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Celebrity Speak and Millennial Mumbo Jumbo

I am always complaining about the things celebrities say and preach to us but I am getting increasingly irritated by the way they do it.  I mean the way they speak.  And now, people are copying them.

Celebrities are celebrities because they are famous for having a talent (a debatable description in some cases), entertaining us in some way, or for just being famous.  Many are able to rise to celebrity status and sustain it due to their extrovert personalities, their confidence, their massive egos and their single-mindedness in pursuing fame.

More and more of them are using their fame to be ‘celebrity activists’ and to tell us how to make the world a better place and to prattle on about the causes they believe in.   Of course they are entitled to their own opinions but if I want serious advice on a subject I will listen to an expert, not a celebrity.  I’m sick of them telling everybody that if they try hard, they will be successful and accomplish all their dreams.  I really don’t think it’s that simple.   Of course many celebrities who have championed a cause have done so for publicity and some have been caught out further down the line for not practicing what they preach. So I tend not to listen to celebrities very much, and if I do, I will take what they say with a pinch of salt and a roll of the eyes.

The problem is that even when they are talking shite, it’s very difficult to not hear them. Some are expressive and charismatic and I am full of admiration on how they can command your attention and power talk their way into your consciousness.

I think many celebrities have gone to celebrity school and one of the things they are taught is ‘power talking’.  This includes voice training, using body language such as hand-waving whilst talking (Gordon Ramsey is really good at this) and something that I believe is called ‘linguistic supersizing’.  This is where normal words are not good enough and extreme ones need to be used to stand out.  A celebrity wouldn’t be able to call anything they experience ‘good’ or ‘nice’. They will say ‘awesome’ or ‘insane’. Bigger and louder is the way to go.

You know what?  They also use meaningless terms to grab your attention. See, I’ve just done it.   

When celebrities overdo these things, I switch off.  

It’s not just celebrities that can annoy me merely by speaking.  There are some speech patterns commonly used by younger people that make my ears hurt.  Some of these have been inspired by celebrities and copied.

The first is, ‘uptalk’.  This is where people under 35 finish a sentence with a rising tone of voice so that its sounds like a question. It’s irritating to the ear and it makes me wonder whether they are sure about what they are saying or not.

The next is something called ‘vocal fry’. This is a kind of creaky, throaty, exhaled speech sound which is particularly used by young women to create a deeper pitch of voice to sound posh and authoritative. The female cast of ‘Made in Chelsea’ use this lot.  It just sounds smug and very un-authoritative to me.

Using ‘filler’ words is very common and the most irritating one to me is, ‘like’.  It is superfluous and ‘like, totally annoying’! The next is ‘literally’. It ‘literally’ drives me mad.  It must be the most misused word ever.

Using meaningless phrases is another irritant.  I hate, ‘at the end of the day’, or ‘at this moment in time’, and especially, ‘it is what it is’.  ‘Going forward’, we should ban these.  That last one is a favourite of managers and politicians. I also hate ‘forward planning’ or the ‘plan going forward is…’.  How can a plan be about anything but the future? Planning the past would be rather pointless.

I also can’t abide people who are over familiar and use cringy terms (often of American origin).  My wife and I are often referred to as ‘You guys’ and I am apparently a ‘mate’ or ‘bud’ of many a tradesperson. If anyone calls me ‘hun’ or ‘babe’, I will explode.

Its not just the things people say that annoy me. Its the silly dramatic gestures that go with modern communication, often copied from celebrities and actors. Whenever I see a female wafting their hands in front of their eyes as a sign of getting upset, I feel I want to slap them across the face.

I know I am an old fart and getting grumpier by the day. But I can’t help feeling irritated by these things.  Of course, every generation has its own speech trends and these will go out of style and new ones invented all the time.  But I fear they will be just as annoying.  I think it will only get worse because it is the younger generations and celebrities who influence the media and therefore their use of language will dominate.

Am I being too harsh on the way celebrities speak? I have a boring, quiet voice and am not a natural conversationalist.  I struggle to tell jokes and I’m not very expressive unless I’ve had a few glasses of the something alcoholic.   (I could never have pursued a career in media.) Though I might be reasonably articulate, I am rubbish at linguistic supersizing and ‘power talking’.  But I don’t think I would annoy anyone either.

Author: Paul

I am a retired, married bloke, dad and grandad - growing old with attitude.

5 thoughts on “Celebrity Speak and Millennial Mumbo Jumbo”

  1. Calm down, hun! Anyone who takes anything seriously that these airheads say deserves all they get. Why listen to an expert when you can hear what someone of limited intelligence says, just because they’re in the public eye? This is why I try to avoid much of what is on tv these days – it’s better for my sanity!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I need to avoid rubbish TV also, but then its one less thing for a grumpy old man to enjoy complaining about? By the way, I have just exploded!


  3. I agree. I also don’t like to hear celebrities preach about things. However, I admit to saying things like “you guys” and ‘it is what it is’. Maybe it is because I’m an American. But with that said, I hate being called honey, darling, etc. This is especially annoying when it comes out of the month of a stranger. I’m not their “honey.” Like you seemed to suggest, some of it is just regional dialects, which can be sort of charming. But with mass media, everything is blending together. No charm–just annoying. Anyhow, great post!!


  4. Thanks Diana. You’re right. I think we will all end up speaking one big fusion of nonsense. As I said in reply to Clive, I’m just a grumpy sod. I should bear in mind it’s the way people speak to you that is important, not what words they use.

    Liked by 1 person

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