The more I read the news on my web-enabled smartphone, the more it becomes clear to me that there are precisely four words that must be banished from the English language. Why four? My column doesn't have space for more than that.
The first word is "logical." In today's world of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Yahoo!, and Excite!.com, lord knows that the old rules have right out the window. Every single person with a cellular phone, computing tablet, or beeper is a journalist these days. Right is left. Up is down. So what does that make logic?
Just this week I was reading a column by one of the many newspaper columnists who are at least marginally more informed than me. It seems that the owner of a sports team by the name of Donald Sterling was trying to sleep with the N.S.A. Predictably, he was taped, and now his baseball team is being taken away from him, probably to be offshored to Chennai, where it will be run wholly on Skype with amazing efficiency. That's globalization for you. Logic? I don't see a place for it.
"Taxi" is the second word. I've been a fan of taxis in the past. Not any more. Taxis are finished. In today's world of Uber, Lyft, SideCar, Gett, auto-rickshaws, pedi-cabs, and the sharing economy, the idea of standing on the street and waving down a taxicab is as dead as Jiminy Cricket. It lacks virality. These days, getting from point A to point B is as easy as getting a Stanford graduate degree in computer science and inventing a smartphone app to push humanity one step closer to the day when humans never speak a verbal word to one another for any reason.
"I really hate this," said my taxi driver Abdul, a father of four originally from Pakistan. "This threatens my livelihood. Some days I wonder whether I'll be able to feed my children." That's all you need to know, folks. I tipped him an extra dollar, then invested a million in Uber's venture capital firm. The future is now. Get on board or get pushed to the back of the bus, a lesson that we all should have learned from the original "Taxi disruptor," Roseanne Parks.
I've often argued that we live in a "Hyperconnected" world. Not any more. "Hyperconnected" is the third word that I'm placing in la basura, as my Mexican gardener affectionately calls me. In today's world of high speed undersea cables, windmills that make electricity, and cars that drive themselves, it's no longer sufficient to call us all hyperconnected. We're much more than that. We're WarpSpeedLinkedIn—or Wrpspdlnkdn, as I write it in an effort to save myself precious seconds of typing vowels. Also because it's pithy, at least to my ear.
Just the other day I read an article about cows being milked by robots. Now that's what I call wrpsdlnkdn!
The final word to which I am bidding adieu: "Cucumber." Never cared for them. I find them watery, and, frankly, phallic.
In today's wrpspdlnkdn world of cars that drive robot cows directly to your door to spy on you, death could come at any minute. I certainly won't have my last meal feel like a watery cock in my mouth. That's for certain.
[Thomas L. Friedman won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Photo: Getty]