It’s that time again when the clickbait that is “top” and “best” and “worst” lists of the year appear. While I don’t think any of these words and phrases are specific to 2018, they are specific to being used and over-used / abused during this past year, and a couple of years prior.
It’s time to give all of these a rest. Sadly, once the sheep hear a new baaa they seem compelled to keep repeating it.
In no particular order:
- Humble / Humbled
- Reach out / Reached out
- Opens up / Opened up
- Step up / Step up to the plate
- Raise awareness
- Watershed / Watershed moment
- Nod to
- Channeling / Channeled
- Standing with
Like many words/phrases on the list I can only assume that this came into more common everyday use when, for example, at some point some news program or talk show did something like quote an “expert” on something. He was likely an academic in the field of economics or possibly marketing, or similar, and opined to the effect that sales of X are down as consumers shy away from buying X when it reaches a certain price-point Then the term relatively quickly crept into more widespread use with the average person, for example, commenting on Amazon that they purchased X for $29.99 and it was a good deal at that price-point but they wouldn’t buy it if the price was higher. $29.99 isn’t really a price-point, is it, but rather it is a price … the price of the particular product. Or, if price-point and price are entirely interchangeable … it just seems rather pretentious to bandy about the term price-point when price would suffice.
Humble / Humbled / Humbling:
While its use has spread across political, ideological, cultural lines I still consider this to be a word most often bandied about by elitist leftists / liberals who want to … well … try to convince you that they aren’t elitist stuck-up snobs. They like to “speak up” (another seemingly favourite term), usually with obviously faked/forced emotion, about how humbled they were by something or other.
I would like to thank all of you for voting me America’s Favourite Person of The Year. It is truly a humbling experience to stand here before you and accept this award.
While I’m sure I could find many annoying uses of this word by individuals I tend to see it most often, in its annoying form, used by corporations / businesses. They like to talk publicly about how they are “proud” to sponsor, and “proud” to “stand with” (another annoyingly over-used term), or “proud” to be a part of (insert some cause célèbre here). It’s the fakeness that is so annoying. While they like to, teary eyed if possible, talk about being “proud to help raise awareness about breast cancer” (as if everyone on the planet hasn’t already heard of this strange thing called breast cancer) they are only doing so because it’s a marketing ploy. Don’t for a moment think that their “giving back to the community” is in any way, shape or form altruistic.
Your new restaurant “boasts” a selection of “world class” (another phrase I should add to the list) wines & spirits, does it? You couldn’t have just said “offers.”
Next time just “tell” me or even “alert” me, for example, to the meeting at the office tomorrow. Please don’t “give” me a “heads-up.”
Very recently, in time, “vintage” and “retro” were all the rage. Now it seems like everything has to “throwback.” What’s that? It’s what … Throwback Thursday? WTF does that mean?
The talking heads on the so-called news seem to frequently love to talk about “pivoting.” Remember the Pivot to Asia? I think that’s were the word really entered into more common use.
Reach out / Reached out:
This one is really a knife between my shoulder blades. It is so saccharine and sickening in it’s undertones and overtones of modern progressive leftist touchy feely-ness. No, it wouldn’t be enough that I phone, or call, or email, or fax, or write to you … but, rather, apparently I should “reach out.”
Opens up / Opened up:
Another bug bear of mine. Like other words/ phrases on the list it isn’t so much the word / phrase itself as it is the usage, overuse, and various undertones and overtones. With this particular phrase it’s a combination of several things that grind my gears. Apparently people want to listen to this washed-up celebrity or that has-been politician “opening up” about … whatever.
Step up / Step up to the plate:
Let me try to make this a compilation for you — I just wanted to give you a heads up that tomorrow night there’s an interview with her on tv during which she will open up about how humbled she was and how she’s decided to step up to the plate and raise awareness .… Oh God … I can’t continue. It’s just too painful.
