14. "Follow your dream." Will all those actors/directors/singers/dancers/beauty contestants who, every time they accept an Academy/Grammy/Emmy/Image Award please, please stop saying this? Some people shouldn't "follow their dreams." Some people should become fine plumbers and house painters, not film directors. If the czar followed his dreams, he'd be a broke, mediocre musician. Besides, what happened to the word "ambition"? (T, A)
15. "Hello" (delivered in three syllables, as "Hel-LO-oh"). This indispensable greeting has been perverted into a bitchy exclamation, usually to impart a feeling that someone is being dumb. "You signed your check 1996? Hel-LO-oh." The czar urges a farewell to "Hel-LO-oh." (T, A)
16. "Yes!" Thanks largely to sportscaster Marv Albert, who has confused this declaration with actually describing action in a basketball game, this bulwark of language has been rendered an annoyance. Myriad films feature avaricious children or adults getting something they want, and then declaring "Yes!" With exclamation point, the word connotes selfishness and pettiness. Just say "no" to "yes!" (T, CP).
17. "Cyber anything." Cybersex, cyberspace, cyberpunk, cyberthink, cybermart, cyberdoughnut. The czar is cyber-tired and advises those prone to cyber-hyphenation to remember that the word "cyber" was invented by a scientist named Norbert Wiener, and that its original meaning--something like "to pilot"--has nothing to do with its current usage. Maybe now you won't feel so clever by cyber-fying everything. (cyber-T, cyber-A, cyber-P)
18. "Dog and pony show." This old saw is often used by politicians and commentators to describe something marked by artifice and frivolity. Sadly, all have forgotten the phrase's origins in certain Third World countries, where seedy bars feature shows with dogs, ponies--and, ahem, women. Use of this phrase is particularly regrettable in the case of feminist attorney Gloria Allred, who employs it on her radio show. (T)
19. "I could care less." Will someone please create billboards and commercials to eradicate this eternal abomination? I could care less means . . . you care. It's "I couldn't care less." Couldn't! Couldn't! Couldn't! (CP!)
Oh, what do I mean by "CP?" Well, how about imposing a daylong vow of silence? Think of how nice and quiet everything would be. Have a nice language day.