A reader (and legendary writer) friend pointed out after one of these complaints that there are no stupid words. I suppose he’s right, mostly. But, as I said when I first started posting these whiny gripes, people have an annoying habit of taking perfectly good words and using (misusing) them in stupid ways. The result is communication that is imprecise and often incorrect, all from feeble attempts to sound important or clever or trendy.
I continue, then, to test my curmudgeonly conviction that by pointing out stupid words—or the stupid use of words—that we all might think more carefully about what we say and write.
Imagine yourself at a restaurant. The kind with tables and chairs where someone shows up and says, “May I take your order?” Almost without fail, someone will respond, “I’ll do the (enter selection here).” Then, more likely than not, someone else will say, “I’ll do the (enter selection here).” The trend may well continue around the table, with everyone (except me) saying they will “do” their choice of food.
“Do?” What are they going to “do” to it, or with it, other than eat it? I guess you could “do” other things with the food, but few of them seem appropriate in public.
People used to say “I’ll have” or “I’d like” or “I’ll try” the menu item of their choice. Those phrases make sense to me, they mean something. “I’ll do,” on the other hand, sounds stupid.
Maybe I’ll feel better after I eat. I guess I’ll “do” a burrito and see.