Super Lackadaisical Expiali-gross-cious

My new year’s resolution (which I’m just getting around to now) is to destroy the reputation of the word “lackadaisical.” I simply hate it. And maybe it’s one of those once-you-start-looking-for-it-you-find-it-everywhere things, but this word seems to be enjoying a sort of undeserved renaissance. Prior to the last edition, I can’t recall having seen this word in this publication. Nevertheless, I am employing The Cynic as my soapbox. Further, I daresay that rants (mine especially) are more interesting to read than the economic implications of international trade trends or whatever-that’s why a paper called The Wall Street Journal exists. I might have spared you from this crappy article and instead posted it as a bulletin on “myspace,” but I’d really feel a lot easier about putting The Cynic on my resume than a wacky blog site. So now that you understand why this article is here, let us delve in the particular shortcomings of the word “lackadaisical.” Most importantly, its meaning is vague. The menacingly large dictionary standing lonely amid the computers in Bailey-Howe defines the word as “lacking life, spirit or zest.” Remember in middle school when we had it hammered into our skulls that you can’t define a word using the word? It’s impossible. The definition isn’t the only problem though. If something is lacking life, spirit or zest, who is authorized to make that assessment? It’s not like there’s a handheld zest meter that one could use to test the lackadaisicality (just made that word up now) of their comrades. This is what I mean when I suggest that the meaning of the word is vague. It refers to an absence of characteristics which are of a conceptual nature. The etymology is also quite interesting. The word’s heritage is archaic and from folk traditions. Lackadaisical is the addition of the popular -ical suffix to the term “lackaday.” This word is defined as an “archaic word used to express sorrow or regret.” In turn, “lackaday” stems from “alack the day” which in turn comes from “alack” which itself came into being when someone coughed while trying to say “alas.” Where using more, smaller, better or more exact words to describe whatever it is that is requiring an adjective would almost undoubtedly be more effective; people turn instead to “lackadaisical.” This word is an enabler for faint description and pretentious writing. It is an explosion of boringness; any sentence containing this word is ground zero. The surrounding paragraph is also vaporized.According to some statistics that I just made up, it is estimated that 65-73% of the population has no idea what this word means. This is because it is not used in daily conversation; it doesn’t exist in our vernacular. “Hiya, Mary, how ya feeling today?” “Well, Terrence, a bit lackadaisical honestly.”No. No. No, no, no. This, we know, is ludicrous. As we have shown that “lackadaisical” is an indistinct mess of dripping vowels and pointed consonants, we may proceed to a more boggling question-why do people use this ineffective and unfamiliar word? The answer, of course, is to impress the reader. This trick is pulled with many words to make oneself feel and sound smart(er), but it is particularly grating with this one. That is because it is a “fifty-cent” word whose value is approximately equal to a wooden nickel, 3 Canadian pennies & a malformed button. You surely can’t take that to the bank.It seems that “lackadaisical” is used to say, “Hi, I have a B.A. and so feel obligated to speak in a condescending manner because it makes me feel okay,” or more noble and yet somehow more contemptible, “Hi, I never earned a degree, but that doesn’t mean I’m not as smart as you are and I am bent on proving my intellectual capacity.” Come on people, take that stuff to your therapist. The reality here, folks, is that “lackadaisical” is miles from sonorous, next to meaningless and always in bad taste. Anyone who knows anything knows that. It is my recommendation that this word be “Sharpied” ceremoniously (or unceremoniously, I don’t care which) from English dictionaries. Normal lackadaisical programming resumes with the following article.