Word Terrorism: Wow, It's a Platisher

Ken Layne · 02/07/14 12:35PM

Language is our primary weapon in the ceaseless conflict that is modern life. Today we examine two words that are perfectly terrible reflections of our time: wow and platisher.

The Year's Very Worst Words Are So "Problematic"

Ken Layne · 12/31/13 01:30PM

Language is wonderful and language is alive, but language is also a form of psychological assault—especially when everybody suddenly starts using awful new terms and phrases just because everyone else is doing it, on Twitter. We are not so naive as to think we can "ban" this or that word, because "ban" is one of the words we would ban, if words could be banned. They cannot. Thanks to 2013, we're stuck with this bunch of linguistic garbage.

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: 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.

These Words Are Now Banned from the English Language

Brian Moylan · 12/30/11 12:30PM

Every year Lake Superior State University bans a bunch of words and phrases from the English language for good. They just released their list today and, I must say, it is amazing. Oh wait, we can't say "amazing" anymore.

The Fifteen Most Useless Internet Euphemisms

Nick Douglas · 07/03/08 12:55AM

"We didn't attempt to silence Violet. We unpublished our own work." That's how the geek culture blog Boing Boing defended their decision to delete every post referring to sex writer Violet Blue for no given reason. The team's refusal to explain further turned this obscure event into a giant blog fight: because a couple of bloggers hid behind mealy-mouthed words instead of coming out firing all weapons, like proper Internet talk is supposed to go. Driven by the same old ass-covering impulse, anyone trying to make a buck uses bland business-speak online: "Restructuring" for mass layoffs, "brand advertising" for ads that no one clicks. Below are over a dozen such terms and their true definitions.

Remainders: Michael Arrington, Web 2.0 midwife

ndouglas · 05/02/06 08:10PM
  • The new "Get a Mac" ads (pictured) starring a dorky office guy as a PC and a generic-Tobey-Maguire as a Mac? Pretty cute. So is that "new camera from Japan," anyone got her number? [Apple]