Linguistic Hit List, Part IV

My semi-annual Linguistic Hit Lists haven’t completely changed the language – but they’ve made a good start.

My demands for the extinction of the terms”Bloggy”, ”Truthy/truthiness”, “take (something) to the next level” and “Dee di deeeee”have been largely very effective; most are considered signs of bad breeding today.

The war on “Hel-looo” is also proceeding apace; it seems to be on the ropes, although pockets still occur in various hYpStR bars and high schools here and there.

“It Is What It Is” is a stubborn one – something of a linguistic cockroach, or the Taliban in Helmand Province, it’s actually made a bit of a comeback. I will declare a linguistic surge against this piece of language rot.

“Internets” is a somewhat troubling case, inasmuch as like most technology-related terms it is easily replaced by other equally noxious forms – “intertubes”, “interwebs”, “interbloggies” or whatever the fine flaming flexible fowl the “I think I sound hip, but I really sound like I lobotomized myself with a drinking straw” crowd comes up with. This will be a long fight, but I know in my heart we will be victorious.

But while there is a long way to go on some of my previous linguistic hits, we must redouble our efforts.  So I am going to add some new terms for 2010:

  1. Processes, when pronounced “prah-sess-EEZ”.  A standard oldie-but-goodie of the not-that-bright execu-drone who wants to sound like he’s talking two levels above his pay grade or education level, this phrase actually would justify a new corporate McCarthyism to actively stigmatize its users.  Worse, an even more malignant dialect version ,”prO-sess-EEZ”, with a long “O”, is appearing, showing that this term may be undergoing an even more pretentious, “one-upping” version.  We’ll need to redouble our efforts to scourge this one.
  2. “Don’t Be That Guy”. Within the past year, this phrase, which started with people who auditioned for “Jersey Shore” but were improbably too stupid and shank-headed to make the cut, has made huge inroads into the language.  Preferred responses when confronted with it: “No, genius – I’m THAT guy”.  Extra credit; sing “Single malt, football, war flicks, THAT GUY,  Hot Wings, bratwurst … Is THAT GUYYYYYY – he’s dripping on fresh paint; he’s everything THAT GUY aaaaaiiiiint“.  It usually shuts them up.  This one is going critical, folks.  (Note my clever swoop into retro; “going critical” was on not a few hit lists ten years ago.  Yes, it is a little like playing with old explosives; don’t try it unless you’re a licensed Linguistic Engineer).
  3. It Is What It Is – I’m putting this cliche, the favorite cliche refuge of the faux-zen bizspeaker, back on the hit list for a record second time; my goal is that by the end of this year we can look at the phrase and realize it was what it was.

It’s a short list, but an important one.  Let’s keep our language free of this kind of bilge, shall we?

23 thoughts on “Linguistic Hit List, Part IV

  1. Let us not forget the feverswamp staple:


    As an appendix to some bit of mindless spew the offending moonbat feels is particularly prescient.

    See also: Grace Kelly

  2. Go Mitch!!! Hurrah!

    I have to admit my amusement at the latest word fun from Colbert (who made truthiness popular), apple-pious. The difference is laughing instead of using these words seriously.

    I hope you won’t be offended when I mention that the French are notorious for their campaigns against similar bad usage in their language, have been for years.

  3. I hate the phrase “It Is What It Is” imparticularly, irregardless of the fact that some pretty smart people misunderestimate its utilitarianacity. It’s amazingly omniculous.

  4. Hmm, I’m afraid I’m fondish of “interwebs” and its cousins. And, the occasional “bloggy goodness” can still bring a smile to my face. But I’m with ya on the rest…

  5. Hmmmmm. I can’t believe you overlooked “Let me be clear”. Don’t be that guy, Mitch. Tsk, Tsk. It is what it is, afterall.

  6. I recommend replacing “it is what it is” with “they are who we thought they were.” Because we can never have enough Denny Green.

  7. Are you suggesting that it isn’t what it is?

    And I’ve been using “Don’t be that guy” since I saw “PCU” in the mid 90’s, but only in the specific instance of guys who wear a band t-shirt to that band’s show.

  8. I’m with Discordian 100%:

    IF “Being that guy” is set A, and
    IF “Wearing the band’s t-shirt to their show” is set B
    THEN all A = some B.

  9. I admit to using “intertubes” and “interwebs” as a backhanded slap to pundits who really don’t know how the internet works.

    As an additional bonus, by watching the persons reaction to that one word, I can usually gauge the level of knowledge of the person to whom I’m speaking. Saves a lot of effort on my part and confusion on theirs if I know I’m going to have to back-fill some intellectual void.

  10. The “Don’t Be That Guy” thing needs to die, mostly because the grumpy neurotic bit is funny when it’s Dr. Cox, House, or Seinfeld (okay, nevermind that last one), but in real life you come off as insufferable.

    Interwebs/Intertubes wasn’t really that funny to begin with, even if Ted Stevens was amusing in that “HAHAHA an 85 year old man doesn’t get new tech” way.

    And “hate” as a noun needs to die (i.e. “Olbermann hates on conservative women again, tonight on MSNBC!”) because it makes you sound like the stereotype of a white rapper. I think there was a movie by a Z-list comedian with that joke a few years back.

  11. “Thinking out of the box” is an awfully good candidate for this list, especially since it is often used by those who are well entrenched IN the box they claim to be OUT of…

  12. I work around the usual Minnesota DFL types who say “The Internets” constantly – I always assumed it was another not-so-subtle shot at George Bush’s garbled speech patterns.

  13. D Poe – Oh, my. Cant’ believe I forgot all of those. Definitely on the short list for the next edition.

    Leslie: Heh. Ditto.

  14. I use Interwebs or intertubes occassionally. Altho it is only in text chat that I use them, never verbally. I usually further misspell using geek/l33t spelling – intartubez. Cuz I’m a geek and that’s how I roll.

  15. Also, I have never heard “dee di deeeee”. What does that mean? And any idea why I keep having to get moderated every time I get logged out of WordPress?

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