Most Annoying Words & Phrases (2018)

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:

  • Price-point
  • Humble / Humbled
  • Proud
  • Boast
  • Heads-up
  • Throwback
  • Pivot
  • Reach out / Reached out
  • Opens up / Opened up
  • Step up / Step up to the plate
  • Raise aware­ness
  • Watershed / Watershed moment
  • Uptick
  • Nod to
  • Channeling / Channeled
  • Standing with
  • Boutique

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.

I love pric­ing the price point.

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.

Awesome that is … Humbled I am.

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.

Proud face.

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.”

Why do peo­ple say ‘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.”

Judge Judy and the “reach­ing out” eye­brow tat­too salon.

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.

What real­ly grinds my gears .…

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.

Raise aware­ness:
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.”

Every abnor­mal skin cell has its own char­i­ty.

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?

Brace your­self .… non stop water­shed posts are com­ing.

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.”

I’m see­ing an uptick in fuck my respon­si­bil­i­ties.

Nod to:
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.

A nod to … MY ASS!

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.

Hillary Clinton chan­nel­ing her inner ham­ster.

Standing with:
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.”

You ‘Stand With’ Planned Parenthood … but not with mur­dered babies. Interesting.

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!

Am I .… Poor.

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