Top 10 Words That Need To Die, Immediately

183 comments

The English language is full of beautiful words. Like effervescent, and skullduggery, and defenestrate

And then there are these. These blights. Affectations that are completely devoid of meaning. Crimes against the English language that, just by saying them, you can lower any IQ within earshot. 

You may look at some of the words and say, "Those are portmanteaus and acronyms and memes! Onomatopoeias and slang terms! Surely they do not count as words!"

But, these are all things I have personally heard people say out loud. Not to mention their constant, unending appearances in every corner of the internet. These are things ingrained in our language so deeply that, no matter where you say them, no matter who you say them to, these things will be understood. That makes them words. 

Words that need to die. 

10. Bromance

Origin: portmanteau of the words brother and romance, created in the 1990s by Dave Carnie (editor of the skateboard magazine Big Brother) to describe the relationships that develop between male skaters.

Why it sucks: The word bromance exists so two guys can be friends without being accused of wanting to touch each other's junk. It's not homophobia, but it's close. Maybe I'm a little European in my thinking, but two guys should be able to be friends without having to create some sort of no-homo shield around it. Also, portmanteaus are generally obnoxious. Putting two words together to create a new word is not a unique, creative skill. It's lazy kitsch. 

9. Man-cave

Origin: The origin of this phrase is not entirely clear. Some say it was born of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray. In the book, Gray discusses the propensity of men to "retreat" to their caves, or safe havens, to sort out their problems.  

Why it sucks: Man-cave is less a word and more a marketing term, created to sell pool tables and sports memorabilia to guys who feel they need a masculine refuge from their nagging wives. Here's a fun statistic: 90 percent of people who see my home office call it my man-cave. It being in an attic and full of vintage paperbacks and computer equipment, I don't know what makes it a cave, or manly. Here's another statistic: I don't live in a damn cave. 

8. Awesomesauce

Origin: Unclear, though some people attribute it to Strong Bad, a character from the Homestar Runner series of Flash web cartoons, who refers to a cleaning product with the trade name of Awesome Sauce.

Why it sucks: I don't know why someone thought the addition of the word "sauce" to "awesome" would give it more impact. Maybe because awesome used to be a big, grand word meant to describe the beauty of the universe, not the nachos you had at the bar last night. And again, portmanteaus. They are terrible.  

7. Foodie

Origin: The word was created in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, who used it in the title of their book The Official Foodie Handbook. A foodie is different from a gourmet; while a gourmet is considered an expert on food, a foodie is an amateur striving to be an expert. 

Why it sucks: Oh, you're a foodie? So you like food? Guess what? So does everyone else on the planet. People assign fancy titles to the things they do because it makes them feel better (than you). I'm a writer, but what would you say if I started calling myself a wordsmith? Foodies should choke on their locally-sourced organic chicken.

6. Irregardless

Origin: Unknown, but many believe it's a portmanteau of irrespective and regardless. Most dictionaries list it as nonstandard or incorrect. 

Why it sucks: This is not a word! It bothers me that I even need to put this on the list, but I still hear people say it, all the time, and not even ironically. They say it because they think it's a real word. But even on the face of it, it doesn't work, because it's a double-negative. The ir- and the -less essentially cancel each other out. This is a jumble of stupid. 

5. Fail

Origin: Unknown. Fail has appeared as an interjection in Urban Dictionary as far back as 2003. Google Trends indicates that internet users began exchanging and searching for pictures labeled with FAIL in 2004.

Why it sucks: This word needs to be put out to pasture, and not just because my mom used it in a text. It might have been clever the first couple of times it was used, because don't we all love laughing at the misfortune of others? But like any joke, by the 9 trillionth time it's been told, it's just not funny anymore. This word, by the way, is rendered even more dangerous by the addition of the word epic.

4. Nom

Origin: A derivative of om-nom-nom, which was first used by Cookie Monster in Sesame Street, and later made popular by brain-numbing web travesty, the lolcat. Technically an onomatopoeia, or a word that suggests the source of the sound it describes.

