Auld Lang Syne


typewriters-13648 Once a year the Oxford English Dictionary releases a list of new words and/or phrases they (whoever “they” might be) have deemed acceptable enough to officially add to their fabulous book.  Usually this is due to each word or phrase being used so often that the keepers of language choose to give in and accept instead of standing up and fighting against these lards of language. Normally there is at least one entry that disturbs me, and probably you, greatly.  Recent additions include “defriend, twerk, derp, selfie, bestie” and the inexplicable “c**tish, c**ty” and other derivatives of “c**t.”  I was hoping the “c**t” was maybe a joke by The Onion, but I am sad to report it is real.  You can see it here. Over the past few years, while reading more and more blogs, Facebook posts, shorts stories, flash fiction, and other things, I have noticed a few words and phrases that have become quite trendy.  So trendy in fact that I am countering the annual dictionary additions with words and phrases that I want stricken from regular use.  Feel free to agree, disagree, and suggest your own.  Typewriter-and-Elephant


1.  “See what I did there?”     This is a variation of “I see what you did there.” This phrase is usually used when writers have written something they perceive as clever.  However, they realize that either A. the rest of us won’t agree upon the cleverness or B. they already know it’s not clever.  If they alert you to their witty wording too obviously, they’ll seem like a tool.  If they don’t alert you at all, they risk appearing stupid.  The result is something so intentionally obvious that it becomes childishly funny.  To them. The earliest known origin to me was when Billy Crystal said it in When Harry Met Sally, written by Nora Ephron.  A few years later, Crystal used it again when he wrote Mr. Saturday Night.  It likely wasn’t the first time he stole a joke, and it won’t be the last.  However, please do your best to make sure your most recent use of the phrase is also your last use of it.  resized_jesus-says-meme-generator-you-see-what-i-did-there-99070d


2. Cross out text This is used when someone attempts to be funny by writing two different things but crossing out the real one and leaving the one they would normally want you to believe.  For example:

I got so absorbed reading a bunch of crap on Facebook getting my homework done that I never ate dinner.

When it was new, it was very funny.  The first time I saw it, I laughed, no doubt.  I even remember who had written it – a certain not a redhead.  But now either I’m old, it’s old, or both.  If you really want to be funny, try it like this instead:

I got so absorbed getting my homework done that I never ate dinner.  It isn’t every day that my homework includes accepting invitations for Candy Crush, returning “pokes,” and finding out which Game of Thrones character I am most like.

typewriter shoes1  


3. And by ____ I mean ____ This one is very similar to the “cross out text,” it’s just a matter of relocating the cross-out text and then removing the cross-out.  I’ll use the same example as in #2.

I got so absorbed in getting my homework done that I never ate dinner. And by “getting my homework done” I mean getting lost in Facebook for an hour and a half. 

Same shit, different place. what i mean


4. Interweb For about five minutes, this was a cute way for someone to refer to the internet using a term that might be used by one’s grandmother.  To put it plain and simple – it’s not funny anymore.  It hasn’t been funny since Bush was President.  Untitled


5. Literary pen names As you probably know, I’m not opposed to using a pseudonym, or “pen name.”  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.  However, there is something wrong with using a name that just so happens to be the name of a well-known writer.  A quick glance at my Twitter feed shows these names:  

Atwoodbauer-edits

Baldwin

Bloom

Burns

Collins

Chandler

Greene

Huxley

James

King

Leonard

Oates

O’Connor

Rowland (too close to Rowling)

Sparks

Thompson

Wadsworth (too close to Wordsworth)

    and

Whitman

I’m sure that for one or two, it is their actual last name.  Looking back, I suppose I should apologize to Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates.  Sorry, ladies.   typewriter


6. Someone had to say it Yes, but it did not have to be you.  This line usually appears after someone has said something they perceive as edgy, something that makes them seem as if they have a unique form of brutal honesty, which, contrary to popular belief, is a form of bullying and is (yes) brutal but (no) honest.  It is used by people who want you to believe you need to mind your P’s and Q’s around them because you just never know how far they will go or what might leak out of their mouths next. This is the equivalent of those who like to talk about how “crazy” they are, because if one is truly crazy, they don’t know they are crazy.  And if one is truly “edgy,” then they will let the “edge” speak for itself.  It’s like giving yourself a nickname, which is about as lame as you can get.  I know a guy who gave himself the nickname “Rock.”  This douche is the last guy in the world who deserves such a strong nickname.  He’s a old fart with social issues so severe that sometimes he can’t even answer the phone for fear of having to talk to a stranger.  The closest he comes to a “rock” is what’s in his head. said it


 7. “If this gets into the wrong hands…” This one is normally used in fiction, specifically science fiction or action/adventure stories when one of the good guys develops an ultimate weapon and demonstrates it for other good guys.  With all due disrespect to originality, the weapon always ends up in the hands of the bad guys.  Anyone who would actually write this line has no business touching a keyboard. Speaking of something being in the wrong hands, there’s probably a fork nearby that’s in the wrong hands because I’m hungry. hands _________________________ 

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35 thoughts on “Auld Lang Syne

  1. You already know I dislike all the c** words and many of the other examples you used above. One of my least favorites of the current favorites, although it’s not a word is: ” So. Over. That.” or “Not. Ever. Again.” or phrase using a period after every word to provide emphasis. Hate. Loathe. And. Despise. It. :-)

    janet

  2. The awkward moment when… I hate it when people jump on the trend-wagon, it’s annoying. Be original. Rock. My ex was called (baptized and everything) Roch (pronounced rock) he was the weakest no back-boned individual I’d ever met!

