BY MICHAEL MUSTO
Largely thanks to social networks, words and phrases become clichés faster than they used to because everyone spots them, jumps on them, and thinks they‘re being oh so clever by parroting them on a daily basis. And they’re killing the language! Oh, and by “killing” it, I don’t mean in the clichéd way that means “They’re doing a great job.”
Anyway, I’ve been down this cliched road before, but there are so many new overworked phrases to kvetch about. They’re killing me! Here goes:
Agency (over my body)
And no, that’s not a typo.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Battle lines have been drawn.
Beating your face
Because of course he did.
The Bechdel Test
BFD (Big fucking deal)
Bitter custody battle
Bitter party of one
Black eye (to signify a public figure receiving a setback)
A blot on the landscape
Boots on the ground
The “both parties are the same” crowd is very quiet right now.
Bring to the table
Come and take it.
The conversation about…
“Cringe” as an adjective (as in, “That’s so cringe.”)
Dance like there’s nobody watching.
Don’t judge me.
Don’t waste time on people who don’t appreciate you. (So true! Drop them! Before they drop you first!)
Ducks in a row
Elevates the culture
Executive privilege (Sorry, 45, but that doesn’t cover every conceivable action and coverup that might happen in the White House—or afterwards, either.)
A few fries short of a Happy Meal
Fuck that noise.
Gee, what could possibly go wrong?
Giving it 110%
Ha! or haha
Haters gonna hate.
Have a blessed day.
He didn’t take his meds today.
Hello, how are you doing today? (The inevitable DM from a busty Russian bot)
He’s so old, his Social Security number is 3. (I’m guilty of using this one a lot, but it’s still cliched. Do as I say, not as I do—another cliché.)
Hijacked the conversation
I didn’t sign up for this.
I don’t know her.
I don’t share. I’m an only child.
If you could go back in time and tell your nine-year-old self something, what would it be?
If you don’t think [such and such] is happening, then you haven’t been paying attention.
I have an immune system.
I’ll adopt your baby.
I mean it when I say…
I’m funding $5200 to the first 7 people who message me.
In no uncertain terms
In real time
In this day and age/In today’s world
I stand with…
It could have been worse.
It’s a look.
It’s not rocket science.
It’s so Handmaid’s Tale.
I was today years old when I found out about…
Johnny Depp won his lawsuit, and my opinion on that is that Ginni Thomas tried to overturn the election.
The jokes write themselves.
Laid it all out
Late to the party
Living my best life
Losing the plot
Marked safe from… [followed by some weak joke]
A master class in…
ME: [Some lame saying.] ALSO ME: [Some other lame saying that contradicts the first one.]
Needs to be held accountable
None of this means a damn thing if Trump doesn’t pay for what he did…
Partisan (see: politicized)
A personal financial pinata
Pillar of the community
A race to the bottom
Read the room (As in “She didn’t read the room”)
Red meat to voters
Run it up the flagpole
Settled law (which conservative Supreme Court appointees seem to think means “settled law that needs to be unsettled”)
Simple yet elegant
So and so’s day just got worse.
So I did a thing.
So this happened.
Socialism/Marxism/Communism (used by people who generally have no idea what any of those words mean)
Sorry for your loss.
The struggle is real.
Supply chain issues
The takeaway is…
To be honest
Truth to power
Unleash the dragon
Virtual real estate
Voice of reason
Wait for it.
Walk me through this.
We have to stop bringing knifes to a gunfight.
Well, smell you!
What could go wrong? (As in “Eight gays in a kayak. What could go wrong?”)
What is a woman? (Um, that’s easy. An adult who’s female.)
Witch trial (somehow only used when a true criminal is being investigated)
With all due respect
You can’t fix stupid.
You got this.
You’ll only find love when you stop looking for it.
You’ve got to write your memoirs!
Michael Musto is a columnist, pop cultural and political pundit, NYC nightlife chronicler, author, and the go-to gossip responsible for the long-running (1984-2013) Village Voice column, “La Dolce Musto.” His work regularly appears on this website as well as Queerty.com and thedailybeast.com, and he is writing for the new Village Voice, which made its debut in April of 2021. Follow Musto on Instagram, via @michaelmusto.
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