Blue pencil moments…

Not so much…

Confession time: I have used the slang negative comparator “Not so much.” I used it with all of its arch, self-consciously ironic informality in conversation with Beth. She called me on it. I don’t know why I used it. Perhaps I simply allowed myself to be imprinted and informed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There’s a Val gal overtone in the phrase, an oily late seventies currency that slowly seeped out of the pop cultural plastic California suburbs with the middle-school kids who originated it. The process continues, I’m sure. (Internal voice echoes, “Yeah, like you’re SO sure. NOT!”)

One of the most deadly and boring contrivances in American language is the phony posturing that goes with the conversational usage of the asked-and-answered rhetorical question. There’s a TV news-reader pomposity that goes with the delivery of asked-and-answered rhetorical questions. “Should we be in Iraq? No, but since we are already there…”

“Not so much” pickles this formulaic usage in the brine of deprecatory irony. “You may see a good reason to continue the war in Iraq. Me? Not so much.”

Snappy? Sure. Original? Not so much…

Posted in Hep jive, Verbalistics



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