Give Back, Schmive Schmack

 Posted by on 14 January 2009 at 12:20 am  Environmentalism, Ethics, Language
Jan 142009

Here’s an interesting even if year-old tidbit, sent to me by William Stoddard. A list of words that ought to be banished in 2008 includes the following:

GIVE BACK – “This oleaginous phrase is an emergency submission to the 2008 list. The notion has arisen that as one’s life progresses, one accumulates a sort of deficit balance with society which must be neutralized by charitable works or financial outlays. Are one’s daily transactions throughout life a form of theft?” – Richard Ong, Carthage, Missouri.

“Various media have been featuring a large number of people who ‘just want to give back.’ Give back to whom? For what?” – Curtis Cooper, Hazel Park, Michigan.

The suggestions for 2009 are have already been posted. They include this gem:

CARBON FOOTPRINT or CARBON OFFSETTING – “It is now considered fashionable for everyone, tree hugger or lumberjack alike, to pay money to questionable companies to ‘offset’ their own ‘carbon footprint.’ What a scam! Get rid of it immediately!” Ginger Hunt, London, England.

Mike of Chicago says that when he hears the phrase ‘carbon footprint,’ “I envision microscopic impressions on the surface of the earth where an atom of carbon forgot to wear its shoes.”

Christy Loop of Woodbridge, Va., says that ‘leaving a carbon footprint’ has become the new ‘politically incorrect.’ “How can we not, in one way or another, affect our natural environment?”


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