Friday, December 3

“Anyway”: the fashionable catchphrase

Before the pandemic, there was a certain optimism in the environment, which could be heard in the star catchphrase of young people: in plan. It was like a hammer that almost pierced our ears, but at least it was a positive expression. Because the word plan it is an intention, an ambition, a future.

And although today it continues to be said, there, again and again, like the lightning that does not stop, a new hose has come that is heard much more: anyway. It has been brought by the adults, and it is not surprising either. Maturity can lead us to give up many plans and become more conformist. We may even end up being resigned. And some condescending ones. And that’s what this catchphrase expresses: anyway It is the expression of resignation.

The danger of tails is that they are like fine Galician rain. “Bah, if it’s just a few drops.” You don’t care about it, you don’t open the umbrella, and in three minutes you’re made into soup on the verge of pneumonia. Well, the same thing happens with the hoses. It seems that everything comes down to a scolding from the language teacher: “That is poverty of language!”. But it is much worse. What happens is that it imbues the atmosphere with a state of mind, a humor, a sensation.

When the meaning of a catchphrase is good, great! (there we have another; brilliant is a wildcard exclamation for any time, place, thing or intention). But when the message it spreads is negative, it becomes a plague. This negativity acts the same as environmental pollution. So much anyway thrown loudly, it can build an invisible enemy in the air, and thus, foolishly, without realizing it, we could end up becoming a resigned society.

But the most dangerous thing is that most people who say fillers don’t even realize it. Sometimes you blurt out to someone:

“Man, okay, what did you say? anyway five hundred times.

Anyway? I have said anyway?

We often don’t hear what we say. We are not aware that we are creating a social climate. Not much less that we can infect it. The fillers stick. After having a coffee, so happy, with a friend, you can go home saying the truth is that every time you start a sentence or always ending it with Do you understand what I want to say to you? Or you could put a Let’s say there, a capon, every two sentences.

And now, to top it off, to that involuntary contagion is added the aspirational contagion. The hose is a matter of status and social cohesion. We try to resemble our idols by repeating their ideas and their words. We become their echo to try to be like them. Hence the “me fucking love “and the” shit strong“of adolescents.

That is why I think we should rethink what consequences the hoses have. Some linguists warned us that they are a “verbal tic”, but I would also put them in the hands of sociologists, to investigate whether they are a “social tic”. Even in the hands of psychologists to find out if both anyway it is going to turn us into a defeated society.

And already put, it would not be wrong to ask them about another of the great fillers of our time: no? Of this I even have written evidence. I use a computer program that transcribes the spoken interviews, and when I read them carefully, word for word, I see that the no? repeats in a loop.

The best of all is that no? is not a no. It’s a Yes. It is a form of affirmation. We say: “We have seen that vaccines have controlled the pandemic” and we add the no? to reaffirm what has been said, to emphasize it, to draw the attention of the listener.

Let’s imagine we turn that no? in a Yes? The function is the same, but perhaps, after a conversation, we would feel more positive than negative. We could ask psychologists to do the experiment. Even chemists!

Because the words we say leave particles in the environment. It is not the same to breathe the stinking air that leaves a van, ruum, ruum, than the scent of older women who get gorgeous when they go out for a walk. Negative voices also leave their nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide. Said a few times, they pollute the environment. But who knows if said eight hundred million times, they end up producing global warming.

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