You know how a teenager picks a word of the week and uses it so often that hearing it makes you want to gouge out your own eyes? No? Maybe that’s just me. That’s okay. I’ma tell you fools anyway. Because in this post, you guys are the teenager, and I am the eye-gouging victim.
But first, a few examples of Overused Terms.
When I was a child — Lo, those many years ago! — my favorite word as “apparently”. And, truth be told, it still is. It’s okay in a 300-year-old. It’s just annoying and precocious in a four-year-old. I would say things like, “Mama, it’s time for dinners, because apparently I’m hungry!” I’m pleased my mom never replied, “well apparently you aren’t get fed, because apparently I don’t feel like cooking right now, since apparently I’m in the middle of something, and apparently your room needs to be cleaned.” Because that’s something *I* might say if my daughter came at me like that.
Speaking of “annoying”…
My daughter’s word of the week is “annoyed” and all its derivatives. Insofar as this word isn’t too bad under normal circumstances, it definitely falls into “Overused Terms” territory when you hear it several times a day over the course of a week. She was curled up all sour-looking on the couch yesterday, so I asked her what was wrong, to which she replied, “I’m so annoyed with being ill, because all I can do is just sit here,” followed by a sigh you’d expect to have come from a dragon, not an eight-year-old child. The day prior to that, she apologized for the “annoying” volume on her handheld game… which I hadn’t complained about, but which, once pointed out, was, indeed, annoying. And just earlier this week, in the middle of a tickle war, she declared that I should stop being so annoying. I did not call her a bitch. Mother-of-the-Year, right here.
My son’s choice of Overused Terms was twofold.
For a couple years, everything was “sweet”, and I am here to tell you, no that shit wasn’t. Actually, he still does that. There is nothing “sweet” about a nineteen-year-old throwing that adjective around to describe anything even slightly cool. For about six months he couldn’t stop talking about how “swole” he is. I think “swole” is short for “swollen”, as in, his fucking muscles are huge. Hold up — let’s be legit and look that shit up:
Swole: To be jacked or buff as shit. Having muscle on top of muscle and being big. Hitting the gym hard and every day.
Oh, and then “legit” was big for a while on the list of Overused Terms.
I’m so fucking glad that phase has passed. It was being used as a replacement adjective for “sweet”, instead of as “for realz”. My son is legit swole; the size of his muscles are sweet, dude. I even heard — I swear I’m not lying — a stupid teenager use it as an adverb, as in, “legit-ly”. I say unto thee, WTF, you guys? You can see why I want to hit people, right?
Overused Terms I see cropping up in personal blogs.
WHILST — Why you gotta try and be all fancy and shit? Just say “while”, asshole. Unless you’re from the UK. It’s my understanding that you guys actually use this term without meaning to sound pretentious. You guys invented the English language, so you just go on ahead with your bad selves. But if you’re American and you throw this on the table, you merely sound pretentious. Stop that.
Overused Terms in blogs about the art and science of writing:
Chapbook — When the hellz did this become a “thing”? All of a sudden it’s everywhere and people are acting all innocent, like this has ALWAYS been an item of discussion. Look, you guys. It hasn’t, and I’m not fooled, and I’m calling you out here and now. Stop talking about chapbooks as though they are an actual kind of book that has been around on the bookshelves since the times of the cavemen. I am an avid reader, and I am a writer, and I am here to tell you, that shit just came out the closet two seconds ago.
Overused Terms in SEO blogs:
Infographic — It’s a fucking picture, okay? Or a chart. I’m not saying don’t MAKE any more of them — that would be asinine on my part since these colorful graphs are a great way of imparting useful data. Just stop the nonsense. You don’t always have to spin a colorful title for every single god damn thing. Keep it simple, stupid.
Overused Terms in correspondence:
Welp — NOT, as in, having to do with making babies, but as a replacement for the word “well”, which apparently isn’t good enough. I saw this in high school about 500 years ago back when people still handwrote letters, and on reading through my mail I was stupefied. I only saw it crop up a couple more times over the years — never often enough to stick in my craw — but I saw it in an email recently, and on a Facebook status, and in a Tweet, and — god help us all — in a blog post. If you want to say “well”, what is wrong with just saying “well”? Why the extra letter at the end? It doesn’t even making fucking sense.
I can’t handle your repetitive dumb-ness. Stop the insanity.
Not all repetition of phrasing is bad.
Here are examples of phrases, words, insults, and sundry items that will never stop being funny, and thus cannot possibly fall into the category of “Overused Terms”:
Ass-hat and/or jack-wagon.
“Don’t cross the streams.”
“I’m the king of the world!”
“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.”
I could hear these all day, multiple times a day, and never get sick of them. Shit just keeps me rolling, people. You got any more Overused Terms for me? List ‘em in the comments, and then let’s work together to get them banned from these interwebz.