7 (More) Annoying Words That Should Die A Horrible Death
Today’s post continues a loose series of unintelligible nonsense in which I dig into some annoying words and/or phrases that simply grate my nerves.
For a refresher, check out my first post on annoying words.
You may love these words and phrases and use them often. If so, I’ll apologize in advance. I might offend you. But I hope you’ll keep reading my blog. Because I like books, and you like books, so let’s like books together.
Besides, words are so silly. Who needs them anyway? So, at the very least, we should ban the following 7 words and phrases:
Example: “The graphics on the new Call of Duty game are so rad.”
Here’s how I know “rad” is an outdated word, not dissimilar to “stoked”: I watched a movie called Rad when I was around 9 years old. In 1986. About BMX bikers. The main character’s name was Cru—which sounds like someone from The Real World on MTV. So, in sum, you can use the word “rad” if you’re a professional BMX biker named Cru, or if you’re on The Real World. Otherwise, leave it.
9) Beast Mode
Example: “Lebron James is total beast mode tonight.”
Yeah, and you know who’s not in beast mode tonight? You. For using the term “beast mode.” Look, I get it. I play video games, too. Someone in “beast mode” is in the zone. They’re unstoppable. They will run you over in Halo while making an assortment of “Yo’ Mama” jokes. But the problem with saying “beast mode” too often is that, at some point in life, you’re going to need a date.
10) That’s How I Roll.
Example: “I was banging seven-gram rocks and finishing them, because that’s how I roll.” –Actual quote from Charlie Sheen
I used to say “that’s how I roll.” It’s funny. It’s like, hey, I’m a middle-aged nerdy, English major and we both know I don’t “roll.” I don’t walk around with a posse. I don’t have a pimped-up car with expensive rims. I don’t drive with one arm on the wheel while leaning to the right—except when I’m cruising through downtown Nashville of course. I certainly don’t “bang seven-gram rocks,” like Charlie Sheen.
But when I say “That’s how I roll,” it’s ironic. So I say “Yeah, just put the kid down to bed. Wife’s asleep. It’s 8:30 and I’m on the porch reading Infinite Jest and sipping Cabernet. That’s how I roll.” Then you laugh. Ha ha. But that was maybe 5 years ago. And now “that’s how we roll” is a marketing slogan for Hulu and some random sandwich restaurant that I can’t remember the name of (true story). It’s basically the flannel shirt from the mid-90s.
Example: “Dad’s head literally exploded when Sara said she wrecked his car.”
Here’s the thing about “literally.” It’s not interchangeable with “figuratively” or “metaphorically.” So unless dad’s head actually exploded into 1,000 small brainy bits of goo all over the wall and Sara’s face, not unlike the dude who messed with the dynamite in Lost, then dad’s head didn’t “literally explode.” Even as a somewhat self-aware dorky English major, I don’t feel like I’m asking too much here. Don’t use literally unless you mean literally.
Example: “Give me the deets on that organic kale chip recipe! They are totes delish!”
This is just my opinion, and I don’t mean to sound too harsh, but I believe there may be a warm spot in hell for people who shorten words like this. For the uninformed: totes=totally; whatevs=whatever; delish=delicious. Besides choosing to sound like a complete tool, what is your rational for shortening totally to “totes?” Is that extra .00000034 seconds of verbal exercise too much for you? Are you a court reporter who speaks in shorthand?
Example: “Bro, the Nickelback album is sweet.”
I don’t know who invented “bro” as a replacement for the much more acceptable “dude,” but I think it might have been someone in a boy band. I just picture The Backstreet Boys on a tour bus, throwing a verbal barrage of “bros” around. “Bro this” and “bro that.” How does a man look at himself in the mirror at night, knowing that, over the course of the day, he addressed one his fellow men as “bro?”
14) Think outside the box.
Example: “You can’t come up with a new format for the TPS reports? Think outside the box!”
Now we’re venturing into corporate-speak. The irony of “think outside the box” is that it’s become such an oft-used cliché that someone needs to think outside the box to come up with a new phrase that means the same thing. I like Andy Stanley’s response when someone says to think outside the box—“what box?” Creativity doesn’t have boundaries. If you’re thinking “outside” the box, then you’re simply putting yourself in a new limited space. It’s different, but it’s still limited. Why am I getting all serious with this one?
I’ll stop now, before I get carried away.
Apparently, I have a lot of words and phrases that annoy me. Maybe I’m just an old fogey who is easily perturbed.
Or am I partially correct? Do you find any of these words and phrases grating?
(Note: No post on Monday. If you’re in the U.S., have a great Memorial Day weekend!)