Overused and Outdated Slang That Should Be Banished From English

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From least to most, here is my list of the top 10 outdated slang that should get the boot because they’re tired, they’ve become trite, or hearing them makes me want to imbibe large amounts of liquid chocolate. It’s time to freshen up and declutter our lexicon. Let’s call this slang-cleaning, in celebration of an early spring here on the west coast of BC (despite today’s minor snowfall, I have white tulip bulbs sprouting beside my front stoop). Goodbye winter and goodbye old slang!

10.  groovy –this was all hip and fine in the year ’69. Yes, very dated.

9.  bitchen – another decade-fad, but this time from 80s valley girl popularity (though I still like the movie Valley Girl when Nick Cage had hair). Sneak in here gnarley and rad from nearby surfer dudes.

8.  24/7 – this officially went out on some list I read somewhere (can you tell I do my research?) some years ago, about three, I think, but I still hear it used. May it have a short life.

7.  sammy – in place of sandwich, and born in the good ol’ US of A, but some pronounce it ‘samwich’ –dear God, do you see that? The first half of the word is ‘sand’…as in the beach kind of stuff. I don’t see an ‘m’ anywhere in there, people! Stop it!

6. like – “Like, I can’t stand the overuse of this, like, word, like, y’know?” This interjection and adverbial add-on is, like, annoying. *Obviously, its correct verb usage as in “I like most other words but this one.” is valid.

5.  mondo – remember this from 2001? Me neither. This one has the best chance of being forgotten.

4.  nifty – it’s unassuming, right? It’s too geeky to be used. See? ‘Geeky’ lives.

3.  spiffy – see #4

2.  literally – this one has completely lost its original meaning, like #1 below, and while #1 more easily shifts into different contexts, thus surviving long like beetles since the Paleozoic era, this one irks me about as much. Wrong: He literally took my breath away. Really? No, he didn’t. Right: He actually took your breath away. You’re not a book, nor is he. There are very few cases when ‘literally’ can actually be used. So there.

And the number one slang that should die from overuse is…

1. awesome – for the simple reason that it’s used in place of absolutely everything. I pray this is only a phase, that the default mechanism everyone is set on in using it will wear out. Please, oh, please. Spare my aching ears!!

And, yes, I am quite aware of the near impossibility of these words being annihilated simply by the fact that I have recorded them above. I’ll grant them safe haven here in their e-grave. Rest in peace.

RP

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