We were sitting in front of the TV one night when a Liberty Mutual commercial came up. “We’ll buy you a car ONE YEAR NEWER than your current car, with ONE THOUSAND MILES!” they boasted.
I elbowed Christian. “Whaddya think, Christian?”
He nodded slowly. “Hm,” he said. “That means we could get a truck that’s nineteen years old, with a hundred and ninety-nine thousand miles on it.”
(Note: We misheard. It’s only new cars that get this deal.)
We both laughed, but it got me thinking how many other ridiculous things are in the air around us that we don’t even notice. Like these:
- No one who has sex in the movies ever has that “fourth arm” problem.
- Nobody ever gets a raw face from making out the guy who thinks he looks so cool when he fails to shave.
- Then there’s the compulsion to drop all connecting words. “Recipe” style. I mean, yes, when you read a recipe it says “Add flour, sugar, and salt; stir.” But in spoken speech, you always fill in the words. So why is it that Siri (and other GPS directions) do it. Radio news guys do it, reading their material like headlines, only using a tone of voice like normal speech. Since when did American culture begin to aspire to the level of a robotic voice?
- Singers surely, surely do not use that strained, self-aware, “I’m-so-cool” voice when they’re singing a) in church, b) happy birthday, or c) a lullaby to their kids. So what do their REAL voices sound like? (I’m looking at you, Demi Lovato, Megan Trainor.)
- And male pop stars: WHAT is with that annoying, whiny FALSETTO???? (Not to name names, Adam Levine-and-Justin-Timberlake-give-me-the-heebie-jeebies.)
- Speaking of unnatural voice patterns, what’s up with the radio deejays who give the…weather and the local…news while…deliberately breathing…in the wrong…place in the…sentence? Maybe you think it makes you sound distinct, but you must drive non-native English speakers completely batty. Don’t you think they have enough trouble following? Have a little compassion and break your…sentences in a…place that makes…logical sense. Pretty please?
- Has there ever been a helicopter in a movie that did NOT blow up?
What things strike you as weird in popular culture?