More words I abhor

I’m starting to realize that neologisms in popular culture often spread not because they are more pleasing to the ear or more expressive, but because the speaker sounds “cool”—is that word still used?—when using the latest argot. One I’ve seen all over the place lately, perhaps because of the success of the “Crazy Rich Asians” movie, is this:

rom-com (romantic comedy). It looks as if it rhymes, but pronounced properly it would be “roam-cahm”, not “rahm-cahm”.

This next one really ticks me off, as it’s used almost exclusively to show off (phrase-flaunting):

bae (significant other, boyfriend or girlfriend). If you ever catch me saying this, you have the right to shoot me.

Making “clever” abbreviations of the names of individuals or “power couples”, for example:

Queen Bey (for Beyoncé’; also “The Beyhive” for her followers). She’s not a “queen” anyway, as I find her music way overrated (yes, I’ve listened to it).
Tay Tay Taylor Swift, for God’s sake!
Bennifer  (for the couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, now split)
Branjelina (for the couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, also gone their separate ways)
TomKat (for the couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, now also split)

Perhaps a double name is a curse on a relationship.

These grating double names for “supercouples” were not used in the past, but it’s now considered hip (is that word still used?) to use them. Here are a few that could have been used in an older Hollywood, but mercifully weren’t:

TayBur  Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
SpenceKat Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn
Miatra Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra.

You get the idea.

Yes, I know language evolves, so you needn’t inform me of this. What I noted were words or phrases that irritate me. This seems to be a recurring thread, and I always enjoy what irritates the readers.

179 Comments

  1. Dib Siverack
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I particularly dislike “cray-cray”

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Oooh! I should have mentioned that one, too. And her are two more:
      “fam” for family
      “vacay” for vacation

      • David Harper
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        We call them holidays here in England, not vacations.

        There is, alas, an annoying neologism: holibobs. Gah!

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Holibobs: That is annoying! It’s baby talk as favoured by ‘girls’ who have a little job in publishing to keep them busy until the Trust Fund & Marriage kick in. Girlies named Ping from Cheltenham Ladies College, Haberdashers’ or Roedean – second cousins to some minor royal. Pip Pip!

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            There is, on NZ TV, some superannuated sports commentator flogging ‘Funeral cover’ insurance and he says ‘Tickety boo’. Yet another reason for wanting him to make use of his policy at the earliest possible moment.

            While we’re on ghastly names, how about what Jamie (!) Oliver has inflicted on his spawn:
            Petal Blossom Rainbow
            Poppy Honey Rosie
            Daisy Boo Pamela
            Buddy Bear Maurice
            River Rocket Blue Dallas

            If that isn’t child abuse, I don’t know what is. You know you’re in deep doodoo when the least cringeworthy of your selection of monickers is ‘Maurice’.

            cr

            • rickflick
              Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

              Those kids will have a hard time in school.
              (unless they attend the “Boo Boo Honey Academy for the Barely Human Offspring of Celebs”).

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 1, 2018 at 3:23 am | Permalink

              I suppose now he’s wealthy he can stop pretending to me a Cockney Sparra, salt of the Earth geezer & expose his pretensions & his middle class roots.

            • Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

              But “tickety-boo” is old school – it belongs to my parents’ generation (and I’m nearly sixty) or earlier.

      • Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Or “peeps”! (When referring to one’s associates, rather than the fluffy candy).

        • Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          Hey! I use that. And “tweeps” for folks on Twitter.

          /@

      • Merilee
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Staycay is even worse.

        • Diane G
          Posted September 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

          Makes me wanna shout, May Day!

  2. Joseph McClain
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The reference to Dick & Liz reminds me of this great song that manages to be quaint and timely all at once. It’s the late Doug Sahm, one of the beacons for the turquoise-wearing, cowboy-hatted hill hippies of the 70s. I was one of those.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      “… the turquoise-wearing, cowboy-hatted hill hippies of the 70s …”

      Them boys was kin to the Outlaws, like “Willie, Waylon & Me.”

      • Joseph McClain
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Doug Sahm once said, “I’m a part of Willie’s world, and I love that world. But I’m also a part of the Grateful Dead’s world.”

  3. Barry Lyons
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    “Rom-com” doesn’t bother me at all, But I detest “bae” to no end. Wow, do I hate that!

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Rom-com is no worse than other eye rhymes such as hi-fi or sci-fi. I expect it will survive as it refers to an enduring genre.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Or wi-fi.

        I’m not sure what its origin is – the ‘wi’ is ‘wireless’, obviously, but the ‘fi’? I assume it’s from nowhere, just a sound-alike to ‘hi-fi’.

