A lot of us are guilty of it. Especially those of us with teens, or tweens, or kids of any age who watch kid-centric television shows or who spend a lot of time on Instagram.
We start to talk like them. Words, phrases, the flotsam and jetsam of another generation's vernacular seeps into ours and before you know it, we catch ourselves (or our friends) dropping these little beauties into everyday conversation, Facebook updates, blog posts and tweets.
Someone needs to step in now, and beg of us all: STOP IT. For the love of all things good and pure and age-appropriate, please stop.
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 preschoolers. So I oftentimes use "whackadoo." When I hear you say "cray" I think you were going to talk about Crayola crayons and had a brain freeze or else Robert Cray, who happens to be a pretty badass blues guitarist.
5. I Will Cut You/I Will Cut a Bitch No, you won't. You're sitting behind the wheel of a Honda Odyssey, you have groceries from Costco melting in the back and you're in the parent pick-up line at school. You're not a character in Orange is the New Black. You're not going to be cutting anyone any time soon so please stop saying you will.
6. Adorbs Are you saying this with any sort of frequency at all? Are you 14 and talking about your BFF's new Harry Styles iPhone case? If the answer to my first question was yes and the answer to my second question was no, then this word needs to stop coming out of your mouth.
7. Feels. As in, "This story hit me right in the feels" or "oh my feels!" or "so many feels". You experienced an emotion. That photo session, the one where the guy's wife passed away and he recreated their wedding photos with his toddler daughter? WE ALL CRIED. I cried like a tired baby on my couch for a good half hour. They caused feelings, not feels. See also: "I eat my feelings" vs. "I eat my feels". Which one rolls off the tongue with more ease and less irony? No more feels. Please.
That's all I've got. I was going to add that thing where people refer to cats as "kittehs" but that one is over now, right?
How about you? Any jargon that you wish would just go away forever? Or worse, that you find yourself saying out loud? Let me know. I'll be over here eating these left-over holiday feels. They taste like snickerdoodles and ham, BTW.
This post originally appeared on Jennifer's blog, The Happy Hausfrau.
Follow Jennifer Ball on Twitter: www.twitter.com/happy_haus