Everybody puts out lists of hated terminology this time of year, when there's not much else to write about except self-indulgent pet peeves. So, for what it's worth, here are some words and phrases I'd like to ban in 2011:---
"Teabagger" -- It was funny for awhile, especially when Fox News pretended to be shocked about the existence of John Waters movies, but come on. Now that the inmates are running the asylum, it's lost its charm.
"I know, right?" is meant as a friendly affirmative, but it contains a self-congratulatory note that seems needy and defensive. Basically, "Your last statement was so clever and succinct it threatens my own status in the group so, even though I agree with what you said, I'd like to point out that the same thought occurred to me before you mentioned it, placing us back on equal footing." Its complimentary value is canceled out in its eagerness to share in the conversational glory, rendering it meaningless.
"Really?" -- Its main virtue is as an updated replacement for "Don't even go there" and "Oh, no, you didn't!" -- but with a lot less head-bobbing and finger-wagging. Still, it assumes a withering superiority that needn't be backed up, and is not necessarily deserved. Sure, somebody can say something totally idiotic, and be put down with a well-placed "Really?" On the other hand, somebody can say something sensible, and be put down by an idiot who likes to say, "Really?" It leads to one-upsmanship and bad cocktail-party conversations where every other sentence is "Really?" -- and anybody who has sat through something like this knows why it deserves a swift death.
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