1. Douche (bag) (y)
Yes, it’s been fun because there’s something satisfying about saying the middle part of the word – OOOOOO. But I think it’s lost its novelty now that it overwhelms comment boards and conversation for the remotest slight:
That shopkeeper shortchanged me. What a douche.
My dad won’t give me the car. Fuckin’ douche.
But I think another reason to retire “douche” is that it’s a fairly open-ended insult. Calling someone a douche suggests they may redeem themselves in the future. A motherfucker – not so much.
He or she may be an idiot, arrogant, have bad taste in music or be an obnoxious self-promoter, but using douche means you don’t necessarily want to wipe them from the earth.
In many cases, you’ll probably see this person again through work or acquaintances. So, “douche” satisfies as a middle ground insult, enough to distance yourself from the insulted, but not enough to nuke them from your life.
Still, I think if you’re going to insult someone, why not put your back into it?
Consider in place of douche, then, the simple and pointed: Asshole.
A satisfying choice because it says what it means, and can help cross someone off your Christmas card list.
2. Jump the shark
Time may fold on itself, the earth may open into a bottomless sinkhole and you may never know if you had a second shot with Jenny Higgins, if I say this ultimate of paradoxes.
But its gotta be said:
Jump the shark has …. jumped the sharked.
It was inevitable.
Just as an aging baseball player has to face up to his slower bat, weaker knees and shrunken testicles from years of steroids, jump the shark has to go belly up to make way for the next generation. It was fun while it lasted.
I’m a fan of Happy Days, and The Fonz will always be cool, regardless if he jumped over a shark on waterskis or rode a llama down Main street.
So to ring in the death knell of jump the shark, here are three other animal options to replace it:
Kicked the kangaroo – McDonald’s kicked the kangaroo after Super Size Me.
Fucked the fish – Axl Rose fucked the fish after his fourth promise and renege of Chinese democracy.
Balled the bear – Adopting African babies, balled the bear after Bruno.
3. By <X>, I mean the complete opposite
Used anytime a writer wants to be self-referential and tell you “I AM SMART! Don’t hold the rest of this article against me”, is now as common as a dandelion. But a gorgeous, inspiring, transcendent beautiful and idyllic one.
By gorgeous, inspiring transcendent beautiful and idyllic, I mean nightmarish and traumatic
4. In situ
Socrates was probably the first guy to use this expression in writing, but 21st century writers have it fully hijacked.
It means – in the place or site of something. For example, viewing the Mona Lisa in situ is much more profound than viewing it on the Internet.
But instead of saying – viewing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre is much more profound…writers can now show you they know Latin, and brag about their latest vocabulary acquisition even though in situ may sound like a deviant sexual act or morbid torture instrument.
Maybe most ironically, in situ accomplishes the complete opposite of what it’s definition intends – it sounds out of place.
In their tireless efforts to create new names for obvious things, marketers have stumbled wholeheartedly on “curate or curator” to now replace the title writer or editor.
Here’s a couple examples from job descriptions:
The media curator will gather and write and reassemble and help us look through all of this information that’s out there, putting a magnifying glass on certain parts of the virtual world and saying, ‘Here’s something to look at.’
A content curator is someone “who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online“.
Rather than just produce words as a writer and collect and organize information for a magazine as an editor, a curator does the exact same thing, but can now appear a lot more culturally relevant whenever someone views their business card.