        Every motel has it, of course, but I’m never sure whether it should be pronounced “why-fie” or “whiffy”.

        According to Google, “Wi-Fi is simply a trademarked phrase that means IEEE 802.11x.”
        So now we know. A bit like “DVD” in that respect, then. And easier to ask the motel desk for the “Wi-fi password” than the “802.11a/b/g/n password” 😉

        cr

        • Bob
          Posted September 1, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          In Germany, it is pronounced – wee fee.

          Also, a cell phone is called a Handy. A far more descriptive noun.

      • Posted September 2, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I detest “sci-if”. The only serious abbreviation for “science fiction” is “sf”.

        /@

  4. busterggi
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    What – no va-jay-jay?

    • BJ
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Hey hey-hey! That vajayjay is cray cray bae!

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      “Vajazzle” [or vagazzle] is a fine word though! I learned it off an accidental encounter [while channel flicking] with The Only Way Is Essex. Female genital decoration using glued crystal ornaments on the shaved mons pubis. A big thing as part of ones visit to the beauty parlour for the fortnightly orange spray tan & eyebrow tweaking.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        Yuk.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Wasn’t that coined by Elizabeth Taylor, or did she popularize it?

  5. Charles Kinsley
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I know this is on neologisms, but they mostly disappear. My only irritant is the overuse of existing terms, often in novel settings to signal (something?) or display current knowledge of culture. Awesome, y’all!

  6. freiner
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    In the spirit of TayBur for something we fortunately never had to hear, we might also be glad to have never had:
    Char-Par (for Charlie Parker),
    Bud-Hack (for birthday boy Buddy Hackett), or
    Jay-Clamp (for Jed Clampett, though I kinda like that one — I can imagine Jeth-Bo saying it).

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Did you hear the rumours about Don Quixote and Andy Dick’s secret relationship? They’re calling them Don Qui-Dick.

      • freiner
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Great! But I hadn’t heard that. I do know that Don’s sidekick is involved with the rapper Dru Down. You know: Sancho Panz-Down.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Wow! I guess those two were a lot more sexually liberated than the book implied. Good for them I say.

  7. eric
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    The double name thing always struck me as nothing more than Hollywood insider status seeking. Paparazzi trying to show off their in-ness to other paparazzi, one entertainment show trying to outdo the other. It doesn’t bother me because, I guess, I never considered those conversations to be something to be concerned about. Sort of like listening to two vapid teenagers on the bus, it doesn’t bother me because it’s not my world; they can speak to each other however they like.

  8. Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I saw a picture of my daughter with a lad on FB, and he had written ‘Me and my bae’.

    I had to Google it, and it was the first I had heard of it, in more ways than one.

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    “Cool” is used extensively in the children’s world – books, songs, and children themselves and especially the educators and related people.

    Don’t ask me how I know that.

    And I assure everyone it is never Miles Davis level cool.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Miles was the quintessence of Cool — at least when he wasn’t actin’ the Prince of Darkness.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      ‘Cool’ is indeed used regularly by my 16 year old as well as by my 7 year old. It does not appear it will disappear anytime soon (and I confess I’ve used it too).
      ‘Awesome’ appears to have lost some of it’s popularity, my 16 year old used it last at least a few moths ago, if not a year. The 7 year old has never used it. I do use it on occasion, but only for things that really are awesome.
      The ‘Deeeuh! is also still in. I prefer it to rolling eyes or the shoulders going up and “whatever”. The latter should be reserved for Mr Trump’s tweets, I’d propose.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        ‘Orsom’ or ‘ossom’ (you mean it’s spelled ‘awesome’? I never would’ve guessed) is one that gets me too.

        “Would you like sugar in your coffee?”
        “That’d be ossom, thanks.”
        No it would NOT be awesome. A volcanic eruption would be awesome. The Grand Canyon is awesome. The SR-71 is awesome (if you’re a airplane freak). Sugar in your coffee is not, was never, and could never ever be ‘awesome’.

        cr

        • rickflick
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

          That was jus’ plain ossom, thanks.

        • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          “Ossum lo-cal sweetener?”

          /@

  10. Roo
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    “Yaaas”!

  11. rgsherr
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Haven’t heard of most of these. Guess it takes a while to make it up into northern Nova Scotia. But one I dislike is “normalcy”, and ugly sound rumored to have been invented by another of our great presidents, Calvin Coolidge, when he couldn’t remember “normality”.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I think it was Warren G. Harding who came up with “normalcy.”

      Speaking of Harding, there are those who say that in these treacherous Trump times, we should take a good look at Harding’s scandal-filled presidency. That’s on my list.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Harding is the guy Trump moved outta first place for “worst ever.”

