Friday, April 01, 2005

Talking To The Air Before Taking TO The Air

I just did a five-day trip this week. My first domestic trip in quite awhile. I traded with a colleague who wanted to hook up with a fellow flight-attendant who was based out of Minneapolis. She had NEEDS so we traded trips. She bought me three rounds of drinks on an earlier layover so I could hardly renege. ANYWAY...I had a good time with this five-day journey trip. I had good crewmmembers to work with, there was no drama from passengers nor, most importantly, from MYSELF. I just put myself into distant-but-pleasant-and-professional mode. Seems to work for me. The late nights of flying into places like Spokane, Boise, Tucson, and Dallas knocked the wind out of me, though. I guess it's just a matter of acclimation. Some sociological aspects of the American Business Traveler that I've noticed, however. First of all, everyone's plugged into some device or another. Laptop, Cellphones, and next-generation cells that clipped onto the ears so one looked even MORE like a well-dressed street-person talking to oneself. And of course, you had those dangling wire jobbies that ALSO allowed you to talk into the air... So you had THAT...And now, thanks largely to computer online culture, you have people using cute little abbreviations or truncating words to create a half-assed code of hipness. For example: My colleague asked this twenty-something what he wanted to drink. "I'll take a G and A." A WHAT? A Ginger-Ale. Oh. How silly of us not to have known that. Then came MY turn. "I'll have a CAB," this older businessman tells me. A cab? We're in a PLANE. Blank Stare. A Cabernet Sauvignon. Right. Got it. Eye-roll upon turning around. What the hell is happening here? Is our language devolving into a retarded version of George Orwell's 1984 newspeak? The burning urge to be jet-set slick coupled with a special kind of laziness? Who KNOWS? All I know is there are quite a number of people out there who sound fairly ignorant when they ARE using complete sentences...Now we want to sound even STUPIDER by hobbling the English(American)Language? It's a rich, beautiful language. USE it. Be ERUDITE. And if you can do it without being prententious, so much the better... Take care out there...

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