Six Words Laurie Notaro Demands People Stop Using Right Now

Categories: Literary

Laurie Notaro is an author, crafter, and expert at finding a good cocktail. She grew up in Phoenix, but is currently based in Eugene, Oregon. Each week, she'll be joining us to share a crafting adventure, draw a flowchart, or remember a few of her favorite things about Phoenix. Today, she shares a few of the words she hates.

slangwords-2.jpeg
http://slanguagestudio.com/
I understand that language evolves; it adapts to the temperature of the culture and times, and it's a constantly changing entity. But below are six terms that have entered our spoken word like a chigger under the skin of society that refuses to budge.

Now I know if I am patient and wait, they will eventually lose their shine and fade back into obscurity like "gnarly," "rad," and "grody," but what if they don't? What if they are granted permanent residence as in "I was like, ..." or "totally"? See this as a warning call that if we don't do something about these phrases now, they may never leave, like genital herpes and Ryan Seacrest. That's how serious this is!!!

image.jpg
http://memecrunch.com/meme/30PB/excited-kitten-says
6. Meme:
What is this? What does it mean? I dare anyone to explain it to me in a sentence. You can't. You know why? It's a stupid word, and stupid is too complicated to explain in one line. Right now I am very hungry so I may not be making a lot of sense, but this word makes me irate. IRATE.

My boiling point was reached while watching PBS coverage of the election night, and whole segment was devoted to what people who were tweeting and not watching the returns were tweeting about the returns. I watched the returns. Why would I want to know what people who weren't were saying and what their memes were? And why did it need a whole segment to tell me what memes were "trending" by people who weren't paying full attention because they were meming? Why would the rest of us, who were paying attention, care? I WAS PAYING FULL ATTENTION. Ask me what happened, PBS!! ASK ME!! I wasn't even that drunk! And what the hell does "haz" mean?

Words to use instead: Bullshit; Generational nonsense typed by someone on Adderall; Just another kitten picture that isn't funny of a kitten that was probably dropped off at the Humane Society years ago.

baby bump app
5. Bump:
I know this is supposed to be a cutesy pie reference to a recently noticeable pregnancy, and I did my best to ignore it, but after I saw that it was the name of a maternity store, I flipped out.

It's not cute, it's over used and worn out and repeated far too often by young Republican girls working retail while shopping for a husband at their local ward and by women who have a subscription to Us Weekly. Not really the sort of think tank that should be determining our vocabulary.

And another thing, most of the bumps out there aren't the cute kind, either. Bumps are mostly inflamed tissue, fat deposits, warts, moles and tumors. And all of that stuff should be cut off and certainly not celebrated. And here's yet another thing: on behalf of all the girls out there who have been asked "When are you due?" when the only thing due was a punch in the face to the inquisitor, ease up on the bump culture, OK? Just because there's a protrusion in the abdominal area doesn't mean you need to call extra attention to it or ask what you're naming it. If you must know, it's called "All of the Carbs I ate in 2007 Past Eight O'Clock at Night." OK?

Words to use instead: Engorged uterus; Circumference; Lair of the fetus.

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26 comments
dronaverill
dronaverill

Besides making me laugh out loud, my favorite part of this reading experience was that there's a column called "Now trending" on the same page. I had to put on my bracelets of power to repel the irony.

naoma
naoma

The one I hate the most is the STUPID BABY BUMP.  Really a dumb phrase and the sooner it leaves the language, the better~! 

hlmkeck
hlmkeck

"Get your creative juices flowing" is the phrase that makes me cringe.  Also, "Devil's advocate."  Seriously, there must be something better than that.

OakyChard
OakyChard

Add "curated" when applied to anything other than an exhibition or museum collection:

 

"Field & Sparrow is a curated collection of maker-made goods and clothing with a classic, yet playful and modern sensibility"

 

The same pretentious jackasses use "narrative" liberally

peteykins
peteykins

I'd like to add "double down" as the most overused phrase in political "journalism" over the past year.

figgie59
figgie59

Can I add one?  Pop of color....ugh!

focus503
focus503

I'll never say cray cray again, promise if only you can erase the word Delish from the vocabulary.  It's not like nails on a chalk board, it makes my skin crawl.

bascolillo
bascolillo

You are the MOST anti-anti-intellectual on the planet. 