        At least with Harding, nobody realized just how bad he was until he was dead. He was actually pretty popular during his brief stint in office.

        No such luck for the Donald. He’s been a disaster from Day One.

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      That’s one of my pet peeves too and the fact that ‘normalcy’ is so widely used.

  12. BJ
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I think the spread of the internet and attendant rise of constant exposure to media bubbles has greatly increased the memetic potential of neologisms. I’m too young to remember, but did so many neologisms pop up in so short a time in decades before the internet? Notice that many of these neologisms have been pushed by media outlets that serve a younger and more “hip” audience.

    • BJ
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I never bother posting my own examples when it comes to these “examples of [language thing] I hate” threads. If I start a list, I won’t be able to stop.

    • eric
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I’m too young to remember, but did so many neologisms pop up in so short a time in decades before the internet?

      Yes, but 90% of them don’t survive more than a decade or so. Same thing will happen here; the millenials may invent lots of neologisms, but when they have children, those children will think most of their parents’ neologisms are uncool, stop using them, and invent their own. Then the millenials will be in Jerry’s situation of writing articles about all the newfangled slang they hate. 🙂

      • BJ
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        I know they won’t survive, but I don’t remember hearing nearly so many new phrases and neologisms when I was in middle or high school.

        • eric
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          Well we all have selective memory, often we remember the stuff we like (or strongly dislike) while forgetting the meh. That’s another reason why people tend to think music of ‘their generation’ was better than today’s music – they remember the good stuff, but forget all the – heh – forgettable musical crap that was put out in ‘their generation’ too. Meanwhile, they’re hearing today’s forgettable crap on the radio.

          But here is a link to ’80s slang. You can probably also find pages for ’90s slang, ’70s slang with a few searches. Scrolling down the list, some of it survived but most of it – thankfully – was consigned to the dustbin of history. As will most ’10s slang, 30 years (or less) from now.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        ‘uncool’, I’m sure we have a stayer with the ‘cool’ expression: the ‘cool’ attitude.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        One that does seem to have survived remarkably tenaciously is ‘cool’.

        And also the neologism ‘meme’ (invented by Richard Dawkins, IIRC). I think we can conclude that ‘meme’ has considerable memetic potential (to borrow BJ’s phrase). It fills a lexical gap.

        cr

  13. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Maybe they are just jealous of the acronym champs of the world – the military. It is so over the top there, the DOD has a joint publication 1-02 dictionary and you can look at many of these on line if you get bored. Some of the newer ones are – GOBI, General office of bright ideas or IYAAYAS, If you ain’t ammo, you ain’t sXXX. Even the place I worked for many year was an acronym – AAFES, Army & Air Force Exchange Service.

    • J. Quinton
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      There are even abbreviations that contain other abbreviations. When I was in the Air Force, on the honor guard, there were acronyms like NFP (NCIOIC [Non-commissioned officer in charge] of the Firing Party) or NFB (NCOIC of Pallbearers)

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        I was in the Air Force also, but that Honor guard stuff would be too spit and polish for me.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure about the military examples you’re giving into ‘house and garden’ language (never heard any of them), but AWOL and MIA have definitely become common usage.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        And of course SNAFU, along with its derivative superlative FUBAR which seems to have overtaken its originator in popularity.

        (I often see ‘foo’ and ‘bar’ used as terms for named variables in programming tutorials).

        cr
        (Situation Normal, All F*cked Up
        F*cked Up Beyond All Recognition
        – but you all knew that)

  14. Colin
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    One term which drives me bonkers that has become ubiquitous, especially with politicians is “moving forward”. Listen for it.

    Another word that has strangely become overused, and used thoughtlessly, is “absolutely”. Millennials seem to love this word and employ it in every sentence. Listen for it.

    • AC Harper
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Plus ‘lessons were learned’ – when they were obviously not learned from previous occasions.

      Not a neologism as such, just a verbal tic to get to the end of the sentence/interview.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      ‘Absolutely’ generally just meant ‘yes’, albeit more empathically so. It was a mild epidemic in the 90’s, but I think the millennials are moving away from it now: ‘moving forward’, as it were.
      I have absolutely no problems there.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Or ‘totes’
      (‘totally’, I presume)

      ‘Totes amazeballs.’
      (Aaaaaaaarrrrrggggghhh!
      Thank you, I feel much better now.)

      cr

    • Richard
      Posted September 1, 2018 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      I know someone aged 26 who uses ‘literally’ to mean ‘very much’.

  15. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Bae: According to urban dictionary the Danish word “bæ” means “poop” – I intensely dislike facile euphemisms such as poop, rest room, passed on, though there’s plenty of comedic euphemisms that are great [Shakespeare, Chaucer etc].

