Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013's Banned Words and phrases (Part 2 of 2)

Following up on yesterday's rant, let's wrap up 2013's list of words, phrases, or things that need to be banished to the land of wind and ghosts.

Honey Boo Boo Alana Thompson portrays this gawdawful character on TLC, a station once called The Learning Channel (former actual slogan: "A Place for Learning Minds"). When the cameras are off, I'm sure Alana's pretty much like any other kid. I hope so. So I'm not dissing a little girl. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, though: that show's got to go. No less a D-lister than Kathy Griffin said as much while working to elicit girlish giggles from Anderson Cooper this past New Year's Eve. And when Kathy Griffin says your time is up, your time is up.

"_____ on steroids" I'm not sure what's worse about this phrase, the sense that its user has simply stopped caring about saying anything original, or the icky images conjured by its use. Either way, unless we're talking about bulging muscles, leathery skin, and bad acne, let's ban steroids from all future political and pop culture commentary.

Record Needle Scratch So you're sitting in a movie theater, watching the trailers. Let's see, there's that new blockbuster about comic book heroes (in 3D!), there's another Fast and Furious sequel (just how furious can these people be? Too much fury just makes me sleepy), and, ah, there it is: the Cute Family Comedy involving meddling mothers-in-law, adorable kids, and a scene where the family dances in the kitchen to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" -- but there's a twist, something like, "Except. Everyone. Is. A. Robot... In 3D!" That's when we hear the dreaded Scratch, the Wilhelm Scream of movie trailers. Note to Hollywood Producers On Cocaine: Most folks in your audience have never played a record. Lose the scratch.

"At the end of the day" TV talk shows about politics and the economy are one of my guilty pleasures. I've got a crush on Rachel Maddow, of course, but I switch things up too. I give Bill O'Reilly a listen from time to time, and I've been known to watch an entire Ann Coulter segment without piercing my eyeballs. But no matter the network, I want to throw my remote at the screen every time someone says, "at the end of the day." For many politicians, journalists, and commentators, the phrase seems to bolster otherwise trite analysis with some sort of credibility, as if one person's words can summon forth the debate's closure. Each time someone says, "at the end of the day," that person's IQ drops 10 points. Every time.

YOLO This is a sign of my age, but I don't know a single person who has said or written YOLO, which is an acronym for "You only live once." Suddenly I'm reminded of Pauline Kael's response to Nixon's 1972 election: "I don't know how he won. None of my friends voted for him." Anyway, I only read about YOLO in articles who've texted the phrase before attempting a stupid feat ("I'm going to produce a shot-by-shot remake of Jackass: The Movie. Looking for a shopping cart. YOLO!"). So I guess the phrase works as a gene pool scrubber. Hmmm… Maybe YOLO can stay.

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