Why it sucks: More kitsch, and the worst kind. It's a cutesy, childish sound, nearly on the same level of babytalk, but adults use it. Adults! Who are talking to other adults! It's like saying wah when you're upset. Is this what we've come to, America? Babytalking each other?!?

3. Totes

Origin: Unknown. Some believe the word was coined in 2009 by Paul Rudd in the film I Love You, Man. Totes actually appears in Urban Dictionary as far back as 2003. 

Why it sucks: Every time I hear totes I think of tote bags, so the usage is a stumbling block on my path to understanding whatever idiotic thing was just said. It forces me into a hate-spiral of twisted logic: "Oh, this person meant to say 'totally,' but substituted an abbreviation, because shaving off two letters saves time, except for the fact that it took me longer to process what they meant, and then I started thinking about this... and now it's all gone to hell."

2. Winning

Origin: Charlie Sheen. 

Why it sucks: Charlie Sheen.

1. LOL

Origin: The oldest written record of LOL was from a message typed by Wayne Pearson in the 1980s on Usenet. On March 24, 2011, LOL was formally recognized in an update of the Oxford English Dictionary. 

Why it sucks: This is a bane on language. It is barren of meaning. It's barely a punctuation mark. Whenever someone types LOL in conversation, I want to hold them to that: Really? Did your epiglottis actually just constrict your larynx, producing the sound of laughter? Or did you just type it, to take up space, because, why not? 

I think it's the lack of authenticity that bothers me about LOL. To type it is to say that you're expressing a basic understanding of amusement, and nothing more. It's fodder. What um is to public speaking, LOL is to typing. 

And the people who say it out loud. Oh, the people who say it out loud. They are damned. 


Those are mine. Now show me yours. What words do you think need to be eliminated from the English language...

Photo by Pieter Joost Lemmens

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Comments

Sean P. Ferguson's picture
Sean P. Ferguson February 25, 2012 - 4:50am

No-homo

JC Piech's picture
JC Piech from England is reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest February 25, 2012 - 5:32am

Oh dear...

'Abusing' the English language? Language changes, and will carry on changing no matter how hard you all whine about it. And if you're so against the shortening and merging of words, stop using most of the words you're currently using, because they've come from a process of shortening, merging, and changing in pronounciation. No one here seems concerned about using 'maybe' or 'already'. I bet everyone says 'said' as 'sed' rather than 'say-ed' which is how it used to be pronounced... PLUS, English is a cocktail of different languages anyway - French, German, Latin, Gaelic.

Why does it matter SO much what words other people use??

Holly Helm Kline's picture
Holly Helm Kline February 25, 2012 - 5:35am

"Factoid"...what is this intended to mean? The suffix "-oid" denotes resemblance. Is a factoid therfore something which resembles a fact, but is not one? Why even introduce a "factoid" if this is the case?

Jason Jones's picture
Jason Jones February 25, 2012 - 6:57am

Guesstimate may put me in my professional grave. When people say it I always want to ask are you guessing or estimating your figure? Can we wipe out "pacific" when it is said in reference to something in particular? Flustrated makes me cringe too. Thank you for letting me vent in an accepting forum.

Erin Oneilbaker's picture
Erin Oneilbaker February 25, 2012 - 7:56am

I nominate: conversate (v.) - the hellish godchild of converse and conversation.  I agree with "LOL"'s placement on the list, unless noise is coming out of your mouth as you laugh.  As for "foodie" I disagree.  Foodie is more than someone who likes to eat, it's the level of appreciation of food preparation, technique and origin, but I believe it must be used properly.

Abbot's picture
Abbot February 25, 2012 - 8:47am

Awesomesauce is an example of assonance, that is repetition of a vowel sound. That explains its proliferation. It's the same thing that helps popularize a lot of profane compound words, like: dipshit, fucknut, asshat, and more.

Elizabeth Stern's picture
Elizabeth Stern from Denver is reading Adverbs February 25, 2012 - 8:59am

Addicting- is not a word!!!