    Rom-com: “It looks as if it rhymes, but pronounced properly it would be roam-cahm not rahm-cahm.” Where’s it pronounced like that? Boston? In Britland – it nearly sounds as it looks & it’s a handy portmanteau [? can’t be bovvered to check] word for stuff to avoid on NetFlix. 🙂

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      ‘passed on’ niggles me, especially if the ‘passing’ was sudden and not natural.

      I seem to recall even seeing policemen use it in bizarrely inappropriate contexts – “Thirteen people have passed on” (no, they were shot by a serial killer on a shooting rampage)

      cr

  16. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Whadda ’bout “Javanka” — the portmanteau of Jared & Ivanka?

    Givin’ that one a pass?

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      What about “what about”?

    • Christopher
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      So should we use the name “ProstiTrump” for His Orangishness and whoever the most recent person he happens to be paying to pee on him?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        I’m certain he doesn’t indulge in water sports – The Orange germophobe reputedly watched a bed being pissed on by prostitutes in the Presidential Suite, Ritz-Carlton, Moscow because Obama slept in it, but his involvement would have been strictly ‘hands off’.

        • Christopher
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          Oh yeah? Well then explain how he gets his hair and skin to be that color?

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            LOL

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

            Looks to me like the Donald has gone a shade or two lighter lately, with a new Summer Blonde look.

            I’ve encountered that particular hue but once before: I was peeing alongside an arroyo in the Sonoran desert at dawn, leaning back admiring the arc, when the first glint of sunrise shone over a distant mountain range and glimmered off the stream.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

              Are you responsible for Francis Collins’ conversion?

              • mikeyc
                Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

                HA!

                Thanks.

                I needed that.

          • W.T. Effingham
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            How does he get his hair and skin that (those) color(s)? Only his team of Image Consultants know for sure. There is likely a non-disclosure agreement preventing the entire team from divulging any of that sacred information. Besides,it any nine of twelve of his make-my-natural-handsomeness-even-better specialists could share, you’d get at least nine, if not more than twelve varied answers.
            Most of the time, he appears to be the victim of a sick prank.Sad!😐

            • W.T. Effingham
              Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

              Besides, if any nine or twelve…not it/of…😯

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            It comes out of a can, is my guess.

            Apparently contestants in ‘pageants’ all use spray-on tan.

            cr

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          “Hands” got nuthin’ to do with it.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Mr Steele was careful to point out that that (is is?) story was not backed by solid evidence. One of the great plusses of the Steele report is that he assesses the solidity of his info. As a true professional like Mr Steele would.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, the info in the dossier is raw intelligence. Christopher Steele’s educated estimates is that about 85% of it is accurate. So far, nothing in the Steele dossier has been disproved, and much has been corroborated.

  17. Bruce Lyon
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    It’s all good. Perhaps this one bugs me because of an association with a person who always used it in response to a situation where things were not all good.

  18. davidintoronto
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the pronunciation of “rom-com” comes from the same tradition that spawned “sci-fi”? In the latter case, the “fi(k)” of “fiction” becomes a “fye” to create the rhyme.

    • Draken
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Or from sitcom.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      We always used ‘essef” for Science Fiction. Although an SF afficionado, it generally was more F than S.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      A good way to annoy loved ones is to endlessly come up with asinine new portmanteau terms for everyday things:

      for example ho-cho for hot chocolate, ho-do’s for hot dogs, frodo key for front door key, A-chay for armchair, pet-stay for petrol station, etc.

      For added effect try and cram as many of them into a single sentence…eg. “where are the frodo keys, I’m taking Elizabeth, our yun-dor(youngest daughter) and Jack our yun-son, to get some ho-do’s. I’ll have to stop at the pet-stay on the way-way hun-hun. Bye bye.”

      It’s remarkably, violently effective.

  19. Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Adeva — a well known Austro-Germanic couple.

  20. Martin Levin
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Where to begin?

    1. Most of management-speak, such as the execrable “going forward,” as if there were an option.

    2. “Impacted” as replacement for “affected” or “influenced.” It’s frequent use makes me want to practice a bit of dentistry myself.

    3. “Chomping at the bit” when the phrase is “champing at the bit.”

    4. “The proof is in the pudding,” which means nothing (unless there’s clue to a crime or treasure hunt), when the actual aphorism, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” does signify.

    5. I am unreasonably infuriated by the replacement of “raises the question” or “poses the question” with the now ubiquitous “begs the question,” a form of logical error, the meaning of which is being lost.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Even worse is the adjective made from it — “impactful.” “Impacted” should be reserved for wisdom teeth and feces.

      • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        I’m cool with “impact” and derivatives. They lend themselves to punchy writing.

        /@

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      In my corner of the academic world (the California State University system). ‘Impacted’ is now used to describe over-enrolled campuses, classes, or programs. The admistration also refers to this as ‘impaction.’

      A new one here is ‘tenure density.’ This describes the ever shrinking ratio of tenure/ tenure-track faculty to adjunct faculty. In the spirit. Of this thread I’m going to call this ‘ten-den.’

  21. Christopher
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    It could be argued that my disdain for popular culture language abuse, by hipsters, hip hop, or “reality” tv stars, is due to my teetering precariously towards middle age, however, even as I was entering my teens I found an increasing disgust for the nonsense spouted by my peers. At that time, everyone was a “dawg”, you might call up a radio station to give a “shout out” to one of your “homies”.
    I cannot help but wonder how I would have reacted to being a teen during the 1960’s hippie years or the 1920’s. Perhaps I’d have been just as irritated, rather than amused.

    • Christopher
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I forgot another word that grated on the ears: phat. Everything that once was cool was rebranded as phat, or the equally annoying use of the term in the neo-hippie Phish subculture, where everything was “phatty”, as in buying a “phatty” burrito or ”phatty nugs” from some dude in the parking lot. Ah, the days of stale patchouli, body odor, and rotting dreadlocks on middle class kids…

  22. Julian C
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Just came across “synergize” as in — “we are about to launch and synergize various social innovation/impact/enterprise initiatives”.

  23. freiner
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “Price point” for “price.” Hearing that brings me to a boil point.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I have not heard “price point” used instead of “price”. In retail there are specific price points [RRP’s] to be aimed for such as £1.99 – the retailer knows that she must buy the item at £0.83 to sell on at £1.99 if she wants to achieve 100% mark up + VAT [20%]

      An example of Price Points is the retail chain for a greetings card
      Manufacturer sells for £0.35 to a C&C
      C&C sells for £0.83 to retailer
      Retailer sells for £1.99 to the public
      At each stage the markup is 100% plus VAT

      • freiner
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        It’s all over the place in the States, and almost always just as a souped-up way of saying “price.” Just this morning I heard a local television announcer say, “I like that price point” while talking about some sale on pies or refrigerators or something. The only reason I say “almost” is that somewhere out there amid all the clutter there might be a micro-economist on some public forum using it correctly.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          A well I apologise for my assumption re “price point” – the US never ceases to astonish 🙂

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Many here in the US use “price point” for “price” indiscriminately. I frequently hear it used that way, and at first, I couldn’t figure it out. I think people are using it because it sounds more professional or something.

        Something that steams me is the way so many corporations now call their main physical location a “campus”; and not only big corporations, but it’s trickling down. Soon Subway and Taco Bell will have “campuses.” Far fetched? Remember KFC “university.” John Wayne Gacy was a graduate.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          A campus was a cloistered educational/religious facility – live & work all in one. It is rather pompous I’ve thought for Microsoft & Apple to apply it to their HQ – perhaps they hope their hothoused serfs will forget to go home if they make the place cosily college juvenile?

        • freiner
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          While at the same time, US campuses (i.e., colleges and universities)are becoming more and more corporate. It all balances.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Maybe not a language point, but I get really irritated by the 1.99 , 99.95, 12.99 or 49.95 instead of 2, 100, 13 or 50. Be it pounds, euros, dollars, rands or pulas, very irritating.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          The .97, .95, .99 price endings don’t bother me at all – I pay by debit card for everything except tipping. It’s also a challenge to spot the pattern – besides being an anti-theft measure & a bit of psychology, the last two digits are often used as a code for the floor staff.

          95 = double commission if you shift this to some poor bugger
          50 = you can throw in for free as an inducement to buy the 3yrs warranty

          Electronics stores do this a lot – they survive off the printer inks, media, cables/connectors and warranty & run at a loss on the hardware: tablets, printers, scanners, drives, sticks etc

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t know that, but it’s doubtless why I find it economic to buy my hardware from electronics stores and my accessories off Ebay.
            (Yes I’m a cheapskate).

            The .99’s don’t bother me, I automatically round them up to the next dollar anyway.

            cr

          • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

            The increased use of cards seems to be having an effect (or impact). Because there’s no longer the need to force staff to give change to ensure the purchase is put through the till, full pound or +50p prices are becoming more common.

            /@

  24. Draken
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Now I’m not certain Jerry did it on purpose, but where it comes to ugly neologisms “significant other” easily takes the cookie (although it’s not that neo anymore).

    Anyway, most of the newspeak mentioned probably arises from the use of mobile devices with limited screen space and nonexistent keyboards.