    See, take me (TAKE ME!) for example (I wasn’t finished) my nickname is Marr Bulls (pronounced marbles) and it fits me! Because I’ve been looking for my marbles since I lost them! But it’s a roller derby name, hence the edginess of the bulls. By the horns and all…

    That and I hate Marie. Well, actually I like it when it’s pronounced as it should be, in French, and it sounds like Maddie. But if I tell people my name is Marie (aka Maddie) then people say “Maddie?’ No, Marie. Maggie? No, Marie. Mappy? ??? Who the hell would be called Mappy?

    And then there are some who just call me Smirky. Which is as cool as Marr Bulls.

    I like it when you post stuff like this. Much more fiun than movie reviews. Someone had to say it…. And that fork, well if you see it in the road – take it!

    • fork taken. i never knew “marie” should be pronounced like “maddie.” kind of how hermione says “harry” in the harry potter films. definitely good to know.

      trends are called trends for a reason. they’re temporary until something more interesting (either good or bad) comes along. the worst are trendy colors to paint your kitchen or living room. about six years ago it was that pear green color. i think it’s overwith, but i’m not sure.

      one thing that is never trendy are cool people. they usually stay that way. ;)

      • ha! i’m just a derby girl. oddly enough, i’ve never considered myself to be either lady or woman. probably the lack of kids has never given me the fully graduated to womanhood feeling… you know, if a man feels lesser of a man because of hair loss, then it’s only normal that i should feel lesser of a woman for my total incapacity to have kids. so yeah… derby chick is a title i can handle.

  3. I like the post a lot. I have a few that I hear on almost a daily basis that I could do without. Here is the one I dislike the most.

    “At the end of the day” – Heard in a meeting when there are very different ideas on the table about how to solve an issue. The person holding the meeting will say, “At the end of the day we have to fix the problem.” To which I want to add, “I thought that’s why we were in the meeting.”

    I think I will start using interweb in meetings and see if I become cooler.

    • at the end of the day – dangit – someone i know keeps saying that, and just last week i was thinking about how annoying that is. but now i can’t remember who keeps saying it. might be someone on the radio because i listen to a lot of radio. gonna drive me nuts if i don’t remember.

      next time someone says it in a meeting, stand up, start to leave, and say, “ok. i’ll be back at the end of the day to take care of that.” and then go home. or to an afternoon baseball game. they’re the best.

      thanks for reading and enjoying and sharing your thoughts.

  4. The c-word derivatives don’t bother me, I suspect this is simply unique to the US. Have worked over in the UK where it is more common, I simply don’t attach the same ‘ick’ factor to it.

    The rest, funny. I don’t see most of them all that often. I am guilty of the ‘crossing out’, mostly because I write in Word and use the function of Review, sometimes forgetting to accept edits. Are you certain this isn’t where it originated from? ;)

    • not appalling at all. more creative than interweb. as for cross out text, it all depends on how often you see it elsewhere. when i first saw it, and a few times, i thought it was very funny. but after a few years i didn’t want to see it anymore. i think that’s what came first, then “and what i mean by ___ is ___” which was also good. but then someone needs to go to the next step.

      but i’m no blog expert. just my opinion.

  5. Not sure how I missed this earlier, but I thought I would join in.

    I’m with you on all the points you make in your post, plus at the end of the day, if you see what I mean, are we all singing from the same song sheet? And other similarly inappropriate phrases.

    I saw the piece about the ‘C’ word in the paper and like you i was appalled, then worried about the repercussions ‘it’s in the OED dad so it must be OK to use the word’…

    Keep up the good work.

    May I ask a favour re our conversation about my writing? I would be grateful if you could cast your critical eyes over a piece I posted last week http://40again.com/2014/04/16/tuesday-morning-on-the-10-25/
    when you have some free time, that is…

    Thank you
    Dee

    • putting it in my calendar to read that later tonight. thanks very much for letting me know.

      as for the “c” word, i didn’t even think about that idea, the “it’s in the dictionary” thing. that makes it even worse. ugh.

      thanks for stopping by and sharing thoughts.

  6. One advantage of having English as a second language is that I do not have to be trendy.. I can be excused from old-fashioned writing.. but there are some new words I really love.. Like moxie, I came across the other day.. cool new word, that makes sense to me… and new words are cool..

  7. Ha so I have used cross out text but in reverse. I cross out the lie/coverup and leave the truth. I think I used the interweb word just the other day. Sadly, I had never used it before. Dare I admit, hadn’t even heard it, and thought I was clever. Nope I stand corrected dear Richard- I’m just not funny anymore. ;)

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