Dwwright99's picture
Dwwright99 from Toronto is reading The Information, Cryptonomicron, Smart Enough Systems, Creation (GV) February 25, 2012 - 9:10am

"awesome" all by itself. Most times I hear people (young mainly, sorry) say this, I think "no, not awesome." Although rarer, "literally awesome" is ... well... I have no real words to describe my level of disdain.

cooper36's picture
cooper36 February 25, 2012 - 9:13am

The annoying, overused phrase "I'm not a fan of" needs to go.  

"That's hysterical" when the situation is only slightly funny & "you know" or worse, "you know what I mean".  People use "you know" as a filler or to replace "um-eh" while they're trying to get a point across.  They should just pause & stop speaking.

I agree with previous posters, "why it sucks" made the author appear as stupid as the people being criticized.

 

Ansberto Gonzalez's picture
Ansberto Gonzalez February 25, 2012 - 10:01am

I hate CHILLAX.

I also hate when people use "WOOT WOOT", in person to person conversation its "WOO HOO" I have never in my life heard some use "WOOT WOOT: but I cringe at the day that I do hear it.

I also hate the substitution of "AX" for "ASK"   as in "She axed him a question."

 

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines February 25, 2012 - 11:27am

We should all play golf the way we play with words; yes, there are rules and yes protocol exists, but what fun is that if we follow all the rules all the time? Language is fluid and begs to be fucked with. 

Based on the places I have seen this piece turn up/re-posted, it is evident Rob Hart knows wassup. 

 

DT's picture
DT February 25, 2012 - 12:09pm

"Bling". and definitely agree with "axed" instead of asked. and "aight" for "all right"? has got to go.Black slang is fine, but when white people start using it constantly, YEARS after it was introduced, it has got to go.

toni-is's picture
toni-is February 25, 2012 - 1:31pm

I cringe when I see WTF.

Gary Blackburn's picture
Gary Blackburn February 25, 2012 - 1:41pm

"lol" is pretty bad, I hate the words "soz" and "lmao". I can at least understand "lol", as it conveys your humor in a situation. But "soz" instead of "sorry" is completely stupid, and when people say "lmao", I almost always ask, "did you really laugh your ass off? You are now assless?"

Jim Covington's picture
Jim Covington February 25, 2012 - 2:23pm

Strategize...Please eradicate this word, It scrapes my ears.

Gigi A Rose's picture
Gigi A Rose February 25, 2012 - 2:38pm

not only does the term mancave not refer to my vagina but I should stop using the term mancave when inviting people to pleasure me? :(

 

nintendofangrl's picture
nintendofangrl February 25, 2012 - 3:07pm

Why do you hate the Internet, Rob Hart?

eirikodin's picture
eirikodin from Auburn, NY is reading Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler February 25, 2012 - 3:51pm

You forgot twilight, I really hate that word lately.

Spencer F's picture
Spencer F from Connecticut is reading A Song of Ice and Fire: Game of Thrones February 25, 2012 - 4:04pm

I must admit, I've used all of these "words" before, but only with comedic value in mind. I'd never blurt out "LOL" for any reason other than to poke fun at the subject of overused acronyms.

Irregardless is the only word here that seriously must die. The thought that the dictionary even acknowledges it depresses me. If it's not a word, it doesn't belong anywhere in the dictionary.

If there were a list of words that people need to learn, "irony" would be number one, that's my biggest peeve. "How ironic! We both have the same coach purse! LOLOL!" IS THAT IRONIC? REALLY? YEAH? DEFINITELY NOT COINCIDENTAL, RIGHT? ...and they probably own a smartphone too. Sigh.

Lizzie's picture
Lizzie February 25, 2012 - 4:10pm

I imagine the author sipping his tea with his pinky finger extended.

Donald Elder's picture
Donald Elder February 25, 2012 - 5:41pm

I feel like people miss the ball on "bromance."

Words like bromance do bespeak a systemic cultural homophobia, but not necessarily any homophobia on the part of the individual.  Sure, that sucks a little. But they also provide a pathway to having a more affectionate relationship with another man without experiencing anxiety from the social gaze. That rocks a lot.

It can be argued, at least for now, it does more good than harm.

Daniel Waters's picture
Daniel Waters February 25, 2012 - 5:49pm

Please eliminate furbaby while you are at it.

hellogitu's picture
hellogitu February 25, 2012 - 6:26pm

My pet peeve: when people use "hysterical" to decribe something funny. WRONG!

Hysterical = exhibiting emotional excess (e.g. crying hysterically)

Hilarious = extremely funny (e.g. to be "hysterical", laughing at some "hilarious" dance moves.)

 

The words "hubby" and "veggie" also make my skin crawl.

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 25, 2012 - 9:19pm

Doesn't getting upset drive these words? Won't people just say them even more just to bother folks?

Mark's picture
Admin
Mark from Lexington, Kentucky is reading The Chronology of Water February 25, 2012 - 10:41pm

My pet peeve: when people use "hysterical" to decribe something funny. WRONG!

 

Hysterical = exhibiting emotional excess (e.g. crying hysterically)

Hilarious = extremely funny (e.g. to be "hysterical", laughing at some "hilarious" dance moves.)

An excellent distinction for everyday or colloquial use. People once said "hysterically funny" or "she was hysterical with laughter" to describe only one particular kind of emotional excess. A person could just as well be crying hysterically or swinging wildly between laughter and tears or any other kind of emotional response that's out of proportion to surrounding events--and an onlooker might judge that behavior a manifestation of hysteria. But dig a little deeper and you may not like the word, at all.

Hysteria, the noun form from which the adjective "hysterical," of course, derives, is a psychiatric diagnosis so rooted in sexist assumptions that psychiatry has been driven to abandon it. Until the 17th century, hysteria was thought by Western medicine to be a physical disturbance of the uterus. When the diagnosis got psychologized in the 18th and 19th centuries, you still couldn't really have hysteria if you didn't have a uterus. The etymology of the word puts it in a camp with other things that apply only to women, like the surgical procedure "hysterectomy."

Therefore, if we're going to be completely scrupulous and unfunny about the language, a strong feminist critique might suggest ditching "hysteria" and the derivative "hysterical" all together, except when referring to historical usage.

wowbobwow's picture
wowbobwow February 26, 2012 - 6:12am

Whenever I hear that something is "on trend" I die a little inside...

 

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words February 26, 2012 - 11:20am

"product" - not in the mathematical sense, but in the commercial. Anything reduced to its role as "product" robs it of everything of value, and boils it down to its role as trinket sold in exchange for money. Particularly loathesome when applied to art, living things, food and birth control.

sonicspeaker's picture
sonicspeaker February 26, 2012 - 12:30pm

The term "hipster" is certainly overused to describe or ridicule. I'm sure to many people the word means different things by now. For example there is the awful, popular Hipstamatic app for iPhone that puts vintage filters on photos. In my own personal opinion, whenever someone uses this word in denouncing something or a person, I think the person is definitely lost. My own idea of a hipster at this point (due to such overuse) is simply someone who enjoys critiquing art, but doesn't even make art themselves. The reason I think of it strictly as this is because it seems the word is generally meant to ridicule and denounce a person and their personal style. So that's the only way I can handle hearing it anymore is to believe it is only these types of people. Like "hippy" likely was beginning in the late 60s, it's just a really poor term to describe someone who may actually have a lot figured out for themselves.

Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade February 26, 2012 - 1:50pm

It's a cutesy, childish sound, nearly on the same level of babytalk, but adults use it. Adults! Who are talking to other adults! It's like saying wah when you're upset. Is this what we've come to, America? Babytalking each other?!?

Yes. The Dumbing-Down of America. The opening lines of this funny, exasperated screed are another key point that irks me: the English language is huge and varied. Try using some cool, borderline archaic words, though, and you risk embarrassment of your audience and outright contempt (because you're "pretentious").

English: huge and varied and these "words" are the dregs.

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines February 26, 2012 - 7:28pm

@Boone Spaulding, I find your " air quotes" to be pretentious ; ) 

@Mark, thank you for classing the conversation up. I am going to burn my bra and cease to use hysterical or hysteria anymore, except of course when referring to the 1987 Def Leppard album by the same name, assuming your GOP candidates haven't already proposed a re-naming, given the word's feminine lineage and their apparent right to lay hands and limitations on everything uterine and ovaryish. 

montdidier's picture
montdidier February 26, 2012 - 9:42pm

A Tote in Australia is common slag for keeping an open pool on a bet. i.e. A bookie would keep a tote. I've only heard of the bag association more recently. 

