Real people

“Real people, not actors,” the Chevrolet television commercial assures us. Is this supposed to make us feel better about Chevy? Here is a news flash for the marketing minds who dreamed up this obnoxious disclaimer: Actors are real people, too. In fact, some of my best friends, some of the finest people I’ve known, are actors.

Of course we can find a few jerks in any field now and then, but I have experienced several decades participating in theater as actor, singer, dancer, director and techie. That has provided me plenty of opportunities to see actors as they really are. I would be hard pressed to argue that these people are not genuine. Makes one wonder why actors Equity hasn’t  protested this disclaimer that demeans all actors. Actors are real people.

I have owned a couple of Chevrolets over the years. One in particular still occupies a special place in my heart, a 1955 convertible that I owned when I met and courted the love of my life. But no more Chevy for me, despite the wide-eyed testimony of the “real people” in these commercials. I’m sticking to my Prius. I’m betting that other real people feel the same way, especially the actors, the real people.

Today’s word: Impact. This is an excellent example of how lazy speech and weak vocabulary can eventually lead to acceptance. The word impact is a noun, not a verb. It means a collision or the force that is exerted when something collides with something else. We started misusing it and making it into a verb several years ago, and now its use as a verb has become widely accepted, even by some dictionaries. That’s a pity. Let’s not even discuss impactful, surely one of the language’s ugliest nonword in use today.

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