This guy, Frank Bruni. Has a great job, huge platform. Uses it to write about—I don’t want to say garbage, that’s crude—let’s just say, “Extremely very boring things.” What the hell is this guy using his big old newspaper column on now? Maybe something good? No.
NO. Frank Bruni, in his latest column in the Sunday New York Times, which is probably the most valuable opinion-section real estate in the entire mainstream media, wrote about.... ah, let me try to describe this accurately, in the interest of fairness... it’s about, ah... the use of the word “who,” or lack thereof, because, you see, ah, there’s an underlying importance here, as you see...
Instead of saying “people who,” Donald Trump said “people that.” Marco Rubio followed suit. Even Jeb Bush, putatively the brainy one, was “that”-ing when he should have been “who”-ing, so I was cringing when I should have been oohing.
Okay. That’s one paragraph at the very beginning. But would you believe that’s the whole god damn column? It just goes on and on. I am not lying. Here is the conclusion:
How did we get here? Why is “who” on the ropes? One of my theories is that in this hypercasual culture of ours, we’re so petrified of sounding overly fussy that we’ve swerved all the way to overly crass.
And my fear is that there’s a metaphor here: something about the age of automation, about the disappearing line between humans and machines. The robots are coming. Maybe we’re killing off “who” to avoid the pain of having them demand — and get — it.
How did we get here? Why do we exist? Why do I have a job? Is there a metaphor, in all this? Have I wasted everyone’s time? Anyone know? I’m a highly compensated newspaper columnist with an extremely prestigious job. Are you?