29 terms we obvi need to totes elims from our lexi forevs

Didn’t understand that headline? Don’t worry–you’re not alone. I had to have half those words on the list below explained to me by other people at different points. Which is a little ridiculous, isn’t it? I mean, I’m not the sharpest stick, but coinkydink? Really? REALLY?

I’ve complained plenty publicly lately about my disdain for the term “peeps” in the past–but really, the gut feeling goes a lot deeper for terms like this. Why?

Because we’re destroying our language.

I understand we’re turning into a “texting culture” full of shortened and unintelligible words. But, at some point, we need to draw a line in the sand. And, today’s that day.

I’m making a list of ALL the short-hand and unintelligible words we need to eliminate from our every day conversations. I know, I sound a little sanctimonious here, but follow my logic. I’m all for fun. I’m all for funny. But, the more you say these words, the more likely they are to seep into an email or a discussion with your boss. Or, her boss. Or, her boss’ boss. I mean, ever sit in a conversation where someone says “Our peeps were all over Facebook today for obvs reasons. Totes.” to the CMO. That’d go over real well.

So, we’re going to stop. OK, fine, I’m going to stop. Because, truth be told, I’m guilty of this “language bastardization”, too. More than a few times. But, I’m making a pact with myself to cut it out. And, maybe you should, too.

I’m starting with the list below. These are obvious choices–and a few were added by friends online (and for the record, I’m poking fun at my friend Chuck by using the screen grab above. He doesn’t really talk like this. He’s being funny. OK, he’s trying to be funny).

Short-hand

Totes — This is a word my four-year-old would use; try saying “totes” in your next conversation with your CMO, see how that goes for you

Peeps/Tweeps/Tweeple or any derivation thereof — I’ve harped on this long enough, it’s time to end it. Forever.

Jelly — I’m not even sure if this is real–people really use “jelly” in place of “jealous”? If you’ve done this, please light yourself on fire immediately;  courtesy of Pamela Shamblin

Obvi — courtesy of Chuck Hemann

Ridic — courtesy of Chuck Hemann–even though he uses this word about 4,312 times a day

Vacay/Staycay — courtesy of Greg Swan

Adorbs/Adorbz — It’s three more letters people. Really? REALLY? (to confirm, the cap letters indicate I’m screaming)

 

Twitter ridiculousness

Twitterview — We get it, it’s clever, but enough already.

Twesume — I just threw up in my mouth.

Tweetheart — Remember when Forbes had this term on its cover? I still haven’t forgiven them.

TwinkedIn — Really, you can’t just say I met someone on Twitter and then connected on LinkedIn?

Virtually EVERY term on this ridiculous list (thanks for curating this list Mashable–you just made everyone that much dumber for having read it)

 

The unintelligible

Noms — and all variations including noms, nom noms and nomming; I still don’t even know what this means. Call me stupid…

Amazeballs — Amazing was just too popular–you had to take it up a notch, didn’t you? via Teresa Basich

For realz — Also see “For reals”; via Heather Cmiel

Awesomesauce — Awesome by itself: totally acceptable; Awesome+ any other word–not so much, via Julio Ojeda-Zapata

Coinkydink — For “coincidence” according to friend Kate Selner; I wish I was kidding.

Tradigital — via Adam Kmiec; not completely opposed to this one, but it does sound a bit stupid.

Yummers — Again, this one doesn’t totally bug me, but it certainly falls in the unintelligbile category; via Colleen McGuire

Stabby — Not even sure what to say about this one–still don’t understand what it means after Laura Scholz explained it to me.

 

Acronyms

FTW — Hasn’t this one worn out its welcome? courtesy of Nicolena Vratil

FML — Just discovered what this meant. OMG. FML. LMFAO. LOL.

BRB –Be Right Back-it’s 11 characters!!!!! via Matt LaCasse

LMAO — I mean, you’ve seen the “band” right? I rest my case.

Other terms that just need to go away

Guru — Honestly peeps.

Maven — I know, everyone likes to say “marketing maven.” There’s alliteration. I get it. It just bugs the crap out of me.

#justsayin — Popular hash tag, but it’s starting to get pretty darn annoying; via Jason Keith

#fail — I think this one has run its course; agree with Andrew Meyer here

Epic — Isn’t epic the new “amazing?” Regardless, overused and worthless; via David Murray

That’s the start to my list. What would you add?

 


99 comments
blueimpact
blueimpact

While I totes see peeps using obvi something, it really needs to be just obv.  I mean rly.  Leik rly gais.  

wateven 

Mszycam
Mszycam

I don't care so much about people abbreviating words or using acronyms-- I hate it when people spell things how they sound and the only way you can read it is by reading it out loud and by the. You just feel like an idiot. Need an example " I'm finna eat rhy nah". "I'm about to eat right now". "Aaah luh you gurr". "I love you girl". "Ion know" "I don't know". Do I need more?

