The ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ of Language and Sense.

images.JPEGI can feel it happening again. I’m nodding and making all the right noises but internally I’ve gone on one of my journeys. I can’t tell you exactly where I go because I’m not entirely sure but by the time I catch myself the conversation has moved on and I have to try and figure out what everyone’s talking about all over again.

Meetings – even informal ones – with certain people are becoming increasingly more challenging for me I’m afraid. I’m a smart woman, I have common sense, qualifications and a certain amount of life experience yet I’m finding it really hard to figure out what the Hell people are saying.

At first I thought it was just me. I get bored very easily and my attention span isn’t great if I have no interest in the subject at hand but this goes way beyond that. My working environment is a minefield of acronyms and industry specific terminology which, as a relatively new member of staff just makes my head spin. It’s not just the language either. The seemingly popular fear of confrontation means that the days of managers simply asking you if you’ve finished the report are long gone. Now it’s something along the lines of ‘I wonder if you’ve had a chance to assess the report we discussed? Ordinarily there wouldn’t be such a short window for you to complete the task but since the introduction of (insert acronym here) we feel that it would be a benefit to your development to have this responsibility whilst also increasing the output of communication from your department to the executive.’

And here lies the problem because I’ve zoned out after ‘assessed the report we discussed’ and everything else just sounds like Pingu on amphetamines.

Language is a bit of a mystery outside of the workplace too. Some people like to ‘aks’ questions instead of ‘asking’ them which can be pretty annoying especially when the person ‘aksing’ is over 25 (come on, nearly thirty years on the planet and you haven’t figured out that the ‘s’ comes before the ‘k’)? People also seem to be spending a lot of time doing things ‘unconsciously’ as opposed to ‘sub-consciously’ which I find both fascinating and terrifying depending on the task at hand.

‘Selfie’, ‘YOLO’, ‘FOMO’, ‘Guyliner’, ‘Manscara’ ‘Twerking’ ‘Ratchet’… These are all relatively recent additions to the English language and to be honest, as annoying as some of these words and phrases are, I don’t have a huge problem with them as they’re part of youth culture and the whole point of youth culture, if I remember correctly, is to be separate from the everyday, boring lives of everyone else. The problem is however that some people haven’t yet come to terms with the fact that their youth is officially over and probably has been for the past twenty or so years leading to older people using these terms and making conversations sound embarrassingly wrong.

Solly.JPEGRecently though I was introduced to a phrase that really did make me wonder about people and their oddities.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you…

Conscious Uncoupling.

I won’t go in to too much detail because it’s been all over the news (only God knows why) and I have no interest in the couple at the centre of this nonsense, but I suppose my first question, much like everyone else’s, was ‘what the Hell is that?’

If we’re being really literal about this then does this mean they broke up while they were awake?

From what I have gathered, ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ is a long-winded way of saying ‘amicable divorce’. That’s it. The celebrities are getting divorced. They were married and now they’re not. So why not just use the word ‘divorce’?

It may be a class thing. Apparently there is still a stigma attached to being divorced in certain circles. As a result people either stick it out and stay shackled to people they hate for the sake of saving face amongst groups of people who are just as unhappily married as they are, or they live apart, lead completely separate lives but never ever use the ‘D’ word because rumour has it that only poor people and drug dealers get divorced.

‘Conscious Uncoupling’ is a much softer term. Normal people get divorced, special people consciously uncouple and that people, is the world that we live in.

Personally I think, much like ‘management speak’ this is yet another way to avoid calling a spade, a spade. Say what you will about youth culture but they say what they mean, no confusion, no grey areas, no bullshit. Perhaps we should do the same instead of clogging up meetings and headlines with verbal diarrhoea.

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