Here are the things you need to stop saying if you are over the age of 30. Or if you have a mortgage, or a job that comes with benefits. Or if you have teens. Especially, if you have teens.
1. Totes. When used as an abbreviation for the word “totally,” of course. If someone approaches you on a rainy day and says “Hey, I love that cute, compact umbrella! What kind is it?” and you answer, “Totes!” it’s all good. But when you walk into the living room and announce, “Dinner is totes ready!” not so good. Please stop.
2. I know, right?? Last summer I spent a few weeks teaching preschool with a beautiful, tanned, Amazonian 20-something with a beach-volleyball player’s body. She was sweet, but answered everything with the words, “I know, right?” I’d walk into the classroom and say, “Holy crap is it hot out!” and Tall Tan One would say, “I know, right?” I’d say “Thank God it’s Friday!” and she’d look up from the Dora the Explorer puzzle she was working on and say, “I know, right?”
Yes, I do know. Right. Because I JUST SAID IT.
Now, despite my holier than thou approach to speaking, somehow this virus-like phrase started slipping out of my own mouth. I was horrified by the ease at which it popped out, usually in response to a friend’s innocent, middle-aged statement along the lines of “I’m so sick of peeing my pants.” Only I shortened it, and dropped the questioning inflection…and in my head it sounded more like a clipped, British, Colin Firth-ish “right, then” instead of the other way. My head was wrong. It still sounded lame.
3. Amazeballs And while we’re at it, let’s retire “amazing” for a while, too. “That pumpkin latte was amazeballs!” or “That meatloaf was amazing.” No. Nobody really needs to walk around saying the word “balls” except for gym teachers and coaches and boys between the ages of 7 and 15. And the word amazing has been stuck in my craw since my homegirl Nina Badzin wrote about how it’s being overused as a compliment. BECAUSE EVERYTHING ISN’T AMAZING. Sometimes it’s really good. Sometimes it’s yummy. Sometimes it’s just so-so. We have so many adjectives in the English language. Let’s dust some of the lesser-knowns off and use them for a while.
(And yes, oh the irony of the 47-year-old blogger using the word “homegirl”… I almost typed “home-skillet” which would have been even more sad. Amazingly so.)
4. Cray (Or Cray-Cray ). Crazy just sounds better. Or one of the ten million synonyms for crazy. I like a good “crazier than a shithouse rat” but I can’t say that when I’m surrounded by …