It’s that time again: time to blow off steam by kvetching about language. If you’re one of those tolerant people who says, “Language evolves, deal with it,” then you should simply skip this post. Otherwise, be ready to enlighten us with words and phrases that grate on you.
Here’s my latest list, and be aware that I don’t keep track of previous posts like this, so I may repeat myself. As usual, many of my examples come from HuffPost, where a bunch of entitled Millennials who can’t get a real job like to sound cool by larding their “articles” with the latest cool argot.
1.) “tea” as in “gossip” or “dirt”. “Spill the tea” is now the equivalent of “tell all” or “spill it”. The Urban Dictionary gives an example:
“OMG, spill the tea on that drama!!!!”
Demi Moore’s new memoir is giving you all the tea you could possibly want about her life and then some.
This is odious. Why can’t they just say “juicy details” or “gossip”. The word “tea” here is the verbal equivalent to virtue flaunting—it’s “I’m with-it” flaunting. I have no use for such people.
2.) Influencers. This refers to people on Instagram who make their living by “influencing” people: flaunting products and brand names, and showing pictures of themselves in spiffy clothing (paid for by the manufacturer). It rankles me that people would actually try to earn money by influencing others commercially—”influencers” who pretend not to be the advertising agents they really are. An example of an influencer is Olivia Jade Giannulli, the daughter of soon-to-be-felon Lori Laughlin. Cursed with a deficit of neurons and a hunger for attention and money, Olivia Jade brandishes products and thereby encourages her sheeple to buy them. Viz:
Here are some examples from HuffPo:
3.) “The thing is. . . is. .. ” The double “is” is (I just did it!), well, a sign of eloquence deficit, for nothing is added with the second “is.” In fact, you could eliminate “the thing is” entirely, replacing it with something like “the important thing is that” or “the crucial thing is that.” Sadly, I actually heard a commenter use the double “is” on National Public Radio the other day.
I won’t provide an example because if you’re an Anglophone you’ll have heard many (although I’m not sure whether, say, Brits, Aussies, or Canadians use the phrase).