Off the Rails: Phrases We Never Need to Hear Again 

A year has passed without me complaining about the phrases and words I hear on a regular basis that cause me to go "off the rails." I know it may seem like a "nothing burger" to you, but I am mystified by "that moment when" one person said something clever, and it metastasized into slipshod nationwide verbal swill. There are plenty of "bad actors," so let's "play the blame game." There are some repeat offenders that "rolled over" from last year but, "believe me," there are plenty of fresh ones that would "literally" gag a buzzard off a shit wagon. "Does that make sense?" 

So. The award for the major annoyance for the second consecutive year is the word, "so." So, when did this affectation take hold? Ask someone a question, and if they're pundits, reporters, or teens in the mall, they all seem to have the need to preface every sentence with "So." For example, "How'd you get that scar on your face?" "So, I was at home trying to train the cat to leap through a ring of fire, and she went for my eyes." If you haven't noticed yet, now you will.

Dropping the "T" in the middle of a word. This may not sound impor'ant to you, but it's cur'ains for the lingua franca. I mean, are we speaking La'in now? I first thought this was just a cultural thing, especially among the British, and it is. This irritant is called a glottal stop, and it's been studied in England since the 1800s. I'm not sure how it reached our shores, but it spread through every strata of society like a norovirus on a cruise ship. Maybe it was Vladimir Pu'in.

The Adult in the Room. All the grownups have left the building so Donnie can haz cheezburger. "All alone" is the pathetic whimper of an insecure man. But don't worry. Soon there will be all the "executive time" one inmate can stand.

Moving the Goalposts. I saw this once when Tennessee beat Alabama "back in the day," but they tore that one down. The only other time I've actually seen the goalpost move is when a field goal kicker doinks one off the crossbar like the Chicago Bears did last week. That was "literally" a "game-changer."

Woke. This is what happens when oblivious lawn servicemen crank up those goddamn leaf blowers at 7 on a Saturday morning. Sweet Jesus, didn't this city used to have some sort of noise ordinance? It feels like I'm trying to sleep on the deck of an aircraft carrier. By this time, everybody's woke.

Yeah, no. This expression is the common-law spouse of "Sorry, not sorry." Which is it? Have some gumption and pick a side, "just sayin'."

LOL. This was cute back in the chat rooms of America Online, but now that there are a variety of smiley-face emojis, this acronym has become archaic. However, people are saying this in public now. Don't say "LOL," just go ahead and laugh. This includes ROFL, LMAO, LMFAO, and SMH LMAO. Of course, all this is IMHO.

Drill down. Cable TV hosts use this expression when they're fixing to get to the bottom of something. We'll be hearing a lot more of this phrase in the coming year, but out of professional courtesy, it should be reserved for dentists.

click to enlarge Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
  • Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

References to Game of Thrones. Would you believe that there are people who aren't into Fantasy/Science Fiction and, thus, don't know what the hell you're talking about? I've never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, and I don't like dragons. I am also uninterested in Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and all the Marvel superheroes movies. Does this make me a bad person? I can quote large swaths of dialogue from The Godfather, but I don't just throw it out there casually. And I've frisked a thousand young punks.

MAGA. Fuck you and your made-in-China hat.

No collusion. "No puppet, no puppet. ... You're the puppet."

Guardrails. See "The Adult in the Room" above.

Thoughts and prayers. I know you mean well, but instead of praying you might consider actually doing something. And they're always "going out" there somewhere. Shouldn't they be going in? Just for variety's sake, after the next mass murder, change it to prayers and thoughts. This illuminates your priorities.

Fake news. It's curious how the supposed "fake news" keeps turning out to be true. It's strange that "Individual-1" will only grant interviews to Fox News personalities. Judge Jeanine Pirro will never cross-examine him. He likes Fox and Friends because there's always a young blonde co-host sitting on the couch in a short dress with her legs crossed. All the time. "This Rusher thing, with Trump and Russia" gets truer every day. All this bombast and middle-school taunting was merely a diversion to distract from the very real news that the president of the United States was under investigation for being a Russian asset. We are living through a nightmare "the likes of which the world has never seen." But "chillax." Special Council Mueller is about to "take it to the next level," literally.

Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.

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