Back in January I did a post on Words and Phrases That Should be Buried.
I’m on Rant 2.
“Literally” is still the most overused word. It is the Ramen of our vocabulary.
Here are more additions:
Wrap my head around it. I never got this phrase. It conjurs up something you’d see watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I think this image came from an aging hippie suffering one too many acid trips.
Getting eyeballs is overused in the worlds of advertising, marketing and the Web. It’s a disgusting image, conjuring up pictures of those bloody eyeballs you see on low budget horror films and Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. “Getting eyeballs” still doesn’t address getting the mind behind the eyeballs to concentrate on the message.
Silos. I’ve just starting hearing this in office conversation and I’ve seen it a few times in writing. It’s one of those words that creates an appropriate image. (See yourself as dried corn nestled in your own comfortable silo not wanting to communicate with the corn in the other silos). The image was used as early as 1989 in the context of “vertical silo syndrome.” Now I hear it on campus as in “departments are silos,” not caring about other departments. It’s going to wear itself out fast because it’s an easy concept for lazy speakers.
Butts in seats. Kind of like “getting eyeballs.” Butts in seats, of course, is filling seats with people. So why can’t we say we want to “fill seats?” We’ve broken humans into butts and eyeballs. Not a pretty picture.
I don’t know where “creepy“ edged into the national daily dialogue but it spread like The Blob in a microwave. It probably evolved from “it creeps me out.” I suppose it’s popular because it’s fun to say and is easily inserted into any kind of description of something somewhat distasteful. I think it’s adolescent and no one over the age of 18 should be using it.
Unfortunately they do use it. I heard a middle-aged secretary today relating a story of a couple accidents in which two friends in different parts of the country died about the same time. “That’s creepy,” she told the other secretary. “Don’t you think that’s creepy? I just think that’s really creepy.”
I crept out, wrapping my head around a silo of sanity, keeping my eyeballs straight ahead and my butt far away from any nearby seats.
Please send in your candidates for instant death.