"Showing the Gate to 2008"
by Rob Kyff
The old year has passed, so now's just the time
To lambaste its buzzwords and do so in rhyme.
With "downturns" and "crashes," please call the cops!
And don't even mention those defaulted "swaps."
"Wall Street" trashed "Main Street," we're sorry to say,
But "bail outs" and "rescues" claimed, "Help's on the way!"
The "drumbeat" of bad news was loud and so steady,
And projects to help us were deemed "shovel ready."
When anchors told experts to just "walk us through it,"
They all said, "my sense is," which had no grit to it.
They backtracked and wavered with "having said that,"
Till viewers had no idea where they were at.
The sports guys on cable were never in doubt,
When showing us highlights, they said, "Check this out!"
And weather folk felt they'd just never make sense
Without all their talking of snow-sleet "events."
When these fell together, they knew they'd transfix
By hyping the dangers of cold "wintry mix."
Describing the nighttime, just one term seemed right;
Without any question, 'twas "the overnight."
They talked of "YOUR forecast" for "YOUR Saturday,"
Please pray to YOUR God, make this go away!
When newspaper readers wrote letters to papers,
They started their missives with two standard capers.
While "I read with interest" seemed mild enough,
"Let me get this straight" just sounded too gruff.
Yes, Deep Throat passed on, but Watergate's slime
Still lingered when people said, "that point in time."
"Efforting," "footprint" -- Have you had enough?
These phrases, we pleaded, "throw under the bus!"
Seeking "engagement," we rallied "the base";
"Way forward," "proactive" all over the place.
We "blogged," and we "twittered" on gadgets of gab
And sometimes we traded a feisty "fist jab."
Obama, he started each sentence with "Look . . ."
While Palin's "you betcha" swam like a chinook.
This mommy of hockey put "lipstick on pigs,"
And Fey nailed her hairdo, with no need for wigs.
We heard about "change," and then met a comer:
An unabashed "maverick" named ol' "Joe the Plumber."
Obama said, "fired up, ready to go,"
With "Yes, we can!" "Yes, we did!" he stole the show.
The buzzwords of last year deserve no ovation,
From twenty-oh-eight, we demand a "staycation."
Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, Conn., invites your language sightings. Send your reports of misuse and abuse, as well as examples of good writing, via e-mail to Wordguy@aol.com or by regular mail to Rob Kyff, Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Rob Kyff and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.