Now I know how the hippies and mall-goths feel. My generation, like those before it, has developed a way of talking, dressing and interacting which defines who we are. And like those generations before me, I have seen the culture of my generation taken in by mass-media and turned into something I can’t stand. Similar to the way that the entire hippie sub-culture became for sale, or how hot-topic turned being into metal or goth “fashion” into something every teeny bopper could buy at mall-inflated prices, my generation has seen what makes us unique appropriated by mass-media. This is most prevalent in our language.
Well, I’ve had enough of this and I’m going to officially retire three words or expressions which have become so overused that they are intolerable. These are words you’ll hear every time you turn on your television, radio or listen to your friends talk. This list probably only scratches the surface of this problem, but these three are the most egregiously used and must be stopped immediately. If you can think of something to add to this list, let your voice be heard!
Epic – The fabulous Maddox covered this one in better detail than I will and basically makes the same argument I am making here, but this bears repeating. I watched an NFL game last season and decided to count how many times I heard the word epic during the broadcast and commercials. The answer: a staggering 28 times in three and a half hours. This averages out eight times an hour or roughly once every once every seven and a half minutes. Morgan Freeman has a commercial where he says epic for Christ’s sake!
Also, as the previously reference Maddox so beautifully stated, the epidemic is not limited to television, it is seen in its most ugly form on social media. I challenge you to find a day on your Facebook newsfeed in which you do not see the word epic. People use it to describe the ice cream they had for dessert, a merely average beard, or a baseball team winning one game when they play 162. Throw in the use of epic with other words such as fail, dinner or drunk and things reach a fever pitch.
Folks, I’ll admit to being an early abuser of the word. I used epic to describe albums, experiences and yes, even failures…but then it was 2007/8 and the word had already passed its expiration date. Let me put it this way, when talentless hack Katy Perry is using epicfail in her lyrics, it is time to retire the word.
Really? – This one is not what you say, but how you say it. You know, the head cocked to the side, asking a couple of times, “Really? Really?” For a better example, watch the video below.
I can’t precisely pinpoint where this whole thing started, but I recently watched an episode of the second season of 30 Rock, the one with Jerry Seinfeld and he does the really? thing two different times and this was in 2007. Well now here were are, five years later, and not a day goes by where I don’t hear someone say this, thinking they are being funny.
The epitome of the really? phenomenon is that it is in an insurance commercial. You know the one where they say the State Farm jingle and then get something? Well, the one with Bob Barker and the guy does the jingle and gets whatever he gets and the young lady with him says, “Really? that’s what you’re going with?” Word to wise, anything not named Dennis Haysbert featured in an insurance commercial is not cool…period. Lets lay this one to rest people.
Like – Remember 1995 and the “Valley Girl?” People would do sort of a southern California sounding, dumb blonde accent and say things like “You know, like, I love going to the mall.” Well somewhere along the way, we went from making fun of people who talked like idiots, to talking like idiots. I don’t know when and I don’t know where, but at some point along the way, like replaced uh as this generation’s “pause” word.
Honestly, listen to anyone under the age of 35 have a conversation and they will sound like a babbling idiot. Here’s a typical excerpt from real conversations had today: “You know, its like, hard to even fathom that, like, getting into a car wreck, its like, gotta be like, so tough for him to like even deal with that.” And what’s worse, like is so entrenched in our language now, educated, well-meaning people even use it five times a sentence…I even find myself saying it!
The only way to get around this will be for all of us to be aware of it and help each other out. This won’t be easy. I consciously think about this and still find myself slipping from time to time. So, I implore all of you, let me know if you hear me saying the word like and I’ll do the same for you. Together we can eliminate like by the year 2024.
That’s it friends. Lets make this happen together. Epic, really?, like. We can get rid of these!