    • Draken
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Oh and, two other peeves:

      * Inappropriate use of the indirect tense: a good time was had by all. If you express it this way I suspect it wasn’t.

      * Ditto with abstract terms used in plural: many functionalities were added to the program (how about: a lot of functionality, or: many functions).

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I took a couple years off between undergrad and law school, and the first time I heard “significant other” was at law-school orientation in the early ’80s. I was like “say wha?” It’s still not a term that falls trippingly to my lips.

  25. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    As a certified old white guy, I figure any slang that’s arisen in, say, the last quarter century is sorely outdated by the time it reaches my ears, so will use it only with a self-mocking ironic spin, as though to tacitly acknowledge my own un-hipness.

    That’s not to say I don’t use a lotta slang. I do. But mine’s a blend of stuff I’ve picked up over the years from 1930s hobo rail-riders, Fifties Bebop musicians & Beats, some prison argot from clients, and — of course — the Sixties Sex&Drugs&Rock’n’Roll patois that’s like aural mother’s milk to me.

    • Diane G
      Posted September 1, 2018 at 3:33 am | Permalink

      Far out.

  26. Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned before (probably by me!), but losin’ the ‘g’s on the ‘ing’ really grates with me. Speakin’ as a regular reader, when young, of the Just William books, it was fine when William Brown dropped his ‘g’s, but it’s not when otherwise fluent speakers do. Two offenders that come to mind are Priti Patel and Sam Harris. I mean, I might expect it from a Tory Brexiteer, but Sam? Come on; ‘ing’ not ‘in’.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Fuckin’-A. I’m a notorious g-dropper myself. But then, I just serve as the amanuensis for the voices in my head, and a lotta them drop their “g”s, too, probably because they’re from the same blue-collar neighborhood I grew up in. Hell, I was 17 before I ever heard anyone pronounce the “g” at the end of “fucking.”

  27. Claudia Baker
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    As a high school teacher, over the years I heard a lot of slang and neologisms. I was always asking my students what the meaning was of this or that word. And, what was “cool” was always changing. One that stands out is: “Don’t get all up in my grill!” Translation: “don’t bug me”. For some reason, it tickled my fancy and I would use it sometimes when a student was testing my limits. They were not amused!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Not to get all up in your grill ‘n all, but the idea of you sayin’ that to those kids makes me giggle. 🙂

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        🙂

  28. Keith
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Something tells me JAC doesn’t want to be called “Jer-bear.”

  29. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The word ‘problematic’ makes me want to do very bad things indeed.

    A slimy, spineless euphemism used by finger-wagging types who have mastered the art of the passive-aggressive smear.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      You do appear to have a problem there, since it is undeniable some things simply are problematic. Just think of your present POTUS, for good measure.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      “The word ‘problematic’ makes me want to do very bad things indeed.”

      Oh, YES! I absolutely agree with your sentiments. A contemptible weasel word if ever there was one.

      It ranks up there along with ‘inappropriate’, which is invariably misused.

      cr

  30. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    …and ‘woke’ of course. A smug smile in semantic form. I have a particular horror of all those words that white people use to signal how supremely relaxed they are about race, words that are flagrantly ungrammatical and that they’d never normally accept.

    It’s so patronising – like adopting baby language, or SPEAKING VERY LOUDLY when around foreigners.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      That last reminds me of Hemingway’s line in “A Clean Well-Lighted Place,” when he says the young waiter spoke to the deaf man “with that omission of syntax stupid people
      employ when talking to drunken people or foreigners.”

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        I’ve long had trouble with “well-lighted” — why didn’t Hemingway just say “well-lit”? Well-lighted sounds stuffy to me. But then the legal system using “pleaded” is another one, when “pled” is shorter and works just as well, and is smoother on the tongue. This is what the website Above the Law says https://abovethelaw.com/2011/12/grammer-pole-of-the-weak-pleaded-v-pled/. What does our distinguished lawyuh plead on this usage?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          I use them interchangeably, but more often go with “pled,” especially in simple past-tense constructions, as in:

          “Is that defendant going to trial?”
          “Nah, he pled.”

          My experience is that most lawyers (or at least most criminal defense lawyers and prosecutors) do the same, though they may answer “pleaded” in polls, since they think it sounds more formal and correct.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          As for Papa, “lighted” may have been more popular in the Thirties when Hemingway wrote the story (or at least more popular than it is now). It may also have to do with his story presumably being set in Spain (though no location, and, famously, hardly any other background detail, is given in the story itself). Hemingway was known to use odd English constructions to capture the feel of a foreign language. For Whom the Bell Tolls is lousy with ’em. 🙂

          • Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            And For Whom the Bell Tolls is wonderful. Just don’t give it to high school students as assigned reading.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted August 31, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

              It’s not The Sun Also Rises, but I like FWtBT ok. I know it’s a lot of people’s favorite novel, like ever, including John McCain, and maybe Barack Obama.