Holly Helm Kline's picture
Holly Helm Kline February 26, 2012 - 10:07pm

"concerning" as in "the current trend is concerning" in place of "of concern is the current trend"...

gypsy1027's picture
gypsy1027 February 27, 2012 - 12:39am

I would like to submit "epic" to the dead pool. Epic should be used to describle such things as Homer's Iliad or the Civil War. NOT your new nail polish, or your fails, or your night out with your dumb friends.

John's picture
John from Brooklyn, NY is reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis February 27, 2012 - 12:16pm

I'll throw my hat into the regionalism ring and say that " 'nother" along with many, many others I can't think of right now is a (non)word that is ingrained in me from growing up and living in Texas for most of my life, despite having an English teacher for a mother. Go figure.

Most if not all of these would irk me if I read them in writing intended for a general audience. I often type "lol", but would never dream of saying it in everyday speech.

Question for the more learned here: I recently got in an argument in which I claimed that "ingenuitive" was not a word, and that the correct term was "ingenious". My friend looked it up on her phone and it was there in the dictionary, but listed as "nonstandard". Verdict?

I also cringe whenever I hear sportscasters use the word "resiliency". It's considered "correct" but....WHY??? Is "resilience" not good enough? Is there a word for this kind of weird "double-adjective/double-noun" gobbledygook?

sparkle's picture
sparkle February 27, 2012 - 1:14pm

"Impactful" must go.

Vonnegut Check's picture
Vonnegut Check from Baltimore February 27, 2012 - 6:42pm

I hate all words. Burn them all. Let us speak in pictures only.

Banz's picture
Banz from Brisbane is reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman February 27, 2012 - 11:39pm

Regarding "nother", or specifacally "a whole nother".  It's my understanding that this is an example of tmesis which is the verbal process of splitting a word in two and adding another word in between the split parts.  Like "un-bloody-believable".

(Chalk tmesis down as another piece of quite interesting information I learned from QI.)

Mark's picture
Admin
Mark from Lexington, Kentucky is reading The Chronology of Water February 27, 2012 - 11:53pm

I recently got in an argument in which I claimed that "ingenuitive" was not a word, and that the correct term was "ingenious". My friend looked it up on her phone and it was there in the dictionary, but listed as "nonstandard". Verdict?

It's telling that if you go to onelook.com and enter "ingenious," you'll get links to over forty different reference sources which include it and among them are gold stardard names in word reference that long predate the Internet. If you enter "ingenuitive," you'll currently see only two reference sources that list it: Wiktionary and Urban Dictionary.

It's equally telling that the online etymology dictionary at etymonline.com has no entry for "ingenuitive" (the word has relatively no history) while the same source dates "ingenuity" to the fifteenth century.

But neologism isn't necessarily bad or false. High genius of our language, William Shakespeare, is said to have coined over 1700 words that remain with us in common use.

Most people who push new coinages are not Shakespeare, of course, and even Shakespeare wasn't brilliant in every single stroke.

Sometimes a new word or the new use of an old one has a sort of artificial and temporary life that's driven by media or by the corporate cultures that created it. If it sounds faddish and pushed upon culture by marketing execs with inflated egos, it probably is and probably deserves to die. But if it just sounds different to your ears, you may need to give it a little time to learn how it shakes out. It's always valid to interrogate a latecomer word as to both its origins and its usefulness. Is it a mere synoym for an older and more elegant word that already does the job perfectly well or does the newer word offer additional possibilities?  

My first judgment: Non-standard? Definitely. Bad, redundant, useless, a false innovation? Not necessarily. It seems like we have a noun form of this would-be contender, "ingenuity," with a longer history and an important sense of inventiveness and cleverness in problem solving that closely relates the hopeful meaning of "ingenuitive" to "ingenious" but suggests that the two may not be blandly synonymous.

