Every now and then I find it hard to be trusting. Because I find it hard to trust words.
Sometimes I have problems with certain phrases, as do those around me. My friend Bobby was contemplating one the other day. "Now then," he said, and then stopped. "What the hell does 'now then' mean?"
He was right to wonder. "Now" would be fine on its own. "Now we are going to do this." "Then" would be fine after that. "Now we are going to do this. Then we are going to do that." But, "Now then, we are going to do this."? Or just "Now then..." as a place holder while you're trying to decide what to do or say next? It really says nothing at all.
Or how about the phrase "old news"? As in, "That's old news." If it's old it's no longer news is it. Isn't news what's new? Old news is like saying jumbo shrimp. I believe the phrase "old information" would cover what you want to say.
Then there's the disclaimers companies are using these days. Coming right out up front and saying you can't trust what they're saying. Like a license to lie. I heard one in a radio ad the other day.
The company was offering "any drink for a buck." They said it any number of times in the ad. Any drink hot or cold for a buck. All drinks just a dollar. You pick it, any drink for just a buck.
Then they proclaimed their disclaimer. "Prices may vary." How can the price vary when the whole point of the pitch was the price? Act today. Because the price is what I say. Except it may not be.
We bait and switch now and then.
America, ya gotta love it.