  31. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I find “concerning” concerning. It seems to be a new darling of the punditocracy, as in “Sen. Foghorn’s habit of leaving the cloaking room with his fly down is concerning.”

    Now, I admit to not finding “troubling” troubling, or “disquieting” disquieting, but “concerning” seems so namby-pamby. Plus, it’s often used in the form “it is concerning,” so you don’t know who is concerned or why.

    • Rod Wilson
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I would have thought they’d say that..
      “.. the Senators habit of leaving his fly down is problematic”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, “problematic” is also problematic — as equally insipid, too.

    • Paul Matthews
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      I detest “concerning” in the sense of “troubling” or “worrisome”. To me the word should only have the sense of “regarding” or “in reference to”. I don’t recall hearing it in the first sense twenty years ago. To me using it in the first sense is a sign of lazy illiteracy. If something is a concern then it must be concerning. Sometimes it doesn’t work to just stick “ing” on the end of a noun and expect the result to become an adjective with the same meaning.

  32. Steve Pollard
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I am getting quite fed up with UK Government spokespersons saying that their Department is “committed” to doing something. It usually means that they have no intention of doing it, and hope nobody will notice.

    I’m not that keen on “spokesperson”, either.

  33. gscott
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Having just gotten off the very early morning flight from Detroit and being suitably cranky, I feel that it’s a good time to complain about the flight crew’s use of “rollerboard”. It’s “roll-aboard” luggage, dammit!

  34. Rod Wilson
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    For everyone’s edification, my lab worker ( who is 25 so you can believe her) says the term bae is short for “before anyone else”
    Now you can direct your hatred more precisely

  35. mfdempsey1946
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Is Oprah Winfrey still trying to replace “vagina” with”vajayjay?” Just typing this brings back the sickening cringe.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      I think she’s trying to make it sound cute.

      But if that’s the objective, why not just use ‘pussy’? 😉

      cr

  36. Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    “Orientate”. The word is “orient”. Orientate is, I think, from Haguespeak, or military, where a verb is made into a noun and then a new verb made from that.

    orient -> orientation -> orientate.

    There are other irritating examples of this, but I can’t think of them right now. I will as soon as I hit return. L’esprit d4escalier again.

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      And orientated….

      Just torques my jaw

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Similarly: administer → administration → administrate.

      /@

  37. yazikus
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Onboarding. I hear it far too often.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, let’s offload “onboarding.”

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      That’s actually quite useful (in the right context), being briefer than alternatives.

      /@

  38. Roger
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    NapolSéphine

    • Roger
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      HenCatAnnJanAnnCatCat

      • Roger
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Answer is: Henry VIII!

  39. yazikus
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and ‘My bad!’. Grates on the ears.

  40. Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Full agreement. Get off my law! 🙂

    And don’t forget “right?” the way everyone seems to use it these days — as punctuation with an upward tonal lift. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

    I think I dislike herd behavior …

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I know, right?

      • Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Some Brits, at least on TV, seem to throw a lot of “yeah”s in, instead of “right” or “huh”. All annoying. And also a lot of superfluous “then”s, as in “What are you doing, then?”

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Eh? 🙂

          • Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            I never say “eh”🙀

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      Even Official Website Physicist Sean Carroll uses “right?”

  41. Posted August 31, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Oh my gosh! My sister is seven years younger than my and, unfortunately, in the age group that uses these obnoxious phrases. She is brilliant and well-read, yet when she said “O M G blessed!!!” my body physically cringes up. It’s like she and her friends are speaking an entirely different language. Maybe I used comparable slang in my teens and early twenties… but I’m pretty sure I didn’t. Anyways, the current lingo makes me feel both old, curmudgeonly, and extremely intelligent. Hahaha!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      ‘Oh. My. God.’

      Really gets to me. It’s almost inevitable on the soundtrack of any news videos taken off somebody’s cellphone.

      e.g. Plane crashing at an air show and all you hear in the background is ‘Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd.’ You can tell that brain is not engaged and the mouth is on automatic.

      cr

  42. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Apart from the their, they’re and there, which is only written, of course, nothing bonnets my bee more than the use of ‘eksetera’. Am I alone there? Am I a freak to feel grated along the spine by that?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 31, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      “Asterisk” pronounced as “asterix” has a similar effect on me.

