The Top Ten Ways of Destroying


Strunk and White are dead and nobody cares about grammar anymore.  No question.  OK.  But I am so old I do remember a time when people actually spoke and wrote plainly and clearly.  For example, when I was a boy people did not make a determination, they decided something.  And, for example, if a woman lost a child, she would say her heart was broken.  Now, of course, we are told she needs closure.  Indeed, I remember a NYC local TV newsreader speaking of how a murder case "needed closure."  So, apparently, not simply people need closure but so do the cases themselves.  Also, when I was young, I remember a word no one uses much anymore: “Affected.”  For example, we might say the downpour affected the crops.  Now, of course, we hear of how a downpour impacted the crops. There is, of course, no hope for anyone who appreciates the beauty of language.  Yes, to each his own, but let me go on record as saying that anyone who uses "impact" as a verb around me will be sorry.  But, just for fun, let’s take a look at how this loveliest of poems by Walt Whitman would have been titled today.

"When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd"


1. When Lilacs last Impacted the Dooryard

2. When Lilacs Last Pushed the Envelope on the Dooryard

3. When Lilacs Last had Communication with the Dooryard

4. When Lilacs Last showed an ongoing Commitment to the Dooryard

5. When Lilacs Last interfaced with the Dooryard

6. When Lilacs Last Empowered the Dooryard

7. When Lilacs Last Had Closure with the Dooryard

8. When Lilacs Last were on the Same Page as the Dooryard

9. When Lilacs Last had a nonproblematic Relationship with the Dooryard

10. When Lilacs Last interculturated with the Dooryard

© Dean Barrett 2014    Anyone reprinting the above without permission should note that I have made a determination to take action which will result in his or her being impacted adversely.