While we're fine with people using the word "retard" liberally, there are some words, phrases, and linguistic constructions that are so tired and lazy they need to be ended. Here are a few things that drive us mad.
Mostly it's because we feel like, well, a retard when we say these things and also because many of them are easy substitutes when people want something funny and hip to say but can't be bothered to be original or clever on their own. By using them people are usually trying to set themselves apart from the herd. But what they're really doing is bleating just like the rest of the little lambs who have no imagination. Hit us with a stupid crack, a lame pun, even just a sincere description. Anything would be better than falling into one of these terrible traps.
Usage: Either as an ironic gripe while one is complaining ("I had a root canal today. Good times!") or as a sometimes-serious, sometimes-ironic reply after someone describes what they're doing. ("I'm going to the beach this weekend." "Good Times.")
Why It's Lame: Saying this is the equivalent of showing up to work in a denim shirt, dockers, diagonally striped tie, and a woven belt with a cell phone attached to it. If you use it in the first instance, then you are trying way too hard. You're the kind of person who wants to be thought of as funny even though you have the sense of humor of someone who TiVos Two and a Half Men. If you use it in the second instance, you aren't even listening and you're feigning interest. Badly.
People Who Say It: Salesmen.
Replacement: Don't even bother. Just don't say it.
"Bad News Bears"
Usage: A supposedly comedic way to describe a situation that was unfortunate. ("I went to Serena's party and she was making out with Chuck in front of Blair. It was bad news bears.") Or that could have been unfortunate, but was prevented. ("I almost dropped my bag of coke in the toilet. That could have been bad news bears.")
Why It's Lame: Not only is it striving to subvert the moment with humor, it's also grasping for some vague ironic '70s nostalgia. Jackie Earl Haley is enjoying a renaissance. This should not.
People Who Say It: Drunk hipster girls.
Usage: Usually via email, text, or IM, this expression means "great," "cool," or "all right" to punctuate a conversation. It's not so good that it's "excellent" but better than bad.
Why It's Lame: Because there are plenty of suitable and equally terse terms that won't make you look like an idiot who has a smile painted on your face and naked pictures of yourself on Adult Friend Finder. And if something is just "all right" don't try to dress it up with "cool beans." Just maintain your adequate level of underwhelmed enthusiasm. That is all the situation calls for.
People Who Say It: The girl in your office that you hate.
Replacement: How about "great," "cool," or "all right?"
"X Is the New Y"
Usage: It started with "X is the new black," a pseudo-witty quip to show how popular something has become. Then "black" was replaced with, well, anything to show how one thing's a better, updated version of some old thing. And so now people are saying, "Jersey Shore is the new Real World."
Why It's Lame: If you have to say that "X is the new Y" it is usually so utterly apparent to anyone with a clue that it doesn't even bear uttering out loud. Also, if you say "X is the new black" you are nothing but an old loser.
People Who Say It: Guys who hit on you in public.
Replacement: Not stating the obvious.
Usage: A word that describes a large ass, particularly on a woman.
Why It's Lame: The problem with this is there is no way to say it without slipping into some crazy faux-urban patois and sounding like someone who is trying to do a karaoke version of Sir Mix-a-Lot. It's like when a newscaster breaks into an accent only to say the name of a foreign city. We have no interest in injecting our normal conversations with guttural gymnastics. We would also like to ban it's jokey cousin "vajayjay." If you want to talk about adult portions of the anatomy, please do so like an adult.
People Who Say It: Tyra Banks
Replacement: We would suggest shouting, "Daaaaaamn!" but that's just as bad.
Usage: For those of you who don't know, these are a recent trend and they're leggings that look like jeans. Or jeans so tight they're like leggings.
Why It's Lame: This was the best name we could come up with? A horrible verbal sandwich that isn't nearly as good as the sum of it's parts. Also, it's the stupid fashion jargon that you will look like an idiot no matter what kind of scenario you say it in. This is also a stand-in for every silly new thing that comes down the pike that the fashion world tells us we should care about, but only fills our mouth with a disgusting flavor, like "capelets" and "murses".
People Who Say It: PR girls who strive to be buyers at Macy's.
Replacement: Talking about pants.
Usage: Taken from Failblog and used as a noun, it describes something that is, well, a failure. Usually it is an unlikely juxtaposition of two things that are operating at cross purposes.
Why It's Lame: We love the concept of fail, so we are not banning it outright, but it's starting to fall into the realm of sloppy internet group think. Too many people are using it in too many ways that "Fail" is losing its original brilliance and usefulness. It's like the Alanis Morissette definition of "ironic" where things aren't ironic at all, they're just kind of crazy and annoying. As such, people are starting to just plaster the singular word "fail" on things that aren't a real "fail" at all or when when another word or—God forbid, a whole phrase or sentence—would more adequately describe the situation.
People Who Say It: You.
Replacement: Free thought.