Monday, January 7, 2013
OK, let's get this out of the way: I'm gonna trash some words, phrases, and things as being so clichéd and hackneyed that they should be banned in 2013. Problem is, "Banned Lists" are themselves a cliché. So beware. This post is so overdone, it might consume itself and set off a self-referential chain reaction that turns the universe inside out. That proviso aside, we'll proceed.
"Where's my jetpack?" Remember the turn of the century? The Year 2000? That's when we were promised flying cars, robot butlers and, of course, jetpacks. We got George Bush, jr. instead. Naturally we're all disappointed. Problem is we've been inundated with that "Where's my jetpack?" lament ever since. "Where's my jetpack?" has become an all-purpose stand-in for all manner of Great Disappointment. It's been 13 years, folks. There's no jetpack in your future. Let it go.
"Double-down" Every politician these days is a gambler, announcing some initiative or policy and then, faced with opposition, actually sticking with their idea. It sounds daring, but mostly the "double down" comes across as a screw-you to political foes. GOP: "You thought you hated us when we threatened to send us over the cliff? Just wait until we close down the whole government!" Lame Commentator: "Looks like they're doubling down." Doubly stupid.
Baby Bump In celebrity culture, pregnancy seems like the ultimate product spin-off ("This fall we're releasing a new movie, my first album is dropping, and, oh!, I'm having a baby!"). Turns out, producing an Actual Human Being is kind of a big deal. Labeling it a "bump" makes the kid sound like an add-on feature, something you complain about when the hotel tries to charge extra at check-out. We're already doomed to follow Every Moment Of Kim Kardashian's Pregnancy. Let's at least give her kid a break.
Selfie When our future robot overlords look back upon today's society, these happy years before machines become sentient and start sporting baby bumps of their own, they'll remember the one thing that made their rise possible: We were so busy taking "selfies" (most egregiously holding up iPhones and, ye Gods, iPads in the bathroom to take duckface portraits) that we never saw them coming. Let's cut back on the selfies, or at least get a tripod.
LOL We laugh. And most of the time we laugh out loud. That's lovely. Laughing is lovely, and we should let loose at least one good guffaw each day. But every time I see someone comment on a Facebook post with LOL (or worse, lol), I just think to myself, "No you didn't. You did not laugh out loud. Why would you lie to me? You're supposed to be my friend!" What's worse, by the way, is when folks append this acronym to something snarky ("Your duckface Selfie looks like someone tried to iron your lips lol."). Please, no more.