Then it gets really interesting, because I dug into the etymology of "ingenuity," and it originally belonged to "ingenuous" and meant "characteristic of nobility" or by figurative extension "generosity, noble-mindedness." The modern sense of ingenuity relating to cleverness or problem solving skills is rooted historically in error!--in the rampant confusion of the words "ingenious" and "ingenuous," which have always meant quite different things.

Some might say that the mistaken use of "ingenuity" to refer to acts of creative problem solving and imagination has been repeated long enough and in "high enough" places that it's now "right," for all intents and purposes, so why not derive other related forms? But I'd have to counter that this entangles us in a problem of circular reasoning. 

Verdict: "Ingenuitive" is the bastard child of what was a linguistic error in the first damned place, no matter who made it or how often. The more discerning user of the English language probably doesn't need it. And yeah, that's a verdict that opens me to the wrath of militant cultural relativists who conflate prescriptive ideas of language with anti-democractic sentiments of every kind. They are wrong. Caring about these intellectual trifles and making educated distinctions are vital components of the only activity that separates us from the future portrayed in the film "Idiocracy." It's well enough that "ingenuity" acquired a new meaning through repeated error; we can leave it at that and not persist in our folly.***


ingenuity
1590s, "honor, nobility," from M.Fr. ingénuité and directly from L. ingenuitatem (nom. ingenuitas) "condition of a free-born man," figuratively "generosity, noble-mindedness," from ingenuus (see ingenuous). Etymologically, this word belongs to ingenuous, but in 17c. ingenious and ingenuous so often were confused (even by Shakespeare) that ingenuity has acquired the meaning "capacity for invention or construction" (first attested 1640s).

source: http://www.etymonline.com

***And yes, I know what William Blake said about the fool who persists in his folly.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 28, 2012 - 12:13am

Adorbs  (short for adorable)

I don't want to hear that unless a girl is saying it about me, to her friend, not directly to me.

Even then, there are many other words I'd prefer.

Sam Sturdivant's picture
Sam Sturdivant from Hayward, Ca is reading Murphy February 28, 2012 - 9:47am

LOL and Irregardless are two of my biggest pet peeves.

 

Elizabeth George McCafferty's picture
Elizabeth Georg... from Fort Worth TX is reading The Woman in Black February 28, 2012 - 11:03am

After reading this, I had to pause long enough from clawing my eyes out in order to put in my two cents...

1) Bling - makes me want to projectile vomit;

2) Holla - makes me want to annihilate the cute, perky 19 year old who most likely said it;

3) "That's what she said..." - kill me quickly;

4) "I'm just sayin'..." - Don't say it, you stupid dillhole!!

There are more out there, I'm sure, but I don't have the time or energy and I have to get back to clawing...

MikeSpice's picture
MikeSpice February 28, 2012 - 1:04pm

What an 'awesome' list of words to eradicate... ;)

Everytime I see these lists I am reminded of a quote...

"It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words..."

There are words I hate, but can I really wish they would be removed from the language? How else am I going to tell if you are careful with your words, or if you care about the things you say, if we eradicate all of the words that show us who is using sub-standard speech? Wait, what am I thinking: we must destroy all of the bad words and keep only the good ones...

To that end, my least favored words:

Woot: yuck. There never was and never will be a 't' sound on the end of that exclamation. Strangely it reminds me of Whitman's great "Yawp"...

LOL: Even worse is LOOOOL or LOLOL, as if the writer has no idea what LOL stands for in the first place. Laughing out out out out loud. Laughing out loud, out loud... Yeah, right, sure you are. You are making me hysterically confused... Rolling on the floor searching for meaning...

My bad: yes, your bad grammar. Your saying "my bad" does not make me more inclined to forgive you, in fact, much less so, because you are stupid and you do not deserve forgiveness. On the other hand, you had the humility to own up to your mistake, so I might make an exception just this once...

Man-cave: Akin to Al Gore's Interent, I invented the man-cave, although we just called it the cave, a gender-neutral tribal space. In a college friend's walk-in closet in 1989, we created a tribal wisdom cave. You could make cave paintings and cave poems on the walls of the cave. And there was no pool table, just walls for making cave paintings and writings... Man-cave is just a re-branding of a traditional space within the home: I think they used to be called "the den"... something animalistic about that... or "the study"... yeah right, men go to the study to study...     

