Jun 27, 2008

catchphrases to drop as if hot

One more linguistic entry for today: Ron Rosenbaum wants to know which catchphrases have been completely cliched out.
There's Stage 1, when you first hear a phrase and take pleasure in its imaginative use of language on the literal and metaphorical level. This may not be the most beguiling example, but consider "throw up a little in my mouth." I'm still kind of attached to it.

Then there's Stage 2, when you use it to establish "street cred" (time to throw "street cred" under the catchphrase bus?) or convey a sense of being au courant.

Then there's Stage 3, when the user acknowledges a phrase's over-ness and tries to extract some final mileage out of it by gently mocking it, usually by using ironic quotes, or adding "as they say" to the end.

Finally, there's Stage 4: terminal obsolence, dead phrase walking. Take "at the end of the day." It kind of stuns me whenever I find someone still saying "at the end of the day" with a straight face. What are they, stuck on stupid, as they say?
Rosenbaum ends with questions rather than ordinances. What, he asks, are we to do with "stay classy," "up in your grill," "overshare," "tell us something we don't know," "man up," "go-to," "drinking the Kool-Aid," or "mad props," among so many others?

So, for his and your edification, some edicts:

1. Permitted
Stay classy, overshare, go-to.

2. Forbidden
Up in your grill, tell us something we don't know, man up, drinking the Kool-Aid, mad props.

Complete list of bans and moratoria here.

1 comment:

Bill Pickert said...