13 Words Overused Until They Mean Nothing

I love this. I hate that. Really? Is it necessary to exaggerate? If everything is huge or outrageous or unprecedented, then how will we express things that are truly out of the ordinary? Florid language is the enemy of clear, concise speech.  Like putting exclamation points and emojis after every sentence, it pervades modern media and makes everyone sound like adolescent twits. I don't dislike the following expressions, nor do I hate them. I detest them with a burning rage that disrupts the very fabric of space and time. 

 

  1. - Amazing/Amazed: People say this when they really like something, but it seems to imply low expectations. Did you expect your $30 hamburger to suck? Did you expect the roller-coaster to be boring? Who do you think you are, James Bond? And finally, 'Amaze-Balls'? What does that even mean? 
  2. - Decimated: Used in journalism and elsewhere to mean drastically reduced. The literal meaning is to be reduced by 10%. Well that all depends don't it? If Jeff Bezos' finances were 'decimated', he would go from $140 billion to just $126 billion... Wow, decimated! How about this; "At the barber shop, my hair was decimated". 
  3. - Devastated: To be destroyed. I was devastated when Netflicks stopped streaming Buffy Vampire Slayer. Now you can only rent it on disk. 
  4. - Eviscerated/Gutted: Gutted, like a fish. Currently used to say that something has been rendered ineffective somehow. I think a term this disgusting and extreme should refer to extreme cases. For ordinary things it seems quite stupid; "my dinner plans were EVISCERATED", "The yard-debris pickup schedule was GUTTED". Oooooh! 
  5. - Heroes: 'Heroes' for staying home. 'Heroes' for doing your jobs. 'Heroes' for stating the obvious! Geez... 
  6. - Jaw-dropping: See 'Stunning'. 
  7. - On The Ground: Except for birds, planes and clouds, everything is on the fucking ground goddammit! 
  8. - Passionate: We're 'passionate' about good customer service. We're 'passionate' about bagels. We're 'passionate' about staring at you glassy-eyed while charging $8.37 for a cup of stale coffee, a microwave burrito, and a scratch-it. 
  9. - Reaching Out: My old boss used to use this expression. I would imagine him drowning in a lake and 'reaching out' for help. 
  10. - Stunning: Stunning sounds like stoning. Stoning could be stunning. If you were stoned you may seem stunned, but being impressed or surprised isn't really the same as temporary loss of consciousness, unless you're an idiot. 
  11. - Thoughts And Prayers: What you offer to people when you don't really care. 
  12. - Thrown Under The Bus: Making someone else suffer the consequences of your mistakes. How does this express the idea anyway? 'Cause of course, pushing someone into the path of a motor-vehicle is the best way to deflect attention away from yourself. 
  13. - We Got This: In the 1977 Mel Brooks movie, High Anxiety, Brophy, the chauffeur tries and fails to lift luggage. He says; "I got it! I got it! I got it... (sigh) I ain't got it!" We got this? What have we got? I’m gonna need some proof. 

Leave a comment

Add comment