We’ve all had to pad that one hard essay with an entire extra paragraph of  meaningless words and hackneyed idioms to get to the page minimum. That’s fine. Hell, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s recommended. But what is not okay is using those phrases in everyday language. They make life boring and can cause cancer. Here is a short list of common phrases you may have heard around campus. These are on the no-fly list. If you hear them used and can restrain yourself from punching the speaker in the face, then you must be a zen master.

1. Rhyme and Reason, as in: “What is the rhyme and reason to repeating yourself, you horse’s ass?”

Unless you’re getting paid by the word to talk, there is nothing to be gained from coupling synonyms together. Just don’t do it. Also, note that this is a placeholder for a more general rule: if two words mean the same thing, only use one. Super simple stuff.

2. Mumblemumblemumblemumble “Oh god I can’t speak today” mumblemumblemumble

See, people are compassionate. If you need a moment to stop and compose yourself no one is going to laugh at you for being slow. They will understand because everyone’s experienced a mental block. What can’t be justified, however, is taking a moment to explain to others that you are having difficulty in your Broca or Wernicke‘s areas. A drowning man does not hold up a sign that says “I need air.” He just tries to swim.

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Merriam-Webster seems behind the times in proclaiming 2007 as the year of “w00t.” An online poll on the dictionary’s Web site determined the word, and the Clog thinks some 1337 haxor pulled something on dear Merriam-Webster.

Besides, wasn’t “w00t” so high school? You’d think that being bloggers we’d be up on the nexus of technology and language … but we think we’ve gone beyond the phase of 1337 speak.

Merriam Webster’s president, John Morse explains the trend behind the word of ’07:

bq. It’s a term that’s arrived only because we’re now communicating electronically with each other.

Yes, that makes sense. Pagers, cell phones, computers, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail and blogs didn’t really peak until 2007. Man, to think that only a year ago we were still using carrier pigeons. What a n00b. Or is it “nub” now?

Image Source: Felipe Micaroni Lalli under Creative Commons
Merriam-Webster’s Word of ’07: ‘W00t’ [AP via SF Chronicle]