We saved the whales. We saved the bison. We saved aluminum can tabs all across this land for some charity, or Alcoa, or something. We like saving things. We root for the underdog, come to the aid of the weak, trod mightily for the downtrodden.
Well, add one more to the list: Slacks.
Ben Greenman of The New Yorker magazine recently told National Public Radio’s All Things Considered the staff counted up all the words in the English language and found there was one too many. One had to go. But which one? They turned to their readers; they asked for nominations for the absolute worst word. Some answers: like, awesome, phlegm, moist. And slacks.
The New Yorker staff didn’t tally the votes. They chose from the bunch. And they picked slacks.
Now, I couldn’t care less about the word. Never met it, hardly use it. That is, until now. This word needs to be saved. Move over, Moby Dick. There’s a new cause in town.
Slacks don’t need your money. Slacks don’t need your pity. Slacks … sigh. Is it don’t or doesn’t? Whatever, not important … slacks don’t/doesn’t even need your good grammar. Slacks only need/needs your conversations. It’s not that hard. Really. Heck, I just used slacks six times, just in this paragraph.
I’m not talking just the usual or proper conversational use of the word slacks. Oh sure, standing by the water cooler Monday and throwing out “Hey, that’s a nice pair of slacks you’ve got on there” to the pantalooned passersby will help. But slacks need/needs more. Hard-core more. We must work slacks not only into everyday conversation, but every conversation.
Like this, at the dinner table: “Gee, that dinner was great! And you know what would finish it off perfectly? A nice, big stack of slacks!”
Or this, at the mechanic’s shop: “I don’t know Joe, I’m not sure exactly what’s wrong with my car. But when I’m driving it feels like there’s a pair of slacks stuffed into the catalytic converter. Not woolen, not that bad. Maybe cotton. Probably summer-weight. You know what I’m talking about?”
You can’t be serious, you’ll say. Oh, I’m serious, I’ll say. OK, how serious, you’ll say. And I’ll say: By the way, my full name is Glenn Scott Waterman.
Oh yeah. That serious.