Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Words, Man

Mother Jones came up with a list of least favorite words of 2013.  I had been meaning to assess the list but got distracted by squirrels.
Anyhow, the words are below and my take on them, with blue meaning I support the opinion, red means wrong, and [my comments]

  • "#." R.I.P., early Twitter feature. We'll bury you next to your friend, the FourSquare check-in.
  • adverbs. Ban all adverbs. They're mostly just gulp words, really.  [I call bs on all rules of writing that are so categorical.  Adverbs seriously and truly have their place.  Otherwise, how do we modify verbs?]
  • "all the things." [?]
  • "because [noun]": (i.e. "because science.")  [This is only a weak foul and can be handy especially on twitter where brevity is king and queen]
  • "brogurt." No.
  • "classy."  [Nope, we like some old time words used mockingly or even sincerely (hey more adverbs!)]
  • "controversial tweet." There's just no way to make this sound dignified, and besides, it leads to think pieces.  [tis a good thing]
  • "cronut."  [No opinion since I have not tried one yet]
  • "crowdsourced." [What else you going to call it?]
  • "derp." It's been an emotional ride, but it's time to send this one off on the ice floe. [So much derp, so little time, must keep]
  • "disrupt." Luxury car apps aren't disruptive.  [Please, I hate this use of the term, unless we are referring to the weapons carried by foes of the Enterprise--disrupters]
  • "Donald Trump is considering a run for…" No, he's not. He just isn't. And if you'd like to get him unearned publicity, you should at least get some stock options out of it. [Agreed, the more we ignore Trump, the better]
  • "doubled down." Unless the candidate did it while biting into a delicious sandwich, let's just say the candidate "reaffirmed his/her position" on transportation funding or burrito drones or whatever we'll be discussing in 2014.
  • "...favorited a tweet you were mentioned in." No one has ever wanted to know this. [Twittter is already narcissistic enough, thanks--and I should know]
  • "gaffe." It's going to be a long-enough election year as it is. [nope, gaffes gonna happen, it is all in the game]
  • "game-changer." What you're describing probably won't change the game. But if it does, would you want to spoil the moment with a cliche? [yep]
  • "Guy Fieri." What if we all decided to just never mention him again? Would he disappear? [please]
  • "hashtag." This refers to the spoken utterance of the word "hashtag," often accompanied by air-quotes. People can see you doing this. [meh]
  • "hipster." Wearing glasses is not something people do because they're hipsters; it's something people do because they're nearsighted. People don't drink hot chocolate because it's a hipster thing to do; they drink hot chocolate because it's literally liquid chocolate. Yes, I wrote "literally." That's what happens when you use a word so casually and carelessly in think pieces as to render it meaningless. [meh]
  • "I can't even." You can. Dig deep. Find your Kentucky. [agreed]
  • "impact." (When used as a verb.) [A thousand times yes.  Or no, just stop!]
  • "…in .gifs." [no, gifs are great]
  • " one chart." We're aiming high in 2014. Two chart minimum! [No, one cool chart is fine]
  • "listicle." This is the last one. [Less listicles, not necessarily less use of the word]
  • "literally the worst." Actually, while we're at it, let's ban "literally." Literally is the "not the Onion" of fake things. [Unless deployed on Parks and Rec]
  • "millennial." Young people are living with their parents because their parents' generation destroyed the global economy. Next.  [The term is fine, the generalizations about it not so much]
  • "nondescript office park." As opposed to the Frank Gehry ones. [whatever]
  • "not the Onion." [Duffleblog?]
  • "Rethuglicans, Repugs," "Republikkkans," "Demoncrats," "Dumbocrats," and every other variation thereof. Please just use the normal proper nouns; you can add whatever modifier you like before or after. [Sure]
  • "selfie." But what do they tell us about our society, in the digital now? Let's ask James Franco. [Too much about this. Selfies are fine.  People want to document where they are, whom they are with.  Having super good cameras that take instant pictures that are easy to post is a good thing.  Suck it up]
  • "Snowfall." (In the future, a high-cost digital production that doesn't live up to the hype shall be known as a "Skyfall.")  [Um, winter is long here and we need as many different words to cover it, so nope]
  • "the Internets." This was a George W. Bush joke or something, right? You can still use the Internet—just drop the "s." [if it is fun, what is so wrong]
  • "This Town." [?]
  • "thought leader." Mostly beaten out of existence, but don't think we didn't notice that Paul Allen interview, Wired. You're on notice. [If it means we can pick on NYT columnists, it stays]
  • #YOLO. Seriously. [Hey, you don't know what will replace it, right?]

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