You’ve all heard this one a lot over the last probably about ten years I think. It seems to have started with everyone and her sister, brother, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece and everyone else deciding to run, jump, walk, row a boat, grow their hair, cut their hair, or do some other silly “challenge” in order to “raise awareness” about breast cancer. It spread from there like wildfire to encompass every disease, condition, syndrome, faux disease, ache, pain, inequality, social justice issue, concern, and cause that one could possibly ever imagine. But don’t get me wrong, as practically every weekend there is some other awareness raising event or fund raiser for breast cancer, and every company on the planet trips over themselves to stick pink ribbons on their products or issue pink versions of their products to “raise awareness,” breast cancer indeed remains the granddaddy (or grand gender neutral elder relative) of them all. What’s that … You’re going to be running 5 miles this weekend to “raise awareness” about breast cancer? What is this strange thing you speak of called breast cancer? I’ve never heard of it. Lucky you were there to run like an idiot through the streets, while traffic is brought to a stop, or I would never have heard of this strange medical condition. Yes, I bet that will help you in your quest to “Fuck Cancer” … Let’s throw MORE money at “finding a cure.”
Watershed / Watershed moment:
There’s not too much to say about this one other than it seems similar to the case of the word “pivot” — Someone used it once, and then dozens of others heard it and decided they needed to work it in, wherever possible, as well. It was a watershed moment with the Trump Administration pivoted to .… was it?
Like using the term “reach out” instead of simply saying “call” or “email” or “phone,” the word “uptick” seems to have entered more common usage over the last couple of years. It’s not enough to just say that crime has increased, if it actually has, but rather pundits and talking heads have to talk about the “uptick in crime.”
This one has similarities to “channel” and “channeling,” which follows. Both are absolutely ridiculous in their now common usage, in my HUMBLE opinion. I’m sure you’ve heard it used.
Channel / Channeling:
At some point in the last several years it became necessary to refer to a wide variety of things as “channeling” someone or something from the past. One of the more common and I would say certainly the most enduring use of this is anything that can remotely draw a Marilyn Munroe reference. Any woman (or these days anyONE who dresses like a woman) and whose skirt/dress happens to billow upward in a gust of wind is said to be “channeling Marilyn Munroe.” Or you’re channeling someone with your choice of clothes, shoes, hair .… Jackie O, a hooker, Cher.
For the purposes of this list this particular phrase could spawn several other additions to the list, as the phrase is often used with or in association with other words and phrases like “standing up,” and “speaking out,” and “making a difference,” and “being the change,” and “activism,” and … a political/cultural leftist favourite … “empowered” or “empowering.” It all makes me want to puke right down the front of myself. Proclaiming yourself to be “standing with” someone (or some group) or, better still, taking a stupid selfy of yourself holding a sign (often just your own chicken scratch on a scrap piece of paper) proclaiming that you “stand with” someone or other (and, of course, immediately posting it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other “social media following” that you have) is very de rigueur. In general it is the behaviour of entitled elitists, middle aged suburban housewives, and poorly educated young persons as a means to assuage their white or other guilt — like the multi-millionaire celebrity who proclaims she or he “stands with” America’s poor, or the politician who lives behind a fence and gate and enjoys taxpayer-funded armed guards proclaiming that he or she “stands with” border-jumping illegal immigrants or those who would strip away your Second Amendment rights under the guise of “common sense gun reform.”
And so, we’ve come to the end of our 2018 List of Most Annoying Words & Phrases. But wait! Before we go there has to be one more.
When you really want to be up yourself it is not enough that you are a partner in a law firm; no, no no, any riff raff can do that. What you need is to be partner in a BOUTIQUE law firm. Or, at least, declare it so. Have a tiny hotel that no one would likely otherwise stay at? Slap the word “boutique” in front of it and triple your room rates. Don’t want rich people to think that you might also, gasp!!, prepare taxes for the scum on welfare? Call it a Boutique Tax Accountancy and charge a LOT more money than you could otherwise get if the snobs that seek you out thought that your hands touched the tax forms of … the POOR!