“…sucked all the Oxygen out of the air”

Have you ever been in a room in which someone “sucked all the Oxygen out of the air?”  Not me, happy to say.

Perhaps others have; perhaps at its early use the phrase was clever.  I thought so the first time I heard it.  But it is now ubiquitous and doubtless destined for the reference books.

This must stop before more people are hurt!

If you are a gloomy sort, consider the faces of Fowler, Strunk, White, and Roget.  Editors of The New Yorker, New York Times, APA and Chicago stylebooks, being talked down from window ledges.  Ripley’s will count the number and names of people it has been used to describe. This must already be tough for them.

The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz writes often of”Oxygen suckers” and he will be in the throes of death in no time.  The Onion will have to self-censor.  Mssrs. Stewart and Colbert will be handicapped, likely on respirators.  David Letterman will thank his lucky stars he made it off the stage before the pandemic struck full-scale.

In time, I hope, it will evolve into something like a notary’s certification for politicians (before the campaigns, please):  If the pol didn’t “suck the Oxygen out of the room,” he/she didn’t say it, it is not reported nor is it subject to comment.  A development like this reminds me of the “law of unintended (happy) consequences.”  Imagine an attention-drawing description becoming an attention-eliminating description.

Could evolution lead to humanity being unable to hear politicians make statements if they didn’t “suck the Oxygen out of the room?”

I’d give up a breath or two on my way to the exits if something like that were in prospect.

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