It has been snowing every day since April third, right after spring made itself abundantly clear that it was stopping for nothing. Except a blanket of snow. Really? Seriously?
Over the last 6 months, maybe a year, I’ve noticed a new linguistic thingy. The “Really?” Also the “Seriously?” Real linguists probably know why expressions pop up and get used and then overused and then fade away. Some are obvious and not terribly interesting, like the chat talk words ROFL, LOL, IMHO etc. I remember when my children and all of their friends were quoting themselves “like, I said…” right after they said whatever it was they said. Synonyms for “good” come and go and date us–groovy, awesome, cool, wicked, super…There are internet related memes that are so arcane that I have almost no concept of what they mean, or more importantly what they imply.
But really, seriously. I think I like really, seriously.
I checked into a motel in a new town, had heard about some recent murders. I asked the woman at the desk what had been going on. She said that a guy would just walk up to a stranger and stab them in the neck. “Really? Seriously? Who does that?”, she said.
The Alberta tar sands project produces 3 times more greenhouse gases per barrel of oil than standard processes. “Really? Seriously?”
The implication of ”Really? Seriously?” is that there is near consensus that something is wrong and yet it still happens. That maybe asking the obvious question will change something. Of course it’s not going to do anything about the snow.