Some phrases and words that bother me a great deal…
Event listing descriptions that begin “Get thee to XXX tonight…” Yeah, I don’t know why this is common enough that I’ve noticed it. Drives me mad. Like, ha ha, I’m funny and Olde English and I’m doing a take-off on the line, “Get thee to a nunnery!” Which might have been effective once but not 234 times. Get thee to the Jagged Edge Bar tonight for the wet t-shirt contest. Get thee to the feminist spoken word slam. I just received an event announcement via email with one of the listings beginning, “Get thee to Uptown this frigid January eve for a hot, hot set by melodic indie supergroup, Communist Daughter.” Get thee to Uptown? Snort. And get thee to Uptown on this frigid night? No fucking way, anyway. I’m not even going to touch “melodic indie supergroup.” OK, yeah I am. Indie or supergroup… which is it? Supergroup makes me think of Boston or Air Supply. Or… Aerosmith. Communist Daughter… not so much.
Bird-dogging. There is a certain someone in my life who uses this phrase constantly. Usually, it’s, “I need you to bird-dog this.” Which, if you look it up in the dictionary, means, “to follow, watch carefully, or investigate.” OK, whatever. Why this someone can’t simply say, “I need you to do this,” is beyond me. But if you look the phrase up in the Urban Dictionary, the definition is, “going out and chasing girls for the sole purpose of getting ass.” So am I constantly being told to go out and get some ass, or what?
I can’t resist revisiting my dislike for the word “eponymous,” because I think I know why I have such strong feelings. Its a stupid, long word that is for something extremely simple! Do we need this word? Music writers love, love, love this word. It means self-titled or named after oneself. Big deal. What it really implies is a lack of creativity. Wilco names their album Wilco. Hooray! What I would love, though, is someone who gives their child the same first name and then refers to him as eponymous. “My debut son, eponymously named Eugene.”
Anytime the 00’s are referred to as The Naughties. Ugh. And anytime job benefits are referred to as “benies.” I actually don’t know how one would spell that last one. I’ve been with people in meetings who have referred to benefits as, “benies,” with a certain amount of pride, as if to say, “Yeah, I know the HR lingo.”
No more “drinking the Kool-Aid,” OK? I can’t take it anymore. My favorite was hearing about a woman who kept referring to herself as the Kool-Aid. “He really drinks my Kool-Aid,” she would say, if someone liked her or thought she was good at her job. This implies that someone was buying her act of being smart or cool, when in fact she really sucked, was very stupid, etc. So it seems to me that this is a form of putting oneself down. “Drinking the Kool-Aid” has replaced “listening to The Man” in many instances.
And, I have to add the phrases “social media” and “social networking.” Ick. I went to a meeting in November where a woman stood up in front of 200 of us and carefully explained that social media is a “two-way street.” “It’s two or more people having a conversation… the Web isn’t static anymore.” To me, if you’re just hearing/learning this, you’re totally lost and probably shouldn’t be allowed to have a job doing anything other than spinning yarn. And if spinning yarn is just the thing for you, then good. At least you’re not going to sit there spinning and talk about social networking or improving your tweets. Because it’s already boring.
I know I’m feisty this morning. But one final word… Crowdsourcing. Wikipedia sez, “Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an “open call” to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task (also known as community-based design and distributed participatory design), refine or carry out the steps of an algorithm (see Human-based computation), or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (see also citizen science).”
I would really, really like it if the crowdsourcing definition said, “The public may be invited to take up pitchforks and torches and help capture, parade and ultimately behead a vampire or other monster.” Man, medievals invented crowdsourcing. They just called it a mob.