Reality TV Is Ruining The English Language

Reality TV is omnipresent and it's infecting everyone with a treatable disease called stupidity.


Whether it be competition shows like The Biggest Loser and America’s Got Talent or brain-dead shows like the Real Housewives installments or the Kardashians shows; one thing we can likely agree upon is that reality TV is omnipresent and unavoidable. 

For TV purposes, ‘reality’ ostensibly means ‘scriptless.’ Sure there are money-shot moments that directors expect to get on tape and there may even be a loose narrative; like affluent women crying about…well, nothing really. But what ‘scriptless’ really means is that there’s nary a creative writer aboard the production team. There is no eloquently dreamt-up narrative, or heroically brilliant fictional characters.  

This void of an imaginative spirit is the very reason why reality TV is ruining the English language. No one is telling these humanoids what to say, when to say it, and most importantly…how to say it.  So now, what comes out of the oven is not a beautifully cooked loaf of artful intelligence; it’s unmistakable chunks of stupidity with remnants of idiotic fat content.

For the sake of example, I’m going to pick on the Kardashians – they won’t mind the attention. The family is popular for a whole lot of reasons; here’s none of them: depth-of-vocabulary assets, scientific eureka moments, or positively influencing mankind.  There are plenty of words and phrases that the girls abuse – which are mostly incorrect uses – but I chose to highlight a few that are most bothersome to me.  

Plus, they talk like robots, and that’s even more disappointing because all the robots I know have a wonderfully extensive vocabulary.

You’re probably wondering why I watch the show at all. Let me share a saying that I have: you must know what’s bad to know what’s good.  And, simply put: creativity is fueled by inspiration; inspiration to join, shift or change a movement oftentimes. I can’t help but take severe umbrage when hearing adults (admired and entitled nonetheless) struggle to formulate sentences that are taught in elementary school.

Ultimately, we should view the English language like we do technology – some things are just too archaic to remain present and effective. We have a vast ocean of expressive and descriptive words at our disposal. Charter a cerebral schooner – Webster would appreciate it.

Listed in order of annoyance – and dismissive of the fact that they use all these words in the same sentence.

1)     Literally 

Potential Kardashian usage: “I was literally balling my eyes out because somebody has the vanity license plate I wanted.”

This is the biggest offender to the English language. Way too many people use it as an attention-grabber when storytelling. You only need to specify you’re speaking ‘literally’ if your audience may possibly think of your comment in a figurative sense; not if your remark is clearly absurd and narcissistic drivel. However, it’d be cool to see their eyes pop out so they can watch their lives from our point of view.

2)     Honestly

Potential Kardashian usage: “I honestly think that outfit looks cute on you (even though it would look better on me).”

This word is – most times – being confused with “sincerely.” The two words aren’t fungible. Girls say “honestly” with the intent of being sincere to not sound as jealous as they sincerely appear.  Unless you’re a habitual and delusional liar, you needn’t preface 90% of your social confessions with this word.

3)     Seriously

Potential Kardashian usage: “We seriously need to just tan our worries away at the beach.”

Again, unless your audience may think you’re aspiring to be a comedian or that your reason for being famous is a cruel joke on the universe of creative souls, you needn’t specify the seriousness of such mundane monologues.

4)     Like

Potential Kardashian usage:  “God, that nudie-booty photo shoot made me so…like, tired.”

This is usually a word to bridge a comparison to something else, or to express an affinity for something affable, perhaps. Somewhere along the way it turned into a ‘pause’ word for people, not just girls.  But ponder this, when the hell did articulation become a television novelty?  This show isn’t “like, dumb.” It simply is “dumb.”

5)     So Excited

Potential Kardashian usage: “I’m so excited for the Kardashain Kollection to hit every Sears in Somalia.”

The word ‘so’ has become a prefix to many simplistic words to give emphasis and embellishment.  Here’s a list of words to use instead of the phrase above: elated, enthused, stoked, thrilled, pumped, looking forward.  Or, just find your own. Patronize your local thesaurus.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kate Bigam June 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Tom, is it exhausting to be so angry & rant-filled all the time? Geez.
John McMillan June 24, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Debbie, your logic (if it's true then, then it's true now) is flawed.
John McMillan June 24, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I will agree with that point...it's definitely entertainment by and for people with no original thoughts.
Paul June 26, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Kate, I was referring to the monstrously long PDF file linked to by Debbie. Did you look at it before criticizing me? Debbie also seems to think that academic opinions are facts. A simple example would have helped, but was never presented.
John McMillan June 26, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Not really that miraculous of a catch. Everyone reading this article who has been schooled in the English language should have been able to pick this out. Our education standards are just now much lower I guess...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »