The Year's Very Worst Words Are So "Problematic"

Language is wonderful and language is alive, but language is also a form of psychological assault—especially when everybody suddenly starts using awful new terms and phrases just because everyone else is doing it, on Twitter. We are not so naive as to think we can "ban" this or that word, because "ban" is one of the words we would ban, if words could be banned. They cannot. Thanks to 2013, we're stuck with this bunch of linguistic garbage.

artisanal
Ostentatious presentation of basic competence.

ban
Verb used by powerless people to trumpet their consumer or political preferences. Usage: "Ban breakfast burritos," or "Ban Congressional Republicans."

bless your heart
Antiquated southernism for "fuck you," often heard in open-plan offices where people are uncomfortable saying "fuck you."

check your privilege
Conversational filler used by university graduates with above-average incomes.

curating
Screwing around on the Internet at work.

destination wedding
A journey you can't afford to a place you don't want to go to see people you don't like who demand expensive gifts.

disruptive technology
Marketing term that describes an imitation of a popular technology product.

epic
Lacking significance. Usage: "That pizza was epic."

farm to table
Income signifier used in discussion of groceries.

is that a thing now?
Feigned ignorance of something impossible to avoid that you could quickly look up on the very device you've just used to type is that a thing now?

just sayin'
Shorthand for "I have completed my bigoted statement." See also: #sorrynotsorry.

lifehack
A somber acknowledgement that while life itself is mostly boredom, disappointment and heartbreak, you can at least use up some of life's many hours with different ways to peel garlic or organize your closet shelves.

#longread
Fashionable code for non-fiction writing of normal length conspicuously consumed in public. Usage: "While everyone else on the subway played Candy Crush, I was immersed in a fascinating #longread about paternalism in the artisanal ham industry."

more and more
An apology for having failed to find any evidence of your assertion. Usage: "More and more stay-at-home dads are losing their toddlers at the playground."

no haters
Childish gullibility recycled as control mechanism for employees of content-farm websites dependent on Facebook likes.

problematic
You're at work, looking at the Internet instead of doing tasks related to your employment. Something is bothering you! Did a celebrity comment on the issue of race? What is up with Katy Perry being so old? Why is "everyone" on Twitter mentioning a #longread that just didn't do anything for you? Welcome to the world of things that are problematic—meaning, things that don't concern you at all, as opposed to actual problems such as your parking tickets, student loans, self-diagnosed nutritional disorders and that loser brother who wants to sleep on your sofa while he "looks for a job."

selfie
Nobody has any idea how to take a photograph of another person. Or, everyone hates you. What else explains the badly lit and poorly focused horror mugshots your so-called friends produce when pointing their phones at you? Did they try to zoom in on the first pimple you've had in three years, or are they just fundamentally inept at life? Is it absurd to think a person might use the simple photo-editing tools on every phone to change your eyes from demonic-idiot red to their actual color, or to maybe remove that sesame seed stuck between your front teeth? The selfie is your only shot at ever having a decent shot of yourself. Don't be embarrassed. Take as many pictures as it takes to get one of your beautiful face, instead of your flabby arm that somehow got all the light from the flash.

#sorrynotsorry
Text version of the Confederate flag that clarifies your Twitter bigotry as being sincere. Usage: "I really need to remember headphones when I get on the bus. I'm so tired of listening to Asians and Arabs all the time. #sorrynotsorry"