language & grammarThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to the phrase “at the end of the day”

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 12PM: National Public Radio is a good news source; it is a fine explorer of American culture, but it has created its own little inbred linguistic world full of phrases and speech patterns that the Emperor can stand no more. We just realized that a large portion of our linguistic decrees have come from NPR, over the span of this column, which is usually written after a car ride into the Imperial Palace Offices, with the radio on. The NPR offenses?  The ubiquitous use of “srtiv” for “sort of” (and the use of “sort of,” at all, where the speaker is really trying to say “exactly”); the use of “So…” in response to a question, as if the speaker is trying to imply it is about time the interviewer shut up and allowed him to talk; the use of the phrase “on the ground,” stolen from the military, to mean “in the middle of the issue;” etc… (Check the Imperial archives for any number of examples.) Now, we must speak out against “at the end of the day.” See it work in this annoying, NPR-phrase-laden sentence: “So, at the end of the day, it’s about starting a conversation…” Why does everyone want to start a conversation at the end of the day? What’s wrong with a nice morning chat? And what do you mean, “it’s about”? What’s about what? Do you mean “we need to”? And while everyone is “having conversations,” who is out there actually trying to change things for the better? (George Carlin, the top-secret Emperor of the past [yes, we succeeded him] is rolling over in his grave. )

The Punishment: Any-freaking-hoo, over-users of the phrase “at the end of the day” will be “put to bed”. “Tucked-in,” as it were, by a muscular fellow in a black hood. (And we ain’t talkin’ no memory foam comfy bed, neither; though, the stretching motion of said bed could, conceivably, fix a back problem or two.)

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
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