17 ANNOYING WORDS AND PHRASES I WILL NO LONGER USE
In 2014, I wrote a piece for The SMH arguing for the retirement of annoying words and phrases like “sweet”, “just sayin”, “#firstworldproblems”, “and typos sent from my iPhone”. Looking back, I shouldn’t have worried. The lexicon we’re dealing with now is way more sinister in terms of smugness and pretension. So here is my highly subjective list of words and phrases I’d love binned in 2022.
1: I CAN’T EVEN: If you “can’t even” be bothered finishing the sentence, why am I listening?
2: CHILL: Avoid anything meteorological to describe a state of being.
3: #Goals: As in #foodgoals #relationshipgoals, #spiritualgoals. Some people say that if you don’t use slang, you’re not part of the gang. But I don’t want to be part of the #goals gang.
4: SYNERGY: If “synergy” had been a buzzword in 2001, David Brent would’ve used it. Is that enough to dissuade you?
5: OPTIMIZE: When you say this word, please know it sounds like your hand is on your penis.
6: BANDWIDTH: As in – “I don’t have the bandwidth right now.” It’s a verbal degree away from, “I don’t have time to listen to your shit.“ We know what you’re up to and we think you’re mean.
7: I DID A THING...: Faux modest baby talk. I don’t care if the “thing” you did was go to Mars, I’m no longer listening.
8: I WAS TODAY YEARS OLD: As in – “I was today’s years old when I discovered ‘stressed’ is ‘desserts’ spelled backwards.” Why not say you just discovered it and stop wasting everyone’s time.
9: WAIT, WHAT?: I beg your fucking pardon?!
10: HACK: ‘Life hacks’, ‘kitchen hacks’, ‘body hacks’. I get it. I also used to think it was fun to compare basic organisational skills with hacking into government networks. But the joke’s over.
11: ADULTING: Cute, but sad.
12: SEX IS GREAT, BUT HAVE YOU EVER…: For those who don’t know, this set-up is big on twitter. As in – “Sex is great, but have you ever lived within walking distance of your local movie theater?” Or, “Sex is great, but have you ever cleaned your room and then lit a candle?” It’s the “hold my beer” of 2021. Avoid.
13: CHEF'S KISS: I use this. And I’m stopping right now.
14: PIVOT: An arse-covering way of saying “backflip”. But everyone gets the subtext, so the jig’s up.
15. A DEEP DIVE: Not sure if it’s up to the diver to say how “deep” their dive is. For instance, my deep dive is the equivalent of Noam Chomsky stepping in a tiny puddle of spit.
16: CRUSHING IT: It feels nice to say, “crushing it”. Kind of like “killing it.” But simply saying “you were excellent” means a lot more.
17: THE NEW NORMAL: From the same Covid lab as "unprecedented times” and “an abundance of caution.” Phrases like these make me miss 2019.
Your turn. What words do you want binned?