened?

JC: Oh yeah. That was one that really happened. You see the problem was I can do it but the other guys could not do it! They were jealous. Peter got mad at me so he got these special big shoes that if you start out walking real fast you can float on the water for a little while. That of course, after a few yards down he goes into the water and sank like a rock. That’s why I called him and said ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my church’.

Well that brings up the apostles! What can you tell us about the apostles?

JC:  Well they were a good bunch of guys. You know, they smelled like bait but they were a good bunch of guys. Fourteen of them, we had.

Fourteen? The Bible says there were only twelve.

JC: Well, that was according to Luke. I told you about Luke. Actually, we had fourteen apostles. We have Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, the other James, Thaddaeus… Let’s see, how many is that?

That’s ten.

JC: Okay, uh… Simon, Judas, Matthias, who replaced that bastard Judas, and Red.


JC: Yeah. We called him ‘Red the apostle’.

Red the apostle? He doesn’t appear on The Bible.

JC: That’s because he kept pretty much to himself. He never came to any miracles. He was a little strange. He even thought that the Red Sea was named after him.

What about Judas?

JC: Hey, don’t get me started on Judas.

Okay, well, what about the other apostles? For instance, Thomas. Was he really a doubter?

JC: This guy, Thomas, you could not tell him nothing, you know. He’s always asking me for my ID. As soon as I see him, he’ll go ‘Got any ID?’. To this day, he does not believe I am God.

Are you God?

JC: Well, partly. You know that. I am a member of The Trinity.

Yes. In fact, you’ve written a book about The Trinity, haven’t you?

JC: That’s right. It’s called ‘Three is a crowd’.

As I understand, it’s nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on The Holy Ghost.

JC: Listen, it is not an attack. You want to know what it is? I do not get along with the Holy Ghost. Right? So I leave him alone. That’s it. What he does, it’s his business.

Well why? What is the reason?

JC: Well first of all, you never know what he is going to be. Everyday that he shows up, he is something different. One day, he is a dove, another day he is a tongue of fire. Always fooling around! I do not bother with the guy, I do not want to know about him, I do not want to see him and I do not want to talk to him.

Well, let me change the subject. Is there really a place called Hell?

JC: Oh yes. Hell. Sure. There is also a ‘Heck’. It’s not as severe, but we got Heck and Hell.

What about Purgatory?

JC: Hmm. Don’t know nothing about no Purgatory. We got Heaven, Heck, Hell and Limbo.

What is Limbo like?

JC: I don’t know. No one is allowed in there. If anyone was in there, it would not be Limbo. Then it would be a place.

Getting back to your previous visit, Jesus. What can you tell us about the last supper?

JC: Well first of all, if I had known I was going to be nailed to a cross, I would have had a bigger meal. You never want to be crucified on an empty stomach.

The Crucifixion must have been terrible.

JC: It was awful, I got to tell you. Unless you have gone through it yourself, you could never know how painful it was. And tiring. It was very, very tiring and embarrassing. More than anything, it was embarrassing. Right in front of everybody to be crucified. Well, I do not know. I guess it redeemed a lot of people.

Were you scared?

JC: Yeah. In the end, I thought it was going to rain. I was afraid I might get hit by lightning. But all in all, I would say that when I was here I had a good time.

What do you think about Christianity?

JC: Well, I’m a little bit embarrassed about it. If I had to do it all over again, I think I’d start one of them Eastern religions like Buddha did. Buddha was smart! That’s why he’s always laughing.

You would not want to be a Christian?

JC: No. I do not want to be a member of any group that has a man nailed on to two pieces of wood as a symbol. Especially if it is me! While, Buddha is laughing, I am nailed to a cross.

I have a few more questions, do you mind?

JC: Hey, be my guest! How often do I get here?

Are there really angels?

JC: Well, not as many as we used to have. Years ago, we had millions of them. Today you can’t get the young people to join. Got to dangerous with radar and heat-seeking missiles.

What about guardian angels?

JC: Well, we still have guardian angels. But now, it’s one angel for every six people. Years ago, everybody has their own guardian angel. 

Do you really answer prayers?

JC: No. First of all, most of them do not even get through! I mean, you got sunspots, you got radio interference. Years ago, we answered them all because the world has fewer people back then and they prayed for something simple. To light a fire, to catch a yak, something like that. Today, you got people praying for basketball teams, people praying for longer fingernails. We just can’t keep up with them.

Well, I think we are just about of time! I certainly want to thank you for visiting with us.

JC: Hey, no sweat.

You have any last thought or words of advice?

JC: You mean how to remove perspiration stains from a garment, something like that?

Uh, no. I mean spiritual advice.

JC: Well, I do not know how spiritual it is but I’ll say one thing: Don’t give your money to the Church! They should be giving their money to you!

Well, thank you, Jesus and have a good day!

JC: You too. Thanks for having me on this here interview today. Oh and by the way, big bands are definitely not coming back!


Using “utilize” when you should be utilizing “use”

I object to the use of “usage” when it’s used in place of “use”. There’s nothing wrong with using “use”. It’s been in use for a long time and I’m used to it. It isn’t that “usage” isn’t useful, I simply have no use for its current usage. The use of “usage” should be consistent with good usage. I prefer to say “My use of the internet” rather than “My usage”. If I meant it collectively, I might say “The Philippine usage of the internet” but, so far, I haven’t meant that.

And as I’m using space on “usage”, I’ll use some more on “utilize”. Using “utilize” instead of utilizing “use” is one of those attempts to make things sound more important than they really are. Sports announcers and commentators do that all the time. They imply big words incorrectly.

“He’s not utilizing all his skills!”

They don’t understand that an athlete does not “utilize” his skills. He “uses” them. The coach “utilizes” his players while the players “use” their skills.

Don’t use “utilize” when you should be utilizing “use”.

Another sports announcing crime is the use of the word “differential” when they mean “difference”. For example,

“There was a 12-point differential at half-time.”

No. Sorry. It was a 12-point “difference” at half-time. Differential is a mechanical or a mathematical term, and by mathematical I don’t mean San Antonio Spurs 55, Indiana Pacers 43. “Difference” and “differential” are different.

Go Spurs Go!

It also annoys me that people sometimes claim to see a “linkage” when they actually see a “link”. I think “link” is fine. “Linkage” reminds me of a car’s transmission. In fact, my car’s linkage is located somewhere near the differential.

“Stoppage” is another troublesome word. The most frequently heard euphemism for a labor strike is “work stoppage”. Apparently, labor strike sounded too Marxist for the locals. “Stoppage” sounds like an obstructed bowel and stoppage is much too close to sewage for my comfort.

“Usage”, “linkage”, and “stoppage” remind me of “outage”. “Outage” sounds like something is done when a gay person’s identity is revealed. But actually, its most frequent use inscribing a loss of electricity. A “power outage”. We used to say “power failure” but I guess my countrymen do not want to admit failure, even when it manifests.

Regardless, we ought to find better way to answer the question “What happened to the lights?”

By the way, I recently heard the following sentence in a local news report:

“Because of the tropical storm, about a thousand families are without power.”

And I thought, “Gee, when you think about it, about 93 million people in The Philippines are without power. They just aren’t aware of it.”