Saturday, February 07, 2009

It happened again.

I read this headline and was ready to scream:

"Is community service the new green?"

God help me.

We are losing our ability to speak plainly. And when did speaking plainly become so undesirable? The translation of this headline is this: "Is volunteering popular again?" Or perhaps slightly more nuanced, you could read it as: "Is volunteering becoming the new trend?"

In fact, I'm not quite sure what it means. I do know it's lazy and boring. On the plus side, it takes yet one more swing at that horrible "this is the new this" phrase, which please dear God should be put out of its misery in terms of journalism and trend-spotting in this country.


Richard said...

When I hear the word green used in this kind of context, I tend to think of environmental effects. So I would read the statement as "Is volunteering becoming popular to preserve and protect the environment?" I think people use the word "green" to signify anything positive, not just environmentally speaking. I also believe this is bad practice. If the community service involves cleaning up a highway, or a polluted lot - then it's green. If the community service is tutoring disadvantaged children, while that's certainly noble, it's not really "green" in terms of the environment.

renee said...

You're right. It could have the meaning you describe. Green could be the new "positve."
I made my assumption based on reading the horrifying phrase "Green is the new Black" some years ago to describe that being concerned about the environment has more cache these days than being hip and stylish in terms of fashion.
BUt then again, who knows. Clearly, I'm out of my depth when it comes to interpreting shorthand journalism.