Sifting the trash

I should be organising my scatty self, but I’m not. Too boring. Instead I’ve been trawling through the delights of my internet home page, retained as my home page despite its incomparable trashiness because I’m far too hooked on those WTF moments to let it go.

Today’s offerings haven’t disappointed me.

The first to catch my eye referred to ‘a pair of underwear’. Now I’ve always thought that underwear was a generic term referring to those items of apparel worn under your outer garments, ie bras, singlets etc as well as underpants (or jocks, or underdaks, or whatever else you want to call the men’s variety to which this story refers). But apparently calling an underwear spade a spade is not considered de rigueur – a nicety I’ve come across in American literature before, and which always strikes me as bizarre. How come, in a society that embeds journalists in war zones and accepts body parts flying across movie and television screens like blood-soaked confetti, is the word ‘underpants’ too offensive to appear in print? And if euphemisms are an essential part of the culture, could they please be grammatically correct?

In item two, it was the headline that had my jaw dropping. Kids forced to kiss family risks abuse. What? Have they never heard of subjects and verbs agreeing? And if they haven’t, why are they pretending to be journalists? In terms of the story itself, I can see arguments on both sides. Kids should never be forced to kiss anyone they’d rather not, for whatever reason. But it’s a pretty sad comment on society. Will we get to the stage where parents are required to handle their children with tongs?

The third story makes me plain jumping mad. It’s reported that an entertainment A-lister (named) has dropped 40kg on a diet (detailed) so devoid of nourishment it makes Oliver Twist look overfed. Whether it’s true or not is anyone’s guess, media ‘sources’ being what they are, but that’s beside the point. Aren’t there enough anorexia sufferers already, without offering up what amounts to a free tip? Anorexia is insidious, cruel and destructive, and there are kids out there right now (not allowed to kiss granddad or see the word ‘underpants’) who are vowing to follow the A-lister’s glowing example to accelerate their rate of starvation. And if you think I’m exaggerating, have a heart-to-heart with an anorexic one day.

The world never ceases to amaze me.

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