?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Passion is no ordinary word

I was just buzzing through the living room and caught a snippet of a television commercial about candy. "Our chocolatiers have a passion for—"

Stop. Spare me. If I had ten dollars for every time I heard somebody abuse the meaning of "passion," I'd be writing this from a private beach on Maui.

The word "enthusiasm" doesn't seem to work anymore. People don't get "excited" about things, or, perish the thought, merely show an "interest" in something. They no longer have hobbies. After all, this is the world of all hyperbole, all the time; the world of I-can-top-that; the world where every play in every athletic event is great, tremendous, incredible. So people anymore don't like to watch college football; they have a passion for it. They don't like riding motorcycles; they have a passion for motorcycling. They have a passion for their dogs. They have a passion for gardening. Or for raising their own earthworms.

The overuse of the word seems to have kicked the word's real meaning to the curb on the other side of the street. What is passion? It's something that's all-consuming. Your life revolves around it. It compels you to act. You're always thinking about it.

Unless the chocolatiers are dousing their homes with a railroad tank car full of Hershey's syrup, they don't have a passion for chocolate. A passion for watching football on television? Think of it: being "passionate" about an activity that involves sitting in a chair, drinking beer and eating snack foods ("I'm passionate about potato chips."). A passion for gardening? Yeah, if the gardener sleeps on a dirt mattress.

I understand our language is organic. It lives. It changes. That's inevitable. Look at the word "sucks," for example. Once it was crude, coarse. Now it gets tossed around like pocket change. Even the once-powerful F-sharp has lost much of its impact from being thrown too often into the spotlight. But has a good synonym for "passion" surfaced? It's probably out there somewhere. Fortunately, I have a passion for words and will take the time to find it.

And please, don't get me started on how the word "said" has been replaced with "like," as in, "He's, like, c'mon back to my dorm room for some chocolate, baby, and I'm, like, sorry I can't because I've got a passion for Scrabble."

I wish I had more time to expand on this theme, but I don't. I've got to head back into the TV room. I have to indulge my passion for the show "Homicide Hunter."

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
thecriz5
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
I like how every last product out there has technology in it. My favorite — garbage bags.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 6th, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
It used to be science; now, it's advertising.
tanadariel
Dec. 6th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
Neosporin also contains technology.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 6th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
I hope there are technologically advanced bandages to use with it.
nodressrehersal
Dec. 6th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Guilty.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 6th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
I'm innocent of the crime of passion, but I hear "like" as an attributive verb so much that it's creeping into my vocabulary.
anita_margarita
Dec. 6th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
May I add "dining experience" and "cooked to perfection."
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 6th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
I'm afraid you've started something that could get out of hand.

How about "weather event," or, better yet, a "rain event" or a "snow event" or ...
anita_margarita
Dec. 6th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC)
"We're monitoring the situation."
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 6th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
No fair. It's 11:30 here. Your brain is three hours fresher than mine. I just took my nightly meds—which I use only as directed. I will seek immediate medical attention if I suffer from blurry vision, disorientation, anxiety, loss of hearing or difficulty swallowing, and I will seek a doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but severe side effects occur: paralysis, coma or death.
anita_margarita
Dec. 6th, 2012 04:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, well, I've been drinking cheap California champagne while doing my Christmas cards. I think I was pretty effusive and unreasonably sappy on some of them, a la Bridget Jones.

Unfortunately, they're already stamped. Damn the torpedoes.
sahlah
Dec. 6th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
a railroad tank car full of Hershey's syrup

That is quite a visual.

Passion, passion, passion - I am apologetically guilty. :)
This post and the comment threads made me giggle. Great way to start the day.
patrick_vecchio
Dec. 6th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
Any day I can inject mirth into somebody's life is a good day.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2017
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow