They are the weakest-minded and the hardest-hearted men that most love change.
- John Ruskin, English Critic and Social Theorist (1819-1900)
“Really?” What made this word so popular was not the word itself, but the way in which it was said. At this point though, it’s been said so many times it’s just annoying.
I am over this word.
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“YOLO” – By the time cartoon character t-shirts are found sporting a popular catch phrase at Walgreens and Macy’s, you know the phrase has already been played out. You Only Live Once seems a pretty basic statement of fact, until you consider that roughly 2 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims believe in an afterlife. Add to that another combined 1.5 billion Hindu and Buddhist believers in reincarnation and suddenly you realize we live in a world where the vast majority doesn’t even believe YOLO in the first place.
Either way, the phrase should have been retired the day after aspiring rapper Ervin McKinness tweeted the following:
Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #FuckIt YOLO
— 2.7.5 Inkyy(@ink2flashyy) September 2, 2012
and then proved YOLO just a couple minutes after the tweet as the car ran a red light and hit a brick wall.
That moment of self-fulfilling prophecy was the high point for the phrase. It’s been all downhill since then.
“At the end of the day” – At the end of the day, this phrase was just a new way of saying “when all is said and done”, but “at the end of the day” is now so worn out I really wish that we were at the end of the phrase.
“Awesome.” As a too-frequent user of this word, I add “awesome” to the list as a reminder to myself as much as anything. While there are many times where nothing more is necessary in a conversation than a single word of approval, even if for no reason other than the sake of variety, it’s a bit lazy to rely on one word too heavily.
The word “sweet” (often drawn out when spoken to “sweeeet”) will take many years to recover from having been beaten into the ground by Cartman and millions of South Park fans, but the word “excellent” proves that given a couple decades, many words can liberate themselves from their lingering sound of self-parody. Plenty of other words will also substitute for “awesome”, words like great, super, wonderful and outstanding!
My vote for the one phrase most long overdue for retirement?
“It is what it is.” It is self-evident as any phrase is, but in a world that tends to overcomplicate, the first few times I heard it said in its recent revival, the phrase seemed to carry a deeper sort of wisdom in it’s simplicity, recalling some of the lines from the Tao Te Ching. Now when I hear different people say “it is what it is” half-a-dozen times in any given week, it’s about as annoying as if you had a personal trainer who never let a day go by without reminding you at least once that “you are what you eat.” Yeah okay, we get it. The phrase was pretty much milked of all its wisdom by the thirteenth time we heard it. Enough already. Let the phrase die a merciful death.
Those are the first five annoying phrases that spring to my mind, how about you?