Resolve not to use these words in 2013

The problem with slang is that it goes out of fashion as quickly as it comes in.  Few things sound sillier than slang that’s just a little out of date or that is uttered by someone who is not in the group the slang is supposed to define.  Ginnie Graham of the Tulsa World looks at words that gained currency in 2012 but that now beg for elimination:

Adorkable – Even with “New Girl” starring Zooey Deschanel on my DVR, this word has to go.

Amazeballs – Adding “ball” to the end of a word does not make it better.

Cray, or cray-cray – As in “You are acting so cray-cray.” I hear that a lot from my 5-year-old, which makes me crazy enough to get rid of it.

Totes, jelly, YOLO, fro-yo and all other shortened words and phrases – “Totes” means totally, “jelly” refers to jealous, “You only live once” and frozen yogurt” are the others. It doesn’t really save any time not finishing all the words.

Mommy porn – So, the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy gave us this dreadful term, once known as romance. Oh, how I miss the sweet Harlequin-inspired descriptions.

Jeah – Thank you Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte for mixing “good” and “yeah” into popularizing this weird one.

Percents – The Occupy Wall Streeters supported the 99 percent and railed against the 1 percent. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney complained about the 47 percent. Math confuses me, so I’m out.

Mains – Refers to a close, tight-knit group of people, such as “My sister is one of my mains.” My sister would also smack me if I said that.

Literally – All English teachers and speakers of correct grammar cringe at Rob Lowe’s “Parks and Recreation” character bastardizing this word. To review, literally means it happened, “I literally turned the channel.” Everything else is metaphorical or figurative.

Actually – Might as well throw this one in, too. Actually is literally just as irritating in conversation. It’s a word overused to speak down to someone.

“Actually, blue is not your color, and I do know the definition of literally,” I said before my sister smacked me.

Artisanal – Some marketing hipster is laughing somewhere that adding this to every food label literally increased sales. Actually, it doesn’t mean anything.

via Ginnie Graham: Some words deserve to get the ax in new year | Tulsa World.

What other words or expressions of 2012 deserve to be banished in the new year?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • bob

    We watch a lot of HGTV House Hunters. The show would go off the air if the words “granite countertops”, “stainless steel appliances”, OMG (expanded), and “amazing” were stricken from the language. They can all go in my opinion, but I do like the show. That is, if I overlook the blatant political correctness they imply.

  • bob

    We watch a lot of HGTV House Hunters. The show would go off the air if the words “granite countertops”, “stainless steel appliances”, OMG (expanded), and “amazing” were stricken from the language. They can all go in my opinion, but I do like the show. That is, if I overlook the blatant political correctness they imply.

  • Paul Reed

    Baby Daddy. I know, not really a 2012 word, but a word one hears too much. When I hear the term I wonder: What happened to shame?

  • Paul Reed

    Baby Daddy. I know, not really a 2012 word, but a word one hears too much. When I hear the term I wonder: What happened to shame?

  • #4 Kitty

    While you’re at it could you please throw in “really” and “very”?
    Oh, and I’ve never seen “adorkable”; keep that one.

  • #4 Kitty

    While you’re at it could you please throw in “really” and “very”?
    Oh, and I’ve never seen “adorkable”; keep that one.

  • JVoss

    These are all easy to live without. I love what the curmudgeonly editor Herman in Tom Rachman’s “The Imperfectionists” said about literally.
    “Literally: This word should be deleted. All too often, actions described as ‘literally’ did not happen at all. As in, ‘He literally jumped out of his skin.’ No, he did not. Though if he literally had, I’d suggest raising the element and proposing the piece for page one. Inserting ‘literally’ willy-nilly reinforces the notion that breathless nitwits lurk within this newsroom. Eliminate on sight—the usage, not the nitwits. The nitwits are to be captured and placed in the cages I have set up in the subbasement.”

  • JVoss

    These are all easy to live without. I love what the curmudgeonly editor Herman in Tom Rachman’s “The Imperfectionists” said about literally.
    “Literally: This word should be deleted. All too often, actions described as ‘literally’ did not happen at all. As in, ‘He literally jumped out of his skin.’ No, he did not. Though if he literally had, I’d suggest raising the element and proposing the piece for page one. Inserting ‘literally’ willy-nilly reinforces the notion that breathless nitwits lurk within this newsroom. Eliminate on sight—the usage, not the nitwits. The nitwits are to be captured and placed in the cages I have set up in the subbasement.”

  • Mary

    Fiscal Cliff.

  • Mary

    Fiscal Cliff.

  • Diana

    Let’s get rid of “you know what I’m saying” – quite frankly no I don’t not until you say it. And while we are retiring word/phrases “you know” should be done away with as well.

  • Diana

    Let’s get rid of “you know what I’m saying” – quite frankly no I don’t not until you say it. And while we are retiring word/phrases “you know” should be done away with as well.

  • timothyd

    Ironic – I’ve heard too many people use this word to mean merely “coincidental”.

  • timothyd

    Ironic – I’ve heard too many people use this word to mean merely “coincidental”.

  • DM

    So I’m a bit late to this, but I think “mommy porn” is a very appropriate (and therefore useful) term. If you don’t think romance novels are literary pornography, read the articles “The Online World of Female Desire” by Ogi Ogas and “Books Women Read When No One Can See the Cover” by Katherine Rosman, both from the Wall Street Journal, available on their website. You might reconsider.

  • kerner

    Let’s get rid of “double posting”. ;)


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