There’s been lots of talk of a potential Trump political come-back. That will not happen as his name, non-influential halfwit deplorables aside, is now mud. Here’s the give-away.
As a life-long student of speech fads and fashion-following, which by definition are always temporary, a year back I wrote on this Blog about Trump’s sole legacy.
That was the wide-spread adoption by American commentators, regardless of the topic, to use a speech idiom Trump introduced during the candidates’ debates in 2016, and continued to use thereafter, namely to intersperse their comments with the utterly superfluous “And by the way”.
Following the election I note it has now abruptly disappeared. Instead it’s been eclipsed by another unnecessary American speech idiom which first made its appearance a year or so back, but is now totally out of hand. That is “going forward”.
The other night on CNBC I heard an interview subject say it seven times inside two minutes.
Watch any American being interviewed and listen to it trotted out regularly. On CNBC no-one’s capable of speaking for more than 30 seconds without using it, necessary in their case to pad out the nonsense they’re usually talking about the share-market. e.g. “XYZ coy anticipated 2021 sales going forward to be…”
Still, its redeeming aspect is it marks the end of Trumpian influence.
As said at the beginning, my observation of these speech absurdities is life-long. In fact that’s not quite true.
I first observed the phenomenon with the Labour Party half a century ago when no Labour politician could say anything without including the word “fundamental”. That was always a give-away of talking nonsense, it’s inclusion serving the function of implying an innate truth in their remarks which needed no explanation.
In the mid-1970s it began to wane and was replaced by “at this point in time” which lasted about a decade, Winston Peters excepted as he alone continued trotting it out ever after.
Does any of this matter, apart from its woeful copy-cattism? The answer is it does as superfluous speech idioms are a clear indication of waffle padding in which the speaker has nothing sensible to say.