AdamBritten
AdamBritten

Wow, I'm guilty of more of these then I'm proud of. But some of them I actually think are acceptable - I can't find a better way to describe my "tweeps" without that word. "Twitter people?" That sounds even more strange.

Gravytrain | Vancouver SEO
Gravytrain | Vancouver SEO

I would love to print this out and staple it to the forehead of a great many people that I deal with on a regular basis. The language is quickly becoming an awful mess.

ellie1912
ellie1912

I hate buzzwords - especially when I don't know what they mean.

klklemme
klklemme

I would add BTW and maybe whatev. Just sayin'! :)

Nikki Little
Nikki Little

I already like you a whole bunch, but if you can make the hashtag #fail disappear from Twitter forever, you'll be my new favorite person.

bmwoitte
bmwoitte

@laurabesh I'm sorry, but I can't take spelling/grammar advice from you. The person that says, "chicken tender baskettttttt" #huh #fail

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

Add "social media" to the list.

Why? Because nobody can agree on its definition. M'kay?

ryanknapp
ryanknapp

I'm going to jump in and play the former linguist card and disagree, but also throw something else into the mix. (Note: I understand the lighthearted nature of the post, but thought it would pave the way for some interesting discussion)

We are not destroying our language.

Languages evolve. Simple. Go back and attempt to read a novel or play in Middle English and you may understand some of it, but it will seem foreign and weird to you. Why? Our current modern English evolved just the same way that our language is evolving now and will continue to evolve as long as humans are communicating.

Now, is totally going to be replaced with totes? Probably not, but there is no reason it could be except for people saying "that isn't what the rule is." or "We are destroying our language".The overarching issue at hand that isn't addressed above is the problem of register - varieties of language that are used in certain social settings for certain purposes. A clean example is the use of -ing at the end of words (think walking vs. walkin'). If you are amongst friends, you would more than likely say walkin, but if you are in a professional meeting, most default to saying the entire word, 'walking'. There are five different registers in language, generally speaking.

Static - Things that are frozen in time (Pledge of Allegiance, Our Father)

Formal - Commonly accepted format, aka.the right way to speak (Speeches, sermons, announcements)

Consultative - standard form of communication (two business people meet, you talk to your boss)

Casual - informal way to speak. In this register, you have to be a member of the group to speak (soccer team, letters to friends, drinking buddies)

Intimate - private way of speaking. (how you speak to your wife, your parents, children)

All languages across the world have different register types for different situations. This is as common as languages itself. However, what is happening is that the situations in which people switch registers are becoming blurred.

More importantly, the Consultative and Casual registers are blurring together. As the boss-worker relationship begins to change and evolve, so does the formality of the language used between them. When I'm friends with my boss, and we get into a conversation, my language register can slip into casual instead of consultative.

Look, people use ridiculous saying and names with their friends all the time. It's part of how language shapes friendships and solidarity. But, now that the definition of friendship is changing (think offline to online) the way in which language is being used is undergoing the same change, and being brought out into the limelight.

JenPioneerPress
JenPioneerPress

@arikhanson I don't mind vacay & like awesomesauce, though I generally use it semi-ironically. Don't like it, but coinkydink is an old word.

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

@ryanknapp Very interesting. Thanks for the more academic look at this, Ryan. I still hate adorbz though.

derickson
derickson

@ryanknapp As an unapologetic English major and lover of literature, you can dd me to the Agree List, Ryan. I never really liked or understood rap and hip-hop (I agreed with Wynton Marsalis' description of it as "Syncopated Cussing") until it dawned on me that it was more about the clever use of language than it was necessarily about the music. Now I love hip hop for that very reason.Language is NEVER static; it always evolves along with our experiences and thinking about those experiences.

I certainly get annoyed with the use of jargon but it is typically only when the person using the jargon could have been clearer or more concise without it or with plain English. Or throw-away phrases. "Moving forward" is my most recent aggravating example. I have yet to see an example where the phrase was NEEDED; it's always implied by the context of the sentence.

If you want to complain about the use of language, complain about people using words for which it's clear they do not know the meaning or people using unnecessary words or simply not being clear. I think what annoys people is that the use of shorthand in language is often simply the use of cliches. #JustSayin has become a cliche. But that doesn't really bother me because I've come to accept cliches as simply an efficient way of communicating. Were I to run across them in a work of literature, I'd likely stop reading but I don't really have problem with them in Twitter. Lastly, it's not like the English language hasn't had flaws running through it a mile wide for a very long time.

Why do we have to make a distinction between words that have an F sound but are spelled with PHs? What the hell is up with the silent GH? That makes no sense at all. It's not just me.

Benjamin Franklin was all about reforming the English language to make it simpler and more consistent.

txTDM
txTDM

@ryanknapp Completely agree with this comment. Language is fluid - it's always evolving, just as we are. Thanks for this well-written explanation of that.

arikhanson
arikhanson

@JenPioneerPress Vacay was one of those on the brink. I'm 50/50 on that one. Awesomesauce is unacceptable though.