Monday, September 5, 2016

"I Think it’s Baked In" - Mr. Language Person

"I think it’s baked in"
-Charles Krauthammer

The great Charles Krauthammer succumbing to the latest trendy, overused turn of phrase: 'It’s baked in'.

I think I heard it the first time a week or two ago. Someone was discussing one of the candidates and said that this thing or that thing about the candidate was 'baked in'. It seemed rather clever, self evident... a different way of expressing the fact that something was 'part and parcel' of another. Not bad. Or, as some might say, "It's not a bug it's a feature!"

But then a second person used it. And another. And another. Until it seemed as if some pundit every hour on the hour was describing something inherent to some person or policy as 'baked in'. And then the mighty Krauthammer piles on! Actually, I was hoping to use the magical 'baked in' buzz phrase myself one day, but too late! It has already become a cliché. Let me be the first to pronounce it trite, if I'm not able to celebrate its passing.

Now I'm not one of those guys who call for certain words or phrases to be banned. This one is clever and deserves its place in the sun. Maybe above the Arctic Circle where the sun doesn't shine for six months?

All I'm asking for is a little restraint. If you use the phrase 'baked in' to describe something inherent in a person, place, or thing, mark it on your calendar, and three to six months from now, see if you can work it into the conversation again. Is that too much to ask?

Unless, of course, it's already baked into the language!

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