Michelle41
Michelle41

You forgot "really" and "wait for it, wait for it"

QstionEvythng
QstionEvythng

How about "natch" - a personal favorite of a new blog writer on this site.

redcordelia
redcordelia

Po-po is also a rage-inducing trigger word for me.  My husband's family says it all the time and it makes me want to kill.

laurienotaro
laurienotaro

Of course I looked it up, and within those sources you cited. But that's a hollow definition, and I still hate the word. A better definition is simply, "Where's the Beef?" or 'Got Milk?" Canker sores of culture!!

jmoriarty
jmoriarty

"meme" is an idea or behavior that spreads from person to person within a culture. The word has oddly become a meme in its own right, but the term was coined in Richard Dawkin's book The Selfish Gene. There has been some serious research into the topic as the way ideas propogate can teach us a lot about the communication patterns within a culture. Memetic spread of ideas has been observed in not just humans, but also in how things like bird song changes in a flock. 

 

So if you hate the word, hate on, but I'm rather surprised you didn't know its origin or full meaning. The Wikipedia article has some good LOL-cat-free background on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

jmoriarty
jmoriarty

 @laurienotaro Is this a reply to my comment? It sounds like it, but is off floating on its own so hard to be sure.

 

"What does this mean?" doesn't sound like you looked it up. It sounds like you didn't realize it was anything more than a buzzword. Otherwise something like "99% of the people who use this word not only pronounce it wrong, they have no idea what it means." Or perhaps "I don't care if this word once had some scientific merit, it's been beaten to a soggy, cheezeburger filled pulp by the mindless minions of the internet."

 

There are many valid ways to express utter and complete disdain for this phrase. You just chose one that made it sound like you didn't know anything more about it than the people you derided for abusing it.

LionMage
LionMage

 @laurienotaro Calling memes "canker sores of culture" (regardless of the number of trailing exclamation points) sort of misses the point since, if you accept the concept at all, you have to accept that culture is made up of memes.  That's all culture, not just the parts you happen to dislike or disagree with.  In fact, the examples you cite are just catch phrases, a subset of the various types of memes out there.  Some are very old: Most of us are familiar with "head over heels (in love)."

 

What, pray tell, makes a definition "hollow"?  That seems highly subjective, since the Wikipedia article actually does an OK job (and if you actually read through all of Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, I won't call BS on your response to @jmoriarty that you looked the definition up in all the sources he cited).

 

Usually, I enjoy reading about other people's linguistic nit picks, but this piece just struck me as anti-intellectual.  Also curious that you'd pick on the admittedly weak post-apocalyptic dialect in Cloud Atlas.  Not every writer is Anthony Burgess, alas.

 

This article is tagged literary but should perhaps be better categorized as "the author's personal (dis)tastes on parade."

laurienotaro
laurienotaro

 @LionMage  @jmoriarty You're the kitten guy, aren't you? Just say it. It's you. You are "Haz cheeseburger." All I can say is shame on you. Shame, shame, shame. And please get a better font. It's boring. You are making kittens boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd like you more if you used baby pigs instead. Or would that be "anti-intellectual"?

laurienotaro
laurienotaro

 @jmoriarty My deadline is next Thursday. Come up with something and send it over! I know you're just here for the boobs (we're all here for the boobs)>>>>>>>, but let's see whatcha got. And for your information, sonny, I have SIX real teeth left. SIX.

jmoriarty
jmoriarty

 @laurienotaro I just expect more from you - a nice balance between trolling and humor. This article and thread is too trollish, and too... easy. Get your teeth back in, Laurie, or go call it a night. We all have off days.

laurienotaro
laurienotaro

 @LionMage  @jmoriarty Oh, and PS: I don't know how in the world you could ever call a story with the words "genital herpes" and "Ryan Seacrest" IN THE SAME SENTENCE "anti-intellectual"? Bozo.

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