Remote

"Always

Life, as the well-worn joke has it, is like high school, but with more money. Proof:

Four locutions are exceedingly popular among a certain group of well-educated, highly self-conscious people. One involves the use of the word 'about.' Things are never said to be about something; they are always said to be not about something. People say, for instance, 'This isn't about your parents.' What it is about, on the other hand, is never said, without the risk of acute embarrasrment. To say exactly what something is about suggests and inability to entertain contradiction.

Another phrase is 'hilarious.' Almost everything is said to be hilarious. Never anything even slightly funny. 'Hilarious' is shorthand for 'exquisitely painful' or 'emblematically mordant.' Sometimes something sad happens, someone pronounces the occurrence 'hilarious' to someone unfamiliar with this other, more sophisticated meaning of 'hilarious,' and the person saying something is hilarious when it isn't greeted with a quizzical expression or a sock in the mouth.

The third phrase, used when the speaker is ostensibly searching for the right word, is 'I want to say...'; the substituted word never even remotely resembles the word the speaker is looking for, and the speaker is always someone who worships at the altar of the sound of his own voice.

The final term is even more popular than 'about' or 'hilarious' or 'I want to say...'. Whenever any kind of calamity occurs—a water main breaks, an earthquake, a hurricane, passengers spill out onto the tarmac after a plane crash—it is always said to be 'like a movie.'"

from Remote by David Shields