MICHAEL MUSTO: 50 Cliched Words & Phrases We Need to Ban

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Our dude Michael Musto penned a narrative about words and phrases that aren't brilliant and make him batshit cray cray, so he'd like them banned or whatevs.
Our dude Michael Musto penned a narrative about words and phrases that aren’t brilliant and make him batshit cray cray, so he’d like them banned or whatevs.

No matter how awesome certain words or phrases are, their expiration date is definitely here — you know, words like “awesome” and “expiration date.” So the moment has come for me to list the utterances which we need to instantly flush from our society, since they’re verging on not being so awesome anymore. Let me walk you through them. (God, that’s cliched-sounding.) Here goes nada:

Twerk.” Just saying it makes you sound like a jerk … “Selfie.” Not just the word, but the practice itself. Annoying! … “Kickstarter.” I don’t give money to charity, so why should I funnel it to a documentary about the history of paper clips? … “She’s taking charge of her own narrative.” Or anything with the word “narrative,” which has become even more cliched than “journey.” These words need to journey out of my narrative … “The back story.” I don’t even want the front story, thank you … “Cray cray.” So clichay-clichay. Even worse than the equally worn-out “batshit crazy.” It just drives me, you know …

Resonate.” It’s so overused, referring to everything from crappy sitcom plotlines to pet food store openings. The word has stopped resonating for me … “It is what it is.” Thank you, Forrest Gump … “Authentic.” Anyone who says this word on a regular basis is under deep suspicion of being a big liar … “Organic.” Blech. “Glutens.” Fine, take them away, just don’t tell me about it every five seconds … “What he said.” Oh, please, kindly come up with your own saying, would you mind? … “Questioning.” As a way of life? Just decide already. It’s not a choice anyway … “Ooh! You could turn me straight!” More self-loathing — or clichéd — words were never spoken. And I’ve said them!

Cinematic.” The easiest adjective to trot out for everything, from “That artichoke is cinematic” to “This movie is so cinematic.” Duh. Oh, that reminds me: “Duh.” … “She’s a game changer.” That would mean something if life was a big game of Tiddlywinks, but it’s not … “Art Basel.” Just go there, but shut up about it. And don’t come back … “Brilliant.” So overdone. Let’s drop it, unless you’re referring to my work, of course … “I j’adored it.” This was cute for a long time, but I just don’t j’adore it anymore … “Icon” and “legend.” These terms are more worn out than some of the people they’re used to describe. When they start being dredged up to praise the pig on “Green Acres,” you know you’re in trouble … “Classic.” As in “that classic car commercial” or “a classic can of Diet Sunkist.” Oh, really?

Tragic.” Overuse of that word certainly is … “No words.” Oh, come on. Think of something! … “BWAHAHAHAHAHA.” Hmm. Was it really that funny? Don’t hurt yourself … “Prioritize.” Ugh. I wish people would prioritize it right out of their vocabs … “My truth.” Oh, that’s nice. Yes, I’d absolutely j’adore to hear it. And then who do I contact to get the truth? … “Amazing” (several years running). This has become even harder to digest than “awesome.” It’s become the opposite of amazing … “Wow. Just wow.” I’ve used that myself, but I vow that from now on I’ll say “No. Just no.” … “I can’t breathe.” This was powerful and devastating when said by a New York man named Eric Garner as he was being killed by a cop. But it’s now been appropriated by lots of people who want to make it work for their own causes, and they need to stop and let the late Garner own it … Oh, yeah: “Own it.” Yuck, but I’m glad I avoided “NYC.” It’s not that hard to clank out “New York” or “New York City.” Come on, it’s do-able … Wait! “Do-able” shouldn’t be do-able anymore. Sorry, “my bad.” Whoops! That’s a no-no, too.

A scaled-down reimagining of a ‘classic’ musical.” (i.e., a cheapo revival of a piece of shit.) … “He has an adorable personality.” (i.e, He’s a complete troll.) … “Werq!” (Also “Werkk.”) It’s beginning to werq my gay nerves … “Sickening” (to mean “fabulous”). It’s gotten sickening in the old sense … “Connection.” Almost as clichéd as “bond.” Let’s undo the connection already … “A transformative experience.” Nah, you look like the same blob you did before …“Filtration technology.” Is tap water really that bad that I need to listen to expressions like that? … “Freedom of speech.” Used as a catch phrase for just about anything these days. It’s become as misused as “amazing.” … “Dude.” Please, missy, I am not a dude. I’m barely even a man … “My dog loves me unconditionally.” Well, try not feeding her for three days and see how loving he/she is …“Whatever.” And “whatevs.” Please! Never! (Or should I say “nevs”?)

But wait, there’s more!

As a bonus, here are two longer thoughts that are totally true, they’re just extremely tired and banal due to the sheer excess of their usage. Newsflash (another objectionable word): Ban them now!

“’Boyhood’ was such an amazing achievement. I mean, they shot it over 12 years. It was such a crapshoot to think the cast would stick with it, let alone grow as actors before your eyes, but hey, they did it. It’s truly epic.” Eyeroll. (Oh, that reminds me: Let’s retire “eyeroll.”)

“Meryl Streep not only is a great talent, but she has an unerring sense when it comes to choosing her vehicles. That’s an unbeatable combination.”

And finally, here are a couple of utterly wrong sayings that have become tiresome because dummies choose to say them a lot.

“’Boyhood’ doesn’t have any plot! It just drones!”

“With ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, I could have used more plot.”

Funny, but those happen to be two of the plottiest movies to come down the turnpike in quite some time. OK, time to start banning all of the above utterances pronto. I mean, I just can’t wrap my mind around them. Hey, that’s another one! OK, I’ll stop. End of narrative.

Michael Musto is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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