When we say things that lots of other people say, and in the same ways that we hear it from others we are doing a couple of different things.
When we say things like, Pa and Ma Ingalls really bring a lot to the table (they truly do) or S’quatch is making six figures now (doubt it) we aren’t saying anything very specific.
When we express ourselves in these strictly generalized concepts we are sleeptalking. We might be awake, but our minds are elsewhere, leaving our mouths to chug along without us. These bereft little husks of words with all the flavor sucked out all kind of say the same thing, I am standing here, but I’m not really into this.
We get there honestly. It’s OK. Things get used up and we replace them or remember them fondly and move on. It isn’t anybody’s fault. The table as metaphor is probably as old as tables or metaphors. It is the gathering place, the spot where battles are planned, our anchor in times of celebration and grieving. Believe me, I understand the table. However, the table is not the only place of production or value in our lives. What about the fields? What about the ramparts?
The true greater concern is with these other words- a lot. A lot only specifies a sizeable quantity. There is no value attached. I can think of many things I would not wish brought to my table, especially if it were a lot. Acrimony, steaming piles of dung*, Syphillis, and termites come to mind.
I made six figures today. They were: 3 killer whales, 2 Monster Trucks, and Spider Man. I quit drawing in the 5th grade so I am mortified by my lack of artistic progression but without question, I made six figures.
We could argue that come on Juancho,we all know what those things mean. It’s just like shorthand, or slang. You need to back off the pain meds and get some sunshine (both of which I have already done), but it doesn’t change the fact that we understand each other less every day if we don’t say what me mean.
Come on. Spit it out.
*Cold piles of dung too for that matter