Bro-mance sounds like it is actually gay. I am not a fan of the word. How is this different or better than friends, or best friends? Basically, romance between straight men just does not sound straight to me. It is oxymoronic at best, tending toward incestuous in its most literal sense. 

Winning: yeah, we are already done with that one. 'Winning' is an 'epic fail'...

Epic: In adventure sports such as surfing, skiing, snowboarding, sky-diving, mountain climbing people do fairly epic things: big waves, cliff and cornice jumps, big-air inverted aerials, things experentially way beyond the norms of human experience, with 'literally epic' amounts of danger and risk of bodily injury. In such contexts, it is a more fitting choice of word, and you are not likely to dissuade such sportspeople from using it anyway. On the other hand, such exploits rarely save the tribe or nation from a great danger or conflict as in the Iliad or Beowulf... Having said that, I agree that your drug-and-alcohol-fueled shenanigans last night were less than epic, unless of course your actions saved the nation from impending doom.

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines February 28, 2012 - 5:46pm
karsoe's picture
karsoe from Sydney, Australia February 28, 2012 - 10:15pm

"Hella" and "amazeballs" should be taken out and shot.

karsoe's picture
karsoe from Sydney, Australia February 28, 2012 - 10:23pm

Also, going and was liking instead of saying is sadly not regional, unless you want to count Australia as a part of northern Indiana. Teens in Sydney say it all the bloody time.

Mark's picture
Admin
Mark from Lexington, Kentucky is reading The Chronology of Water February 28, 2012 - 11:08pm

Also, going and was liking instead of saying is sadly not regional, unless you want to count Australia as a part of northern Indiana. Teens in Sydney say it all the bloody time.

And here I thought every white person in Australia was the descendant of a Brit expelled from debtors' prison to the glories of colonialism. Turns out, they're actually displaced Hoosiers.

Jake Walker's picture
Jake Walker February 28, 2012 - 11:18pm

 ‎*ahem*
Tragesty.
Ridicularious.
Scrumtrelescent.
Verbing. (as in verbing a noun. Science is a verb now. So is "Myagi" and "Food," for starters)
I say that this list is hypocritical. For the love of Benji, *Shakespeare* used portmanteaus. He *abbreviated* the *slang* of an *expletive* ('Zounds!) Really? We're going to quibble over stuff like "Totes" on a media whose very name is the worst slanged (verbing adjectives? There's a Jake for that) version of an appalling portmanteau? "Blog" Blaaaaaaaaagh. Totes vom' f'rillz.

Let's be honest. It's not really the words we get mad at. English has always been terrible. No, we just hate the people who use them without caring about where they came from.
So don't get mad at "LOL." Don't even get mad at the people too busy to capitalize it. Get mad at the idiot who doesn't know it ought to be capitalized because it's a freaking acronym.

Tl;Dr:
If you can't stand the slang, get out of the language.

PS: Bee tee dubs- I (as far as I know) coined the first two. More like portmantawesome, amirite?

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig February 29, 2012 - 10:58am

Why does it matter SO much what words other people use??

I can't understand the motivation behind asking this question in response to an article featured on a site by writers and for writers.

Obviously words matter, and we will have opinions on the words others choose. I will go as far as to say, that it matters SO much because we do have a living language, and the words we accept today are the words that will be standard tomorrow. I'd much rather have an ever evolving language than one that gets dumbed down continually--and yes, many of the words on this list are dumbed down.

R.Maddin's picture
R.Maddin February 29, 2012 - 2:31pm

VAJAYJAY.  I can't stand that "word' !!

It's nothing against women or that specific part of their anatomy (i'm really quite a fan), but that word just rubs me the wrong way.  :)

 

morbo's picture
morbo February 29, 2012 - 3:29pm

Man, don't you just hate it when slang terms emerge that you aren't young or cool enough to have been on board with from the beginning, in fact you're so out of it now you can't even trace the relatively transparent process that creates them? I should make a list of those words.