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The bottom line….

June 7, 2013

….and other idioms of note

I’ve been told that if my orations were a walk around the block, one would have to buy a new pair of shoes before the circuit was complete.

Long before I acquired the art of verbal diarrhea for myself, I had recognized the affliction in selected others. I grew up with “the bottom line” as a reference point, a milestone thrown in to let one know that there may actually be a point developing out there somewhere. I was grateful for the idiomatic yellow light. The bottom line was, I could basically ignore them while they prattled on, until I heard the impending “bottom line” announced. Then, I could pay appropriate attention.

The advent of “blogging” tended to globalize the behavior into a written format by providing an undisciplined environment wherein hoards of self-anointed latter day Nathaniel Hawthornes, William F. Buckleys, and James Joyces could spew eloquent, or at least voluminously. I was a bit embarrassed to realize that I am guilty of producing opaque word salads myself, but defend my behavior by acknowledging the clear difference between mere performance and actual competence. Brevity may be more academically correct, but a concise bull’s eye isn’t nearly as much fun as an intellectual scavenger hunt. Think of it as chumming without bothering to fish.

Now, however, though not extinct, “the bottom line” seems to have become not quite replaced by, but certainly interchangeable with, “at end of the day” for signaling if not an approaching salient point then at least an exit ramp as welcome at that great big RESTROOMS ONE MILE sign on the Interstate highway. Everybody says it, and just as “the bottom line” could make one wonder whether the speaker-writer was opining or preparing a profit and loss report, “at end of the day” begs the question what about the beginning of the day. How about lunchtime, for that matter?

I make no claim to writing anything of any particular importance and confess that I play with words as I played with blocks as a child, simply because it amuses me. I suppose many bloggers have similar needs and write primarily for their own entertainment, but will gladly accept kudos and applause when offered.

When it comes right down to it, though, I do eventually get around to….or back to….whatever it is that I am trying to convey, as do most with compositional and conversational ADD.

When all is said and done, however, at the end of the day, the bottom line is, all things considered, I have to mow the lawn.

 

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