The New York Times Magazine features a weekly column about the English language and its subtle nuances. Interesting words are researched and presented. Gentle literary humor is bandied about. It’s pleasant and engaging.If you’re smart.
If you’re dumb, you use the magazine to rest your frozen dinner while watching a rerun of Family Guy in your basement. The one where they get a new dog to replace Brian and then Stewie murders him. It was pretty funny! I laughed. Oh, Stewie.
I’m not all that smart.
In general, the column examines words that have crept into national dialogue. And then the nerd who writes it will fume about how a word like ‘inartful’ is improperly used because it is receiving a pejorative connotation when it shouldn’t.
Duh. I could’ve told you that.
Sometimes I read it and pretend to get his anger. Here’s me reading the column in my tremendous peejay pants on a Sunday morning.
Column: Look, Mark, your attempt at pseudonymity is transparent.
Me: Yeah Mark, you dumbass. Your pseudo—nimminy is all screwed up. Get it together. Stop being so transparent, shit for brains.
Column: In today’s catchword-happy world of budgetary bureaucrats, shovel-readiness is next to godliness.
Me: OMG! That’s what I was totally saying to my buddy the other day. I was like, ‘yo Jay, the catch happy world is all full of shovels and it’s godly.’ But did he listen to me? No. He just stared blankly into the distance and told me to shut up. Now who’s laughing?
Column: If you want to fulminate about such prissiness about prurience in print, feel free to rattle your jowls.
Me: You know it’s been like three years since I last fulminated? I should totally do that more. Also, I wonder where my jowls are. Maybe next to my vas deferens? Let’s investigate.
7 Words That Are Just Entirely Horrible.
Usage: I’m totally stoked to marry my cock-eyed girlfriend with a limp.
Why it sucks: Because you sound like you’re Dylan from 90210. No, wait. You sound like you’re Andrea from 90210. Remember Andrea? There’s no way that chick was in high school. She looked ninety. We’re really supposed to believe that David dated her? Really? Because unless David had cataracts, I doubt he’d even touch that. But yeah. She’d say stoked.
Usage: Yo, check it out. See that car? Look, look. That one right there. Yeah! The one with the spoiler that looks like a towel rack. And the 25 inch rims. Right right, the ones that are spinning. And that’s a Hello Kitty sticker in the back. That used to be a 1997 Honda Accord but I bet the dude dropped like 50 G’s on that ride. That’s sick!
Why it sucks: Because only people who take a six thousand dollar car and then waste fifty thousand dollars to make it look like an even bigger piece of shit than when they started touching it should use the word ‘sick’. Also, anyone who wears an Affliction t shirt.
Usage: I just got a brand new docking station for my ipod on sale from Best Buy so now I can hear all my favourite R.E.M. songs louder than ever before. Woot!
Why it sucks: Really. I have to explain? It’s also worse when they do it this way. w00t.
Definition: Not really laughing out loud but maybe just smiling because of something you said that was remotely funny or I’m not sure what else to type because my personality is vapid and hollow and I need filler.
Usage: OMG! Johnny said that to David? Shut UP! Rajan must have been like, umMmM what!? LOL.
Why it sucks: Because when you LOL yourself, it’s really not that funny. Also, let’s forever retire ‘ROFL’ and ‘LMAO’. You know I actually heard a girl say LOL in real life. She said something and then said, “oh my god. Like, ell oh ell!” And then she giggled. And then a little part of humanity died.
Definition: — shit. You know what? I can’t even do another word. I have to get back to LOL. There’s just too much to say.
I also met a girl one time who used to say lolz. No, really. LOLZ. I think the Z made it gangster. She would lolz everything as well. If she went to the mall she would update her Facebook status by saying, “heather is gunna go 2 da mall. lolz.” Everything got lolzed. How does that happen? Don’t her friends tell her to stop lolzing. I had to remove her from my friends list due to excessive lolzing but I think, as you read this, she is lolzing in a conversation somewhere while a young man is silently staring back at her, blinking.
Don’t ever lolz.
Definition: Something pleasant.
Usage: Yo! That party up in North Beach was hyphy! We should totally drop E and pay 120 dollars to go to a Tiesto party next year.
Why it sucks: Thankfully, this is a regional word. If you venture to California, for some reason, everyone is hyphying all over themselves. As you can tell, it’s just entirely awful.
Usage: Oh no way dude! You can’t come to the cottage this weekend because you have to actually work? You’re not unemployed like the rest of us to a point where you can just randomly leave the city to get wasted at a cottage for thirteen days straight in your mustard –stained wife beater with cigarette burn holes? That’s brutal!
Why it sucks: Because people who I just described in the above sentence use it.
Usage: DUDE how does it feel to be totally pwned by my battalion in Call of Duty?
Why it sucks: Because using it is another way of telling the world you’re a virgin.
I think I’ve made my point. But I’m sure you can think of more words that I’ve missed.
One thing’s for certain.
You can’t do worse than lolz.