      • freiner
        Posted August 31, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        As Nathan Hale said,”I only regret that I have one asterisk for my country.” HE wouldn’t say “asterix.”

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Asterix is a popular cartoon hero in France, by the late Goscinny and Uderzo. Goscinny wrote the stories and Uderzo drew them. If you like Frenh humour -heavily relying on word play- they were quite good..

      • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Blame those Gauls!

        /@

    • Posted August 31, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      The evergreen, ever-popular, “liberry” instead of “library”, “nucular” instead of “nuclear” and “calvary” instead of “cavalry”.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        The Calvary is Mr Christ’s walk, carrying cross and crown of thorns, to Golgotha, if I’m not mistaken.

  43. dreamsareus
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I doubt power couple naming is a new thing.

    Julia and Paul Child used several different combined names, including JuPaul.

    Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. named their house Jodo.

  44. Paul Matthews
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Just about my number one pet peeve concerning language (by the way, see my comment concerning “concerning” above) is when people talk about being “humbled” or finding it “humbling” when they’ve been bestowed a great honour. Do these people have any idea what “humbled” and “humbling” mean? Presumably not. They’ve just heard others in a similar situation misuse the word and so do so unthinkingly themselves. Sigh.

  45. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    “Wow factor”. (Excuse me while I scream)

    The missus has the habit of watching house-renovation-real-estate ‘reality’ shows on TV and that over-used pseudo-hip term crops up with sickening predictability.

    I also hate *all* ‘reality’ shows. Their actors are amateur and their scriptwriters are crap.

    cr

    • Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      With colors that “pop”…

  46. Posted August 31, 2018 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    StormTrumper

  47. Rob Aron
    Posted August 31, 2018 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Meh??

  48. Barney
    Posted September 1, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    The OED gives a first use in print of ‘romcom’ in 1971 (in the Lincoln Star, Nebraska). Not that much of a neologism, really.

  49. Matt
    Posted September 1, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    1. Here in Philly several weather announcers preface their forecast with “For your Saturday it’ll be sunny and beautiiful.” Why the “your”?

    2. The Phila. Inquirer did a story on a handbook of slang to help teachers understand students. http://www.dailyjournal.net/2018/08/26/pa-exchange-philly-slang-handbook/

    Something about this angers me. Why must teachers learn fake words? Shouldn’t the teachers tell the kids to speak English?

    3. Could of/would of/should of. I see this all the time in youtube comments and it always angers me. How can so many people be this stupid?

    4. Many radio and tv announcers in Philly mispronounce “str” as “shtr”, for example, “conSHTRuction” or “SHTRaight” etc. Like nails on a chalkboard.

    I have lots more but this will suffice for now.

  50. Nobody Special
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Noun as verbs: ‘I can’t adult today’; ‘I’m not braining properly’.
    Vocalising ‘hashtag’; ‘Come to my party, hashtag bring wine’.
    Meatspace. No, just feck right off with that.
    ‘The internet’ as a single entity; ‘Squirrel does cute thing and the internet can’t handle it’. “The internet can’t stop laughing at celebrity’s tweets’.

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      You don’t like “I can’t brain today” — which our host uses from time time … ?

      😆

      /@

      • Nobody Special
        Posted September 3, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        I abhor it*, not just ‘can’t brain’ but all the noun-as-verb abominations. I have, however, reserved a special spot in Hell for anybody who uses ‘heart’ for ‘love’, even in pictoral form. My distaste for that particular travesty was brought on by the constant exposure of the ‘I heart New York’ slogan after 11/9/2001 (the correct way to represent the eleventh of September, two-thousand and one in numerals). Running a close second, slogan-wise, is the ubiquitous ‘Keep Calm And….’

        *To be fair, we were asked what we abhor, not what we abhor as long as PCC(E) doesn’t use it. Anyway, I couldn’t not include it, what with free will being an illusion; the matter was out of my hands, y’see.

        • Posted September 4, 2018 at 1:00 am | Permalink

          In meetings, do you get annoyed when people table agenda items?

          /@

          • Nobody Special
            Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            Meetings tend to have me in a state of constant annoyance anyway.

            • Posted September 4, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

              Meetings: where minutes are taken and hours are lost…

    • Posted September 2, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      But … but … Prof. Ceiling Cat uses “I can’t brain today” from time to time!

      /@

  51. David
    Posted September 2, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I am getting tired of ads that claim the items they are selling are “flying off the shelves”. Make one think those items have literal wings.

    • Nobody Special
      Posted September 3, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      There is also a growing trend of advertisers not using denominators when telling us the price of their product. What used to be ‘two thousand, four hundred and ninety-nine pounds’ is now said ‘two four nine nine’. I suppose they think it sounds cheaper that way.


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