Word Terrorism: Black Friday Is Problematic For the Nuclear Option

Ken Layne · 11/25/13 01:51PM

problematic (noun, adjective) You're at work, looking at the Internet instead of doing tasks related to your employment. Something is bothering you! Did a celebrity comment on the issue of race? What is up with Katy Perry being so old? Why is "everyone" on Twitter mentioning a #longread that just didn't do anything for you? Welcome to the world of things that are problematic—meaning, things that don't concern you at all, as opposed to actual problems such as your parking tickets, student loans, self-diagnosed nutritional disorders and loser brother who wants to sleep on your sofa while he "looks for a job."

Word Terrorism: Send Your Selfies To the Ideas Editor

Ken Layne · 11/20/13 11:00AM

selfie: (noun) Nobody has any idea how to take a photograph of another person. Or, everyone hates you. What else explains the badly lit and poorly focused horror mugshots your so-called friends produce when pointing their phones at you? Did they try to zoom in on the first pimple you've had in three years, or are they just fundamentally inept at life? Is it absurd to think a person might use the simple photo-editing tools on every phone to change your eyes from demonic-idiot red to their actual color, or to maybe remove that sesame seed stuck between your front teeth? The selfie is your only shot at ever having a decent shot of yourself. Don't be embarrassed. Take as many pictures as it takes to get one of your beautiful face, instead of your flabby arm that somehow got all the light from the flash.

Lifehacks, Crack, and Other Words of the Day

Ken Layne · 11/05/13 12:44PM

lifehack (noun) A somber acknowledgement that while life itself is mostly boredom, disappointment and heartbreak, you can at least use up some of life's many hours with different ways to peel garlic or organize your closet shelves.

Word Terrorism: Ban CR, Or Default To Meritocracy

Ken Layne · 10/14/13 04:00PM

CR: 1. Abbreviation for "Congressional Republican," a member of an exclusive socialist commune on the Potomac River that provides private gyms, health care, pensions, tennis courts, guaranteed airline seats, reserved airport parking, fine dining, life insurance, a private subway, iPhones, postage stamps, luxury hotels and manservants. Commonly confused with the abbreviation for continuing resolution.

Word Terrorism: Can LongReads and Artisanal Beards 'Scale'?

Ken Layne · 09/23/13 02:18PM

beard: Ancient arcane term for a gay person's pretend heterosexual partner. Since the legal establishment of gay marriage, refers exclusively to lovingly tended long whiskers worn by urban men working in offices.

Word Terrorism: When "Sorry" Means "I'm Openly Racist"

Ken Layne · 09/16/13 09:00AM

is that a thing now?: 1. Feigned ignorance of something impossible to avoid that you could quickly look up on the very device you've just used to type is that a thing now? 2. A symptom of amnesia requiring immediate medical attention and long-term hospitalization.

Word Terrorism: When "Smart Takes" Aren't

Ken Layne · 09/09/13 11:00AM

We are terrorized by language every day! Word Terrorism is here to fight back, by collecting the worst examples of modern vocabulary and revealing the true meanings behind the most insidious terms. Your suggestions are both welcome and necessary.

Men Can Be Raped Now, Too

Hamilton Nolan · 01/06/12 09:12AM

For 85 years, the FBI has defined rape as the "carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." In all that time, no men have been raped. Now, thanks to rap music, homosexual marriage, and Jerry Sandusky, the FBI has gone and changed the definition—placing millions of American men in danger of rape.

Nobody Wants to Admit They're a Propagandist

Hamilton Nolan · 07/26/10 09:18AM

A wealthy scion of an American dynasty is using his media knowledge and Hollywood connections to lobby power players to insert subtle liberal messages into movies and TV shows by manipulating their storylines. This is not propaganda, apparently.

All The Philosophy You'll Ever Need

Hamilton Nolan · 05/17/10 10:55AM

Rejoice, sheeple, because the NYT's blog called "The Stone" (HEH) is attempting to answer the eternal question, "What is a philosopher?" God, they go on so long. My fellow undergrad philosophy major dropouts already solved this ancient riddle long ago.

Chris Anderson: Asshole Interviewee

Hamilton Nolan · 07/29/09 12:31PM

Wired editor Chris Anderson has fully morphed from a journalist, who knows what it's like to have to interview other people, into a celebrity, who has no time for these fucking reporters and their boring questions. "Journalism," what's that?