When you make words for a living, you will inevitably find yourself drawn into certain ruts of repetition. That's why you'll see the same tired clich
s popping up in the same media outlets, or often in the writing produced by the same people. Blogs are no different, and are in fact worse — the increased breadth and depth of volume encourages mass overuse of an even longer list of lazy jokes, references, and turns of phrase. And blog comments and discussions recycle the same slop with alarming regularity. We're as guilty as anyone of these crimes, and likely more guilty than some. We're willing to admit there's a problem though, just like at AA, so we're cataloguing the worst offenders far and wide. After the jump, an annotated list of words, phrases, and terms that have long overstayed their welcome in the media-blogosphere. Send in your own, and as always, feel free to chime in comment-wise.
Best. [ultimate thing or experience.] Ever/Evar.
Likely originating in the reverse ("worst [x] ever"), this clich
still has a deathgrip on the media, in all its sincere and sarcastic permutations. It's usually taken to mean a state of permanent, perpetual bestness, which is of course unsustainable. Sooner or later, something will not be the best [x] ever, and this phrase is a perfect example.
[undesirable counter-example], not so much.
The punchline that ends a thousand million columns and blog posts. Weak as the lightest of lite beers, or the puny farts you get from such beer.
FTW, O RLY, lol, FTL, OMG, FWIW, btw, PWND, ROTFL, etc.
These are borderline acceptable if you're instant messaging, speed-typing while online gaming, or expressing approval of a pornographic image posted to your favorite kink forum. Beyond that, stop it. Even if your audience uses these expressions in daily life, such practice should not be encouraged. Self-consciously peppering normal discourse with geekspeak acronyms (especially when used in conjunction with non-geek subjects) no longer rescues your words by way of anti-coolness. See also: "teh" anything.
[negative experience, situation, or description]; I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.
In a rare sane move, most writers realize this one is dead, and thus avoid it. However, only when "threw up in my mouth" is completely exterminated from the world consciousness may we all rest in peace.
[purposefully non-ghetto statement], yo.
Often used in conjunction other ghetto nonfabulous phrases like "Oh snap!" and "The [object or situation] was mad [obscure adjective]," the ubiquitous "yo" is a red flag of caucasianness, or at least non-blackness, or certainly anti-hipness. See also "haterade," "shizzle," and so on. One waves the flag to signal and suborn the anti-cool nature of the associated prose, but these days, "yo" and its ghetto-term relations sound tired even when uttered by actual ghetto residents.
[undesirable conclusion]. Oy.
Even more so than fake ghettospeak, fake Jewspeak has been completely drained of impact, which perversely has made it even more prevalent in media and blogs (due to the well-known Jewish control of both). "Oy" in particular is a universally pointless and fantastically lazy way to express discontent without actually saying anything.
[amazed paraphrase of opposing position]. Seriously? Seriously?
Deadly serious in fact. The prose equivalent of telling a bad joke, wiggling your eyebrows, and saying "Eh? Eh? Eh? Am I right?" to your readers.
What's next? [outlandish scenario]?
Take something you don't like, then imagine a nutty alternate universe where that thing is exaggerated beyond all reason. One must follow from the other, correct? Your rhetorical work here is done.
I'm looking at you, [example of complaint].
Has been known to cause actual outbreaks of hives. As if the thing/person "looked" at would react with a surprised and bashful "Who, me?". Puts the writer in the unflattering role (for all concerned) of pedantic schoolteacher addressing unruly children.
As a verbal tic in conversation, "um" is perfectly acceptable and often auditorially invisible. Written in prose, it signals a level of smarmy superiority that would get you rightly punched in the face if you dared behave like that in person.
[Argument], wait for it, [rhetorical flourish].
Where did this come from? Stage direction cues in the theater? No matter, it's a ridiculous tease and artificial tension builder that's never worth the wait.
[Undesirable experience] made my [sensory organ] bleed.
One hopes there are people who've actually had their eyes, ears, or other parts bleed in such situations, so they can use this expression in all clinical honesty. Beyond that, inexcusable.
"Goodness" once might have served as a comical placeholder for sarcastic expressions of positivity, but now it exists in this construction purely to demonstrate the high-lariousness of the writer. A near cousin replaces "goodness" with a noun specific to the context, such as "his sexy backness."
Not orgasmic in any respect, and long past funny or clever.
[x] is the new [y].
The unkillable grandaddy of them all, a Protean monster capable of adapting to any topic, discussion, situation, or writer. Has gone through so many levels of irony, sarcasm, and hipster appropriation that it deserves to be captured and dissected so we can finally understand its vigor. There is likely no defense, but fight it as long as you can. Your sacrifice will be remembered.