Blogging Cliches, Time for You to Die
In December 2006, Gawker published a prescient post listing tired phrases used by bloggers, and seeping into the mainstream media. Last March, Gawker had to run an update listing even more such blogging cliches. Around the same time, a writer's group that I belong to had a similar discussion on our message board regarding "overused writing techniques that, er, must. stop. now."
Apparently, the bloggers have not been listening. Therefore, in the hope of spreading the anti-cliche message just a bit further (and having nothing to do with filling a blog quota without coming up with any new material), I have cobbled together some of the most offensive blogging cliches. Please ban these from your blogcabulary immediately:
1. "Best. [insert noun here]. Ever." And other one-word sentences. Trust me, this cliche is not the best anything ever.
2. Overuse of the word "so," as in "I am so over that," "That is so [fill in time frame] ago," and "That is so not happening." "So" should be reserved for productions of The Sound of Music and imperial vice presidents who don't care what the American people think.
3. Ghetto talk by people who are not from the ghetto, unless the writer is writing dialogue spoken by characters in this vernacular, a la Mark Twain or James Ellroy. "Oh snap." "Don’ be hatin’." "Help a brother out." "That's how I roll." "Fo' shizzle." You know the others.
4. LOLcat speak, especially the phrase "I can has" and the dyslexic spelling of the word "teh." People, it's no longer funny to write the way lipless cats would speak. It never was.
5. "Vajayjay." The claim to fame for this phrase is that Oprah said it. To quote Dick Cheney, "so?" Hopefully Oprah is not your role model for relationships or weight maintenance, so why make her your role model for speech?
6. "____ called. They want their ____ back." Thankfully, this phrase seems to be dying a natural death. Perhaps we can drive a stake through it.
7. Mashups of celebrity couple names, such as Brangelina, TomKat, and Bennifer. This one may be the fault of the tabloids more than the bloggers, but we're supposed to be better than they are, right?
8. "The Internets" plural. This one apparently originated with George W. Bush. Do we really want to take speech lessons from Bush, even for ironic effect?
9. Lists (except this one, of course). I'm kidding. Lists are important, since many bloggers no longer know how to read horizontally.
What is the problem with blogging cliches, you may ask? The problem is that they make bloggers look like stupid sheep, all marching in monolithic lockstep. People, have some originality. Have some style. If you need to, make up your own words and zorks (see, it's easy). Or be really original and write in plain English. After all, your goal is to communicate clearly, isn't it?
Help a blogga out.
(Bonus points to anyone who comes up with additional blogging cliches that should go the way of the duckbill platypus.)
(More bonus points to those who point out the cliches that I used in writing this piece. I'll swear that they were all used intentionally!)
(photo from absolutenow.com)