Six Words Laurie Notaro Demands People Stop Using Right Now

Categories: Literary
4. Over the moon:
Again, cute the first 400 times a celebrity said it to describe how joyful having a spawn was, but by the time it got to Drew Barrymore and Adele, the phrase was nothing short of an eye roll, limping along, barely breathing and threadbare because the Kardashians, Jennifer Garner, and Ben Affleck have beaten the hell out of it. Leave it alone, folks. Let it die a kind death.

Words to use instead: Make up another nonsensical comparison to space objects if you must: we're as "Delighted as a satellite who is tracking your every move to sell to corporations later!", "Fiery as a comet hoping to destroy life on Earth because of reckless phrases like this," or "As excited as men in orbit who have to recycle their own pee and possibly cook with it."

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3. Sumpin' sumpin':
Oprah needs to be fined one third of her overall fortune and do some serious community service for injecting this annoyance into the vernacular -- like collecting used needles from underneath park benches or washing the hair of homeless women. To express how detrimental this word is to our environment, I am sad to inform you that you don't even need a tongue to say it. Try it. I'm not lying. That is a dangerous word. That is the definition of a dangerous word.

How many times would a parrot have to say it before you took measures into your own hands? Be honest: you'd kill it before one episode of Judge Judy was over. And no one would blame you. This is the most annoying thing Oprah has said since "baked French fries" and (shiver) "A ha moment."

Words to use instead: Use any word in the dictionary. Any word that is legitimate and has a root. Any word that requires pronunciation.

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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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