Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Needing My Temples

Ugh. I just heard myself say, "I need you to …"

Now, there already exist at least seventeen quintillion screeds bemoaning the Coarsening Of Our Discourse, one more tiresome than the next (and I'll grant that my love for snark probably makes me as much a part of that problem as anybody), but "I need you to …" really sets my teeth on edge. Especially when I hear it from, say, a flight attendant because my seat back is four millimeters off perpendicular, or when I overhear some helicopter parent trying to get a kid to zip up his coat. And now that it's starting to creep into my vocabulary … grrrrrr.

I'm not sure what it is that bugs me so much about this one, whether it's the ickiness of the faux-softening of the imperative (and don't get me started on people who begin gratuitous insults with "Frankly, …") or that the phrasing sounds like American self-centeredness run amok, but in any case, I need you all to just go back to good old "Please … "

2 comments:

girtby.net said...

Mmmyeah, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and re-watch Office Space to see a really annoying speech pattern at work.

Brendan said...

That was FTW.

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