Every year a new crop of “cool” words and phrases suddenly enters the population, sprouting into our language like so many weeds. Literally overnight, the offending words just seem to be there. You can’t really tell where they came from, but suddenly everyone is using them. Then, the next year, or a few years later, the words gradually vanish from use. It’s like the words get used so much that people start becoming conscious of the use, and get tired or embarrassed by the words, so they fade from use and new slang moves in.
Below is my list of the top annoying slang words and phrases in use as of October 2010. You can be certain that a few years from now we’ll all be cringing in embarrassment that we ever used them.
I hate this word and every other word that is used in conjunction with it. Everyone wants to “go green,” they want “sustainability,” they want stuff to be “renewable.” I detest these words and the touchy-feely, Kumbayah attitude that goes with them. I’m all for recycling and getting off of fossil fuels, etc. But why do we have to use such ridiculous words when we talk about those subjects? Recycling and conservation are serious subjects. “Saving the planet” is a serious endeavor. Using superficial words such as “green,” “sustainability,” and such, seems to me to cheapen the subject. The words are superficial because the use of words like “green” and “sustainability” elevate the subject of environmentalism into the realm of “cool.” And “coolness” is such a shallow and inconsequential thing that environmentalism becomes guilty by association.
“Sustainability” and “renewable” don’t even have definite meanings when used in an environmental context. There’s no dictionary definition for them. The “Green” movement and all the words people throw out in its name are completely empty of any definite and universally accepted meaning, so they’re not real words. They’re slang.
The word, spoken in a rising tone that combines disbelief and disappointment. The meaning seems to be along the lines of, “Tell me you did not just do that.” I don’t really know why this word annoys me (not the word itself, but just the word when it’s used in this manner). But annoy me it does, and I detest it with a passion.
Exactly the same as “Seriously?” above. Exact same meaning, exact same tone, only the words are changed. But I hate them both with the same passion.
Okay, I get it.
Typical use is something like, “Okay, I get it, you’re really into her.” The intended meaning seems to be, “Yes, I understand that you like her. I’m tired of hearing about it. Can we please move on to another subject now?”
This isn’t the same use as the similar phrase, “Get it?” which people still use, for example, after they’ve told a joke. “So the guy says, ‘She wasn’t my wife!’ Get it? ‘She wasn’t my wife!’ Ha ha ha.” This use of get it doesn’t really bother me. It’s the other use. “Okay, I get it,” or, “Yeah, I got that.”
Right about now you’re probably thinking, “Okay, I get it. You don’t like slang. You don’t like ‘I got it.’ I get that. Can we please move on now?” No, we can’t, because I’m not done ranting yet.
This one is already fading away, but it’s still in somewhat heavy use and thus doesn’t belong on the “Past Word Fads” list yet. Just in case all the i’s are confusing, this is the word “nice,” but with the “i” drawn out, to either a lesser or greater extent. I roll my eyes every time I hear someone use this. So I roll my eyes quite often.
A very close cousin in meaning to “Niiiice.” Maybe not a cousin; perhaps they’re brothers. I don’t hear this one too often anymore, even less than I hear nice, but “sweet” was very prevalent a few years ago. It was in use before “niiiice,” so I assume “niiiice” must have been the successor fad word to “sweet.” Which must mean they’re father and son, rather than brothers.
This is huge.
Meaning, “This is a big deal,” or “This is significant.” Usually the “u” in huge is drawn out. In many fad words, a lot of the style or meaning seems to be in the inflection of the delivery, rather than in the words themselves. Also, “this” doesn’t have to be the only thing that’s huge. “That” can also be huge, and “it” as well. This offensive fad phrase was huge recently, but like “niiiice” and “sweet,” it’s fading fast.
This fad phrase seems to have been almost completely retired, but I still hear it occasionally, so I’m including it on this list. It means, “I’m sorry, my mistake.” So why can’t people just say, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake?” Why is it more “cool” to say, “My bad?” Is it that people just don’t like using a lot of words?
Yet another fad phrase that is nearly, but not quite, extinct. It’s a challenge issued to an opponent. A shortened version of an equally irritating variant, “Bring it on.”
Why do we have to resort to slang? Why not just stick with time-honored words and phrases that have more staying power than fickle fad words that won’t be in use for much more time than it takes a turtle to fart?