Twenty five clichés guaranteed to irritate
Strolling through Georgetown, Washington D.C., I was passed by a Millennial straight out of central casting who was exhibiting all the wrong and hurtfully stereotyped behaviors of the Millennial.
This Millennial was walking briskly, slaloming around slower pedestrians while gabbing loudly on her earphones. As her words tumbled forward, faster than coherently, she was oblivious to the other sidewalk humans she startled as she intently sped by in her own personal bubble.
Her obliviousness was annoying, but that wasn’t the problem. It was when she screeched, “I was actually so like totally, you know, LMAO!”
I thought we were so totally over LMAO.
Along with LOL, ROFL, ROFLMAO and other texting acronyms connoting various stages of amusement. I thought LMAO was as hackneyed and passé as AOL. People still using laughter acronyms in work email, or in responding to Facebook friends or texting real friends, seemed so, you know, pre-Obama.
Nope. Apparently LOL and its bastard children have transmogrified into commonly used words and spoken language, further destroying our standards, culture and society.
You may argue that LOL is now in the Oxford English Dictionary — the 20-volume bible of accepted English language with type so small you need a magnifying glass to read — and nobody died.
But the OED also includes “absquatulate” (“to leave somewhere abruptly”). The 15 people who know the word “absquatulate” tend not to use it in order to avoid being slapped repeatedly on the face unto death. LOL belongs in that category.
Yes, I know, it’s a waste of time and needless irritation to be bothered by stupid language that makes people sound stupid.
Carping about new lexicon makes someone seem old and Pecksniffian. Nobody wants to seem old or as if they sniff peck. LOL!
But if anyone wants to avoid sounding like a wrongfully stereotyped Millennial, or any other clueless numbskull knucklehead nincompoop dummkopf with the brains of cooked German potato salad, I would suggest avoiding the many new clichés — and several oddly resurgent old ones — that have become staples of internet writing and even real and fake news media thanks to the evisceration of editorial staff.
My top-25 list of expressions to avoid:
1. Taking by storm
6. The internet/Twitter is breaking/blowing up/outraged/etc.
7. Watching like a hawk
8. Grave disservice
9. Can’t hold a candle
10.Singing his/her praises
11.The big reveal/spoiler alert
12. Millennials this and Millennials that, like in my opening anecdote
13.Got your back
15.Let’s camp out on that
16.Let’s unpack that
17.Let’s put a pin in that
18.Let’s park that
19.Terrified by (when not actually life-endangering; e.g., chased by a grizzly)
21. Just sayin’, totes, cray, just wow, YOLO, random, my bad, amazeballs, it is what it is, sorry not sorry, paradigm shift, trigger warning, keeping it real, dawg, livin’ the dream, I can’t even, and crazy good. Also, wassup brosef I’m straight chillin’ dude, cool beans with awesome sauce, and slang from Urban Dictionary too disturbingly filthy to forget
22.Ten surprising things about this, and everything you need to know about that
23.President Trump is doing a fantastic job fulfilling his promise to Make America Great Again. The nation and economy are much stronger than under the Democrats. If illegal immigrants don’t like their children ripped from their arms and incarcerated, then they shouldn’t illegally come here.
24. Ok, I’m not crazy about Trump’s tweeting, divisiveness, incoherence, pandering to hatred and other actions besmirching our presidency and country. But Trump is no worse than the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad criminal Clintons. Whatever Trump does, the Clintons were worse.
25. It’s a witch hunt.
These are just the top 25 in my list of roughly 18,000 most irritating clichés.
You might have your own list. Let’s camp out on and unpack that.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer