In current media speech on American radio (esp. NPR) one constantly hears interviews with people who are incapable of expressing themselves directly and plainspokenly, i. e. without resorting to metaphoric expressions and generally to indirection of meaning. This feature extends particularly to younger speakers of both sexes, but especially to younger males.

The cause seems irrefutable: self-aggrandizement. Speakers mean to call attention to themselves and to the imputed power of what they are asserting by magnifying everything through figurative linguistic means, avoiding directness at all costs. This speech gambit not only calls attention to the form of the utterances itself but to the utterer as subcutaneously more important than what is being said. Such is the premium being placed on self-aggrandizement over meaning in present-day’s American cultural narcissism.