So as a writer of commentary, I like the idea of slipping in an unexpectedly trendy verb or adjective when the reader least expects it. It’s sort of like walking into a familiar room in Nana’s house, but Nana is in her favorite chair, smoking a joint.
I like to start my search for new trends in writing styles at the social media level. It typically takes mainstream media weeks or months to adopt a new idiom, just in time for the cool kids to not be using it any more.
There are two such over-used headline idioms that really bug me. They started in social media and were quickly picked up and beat to death by the lame-stream media. One is: “5 Ways To…” “6 Steps To…” “8 Times You…”
Apparently, folks need to know their exact level of commitment in the header before just jumping into some five-sentence paragraph of strange content. “5 Ways… OK fine, but it better not be 6, I could be watching 10 memes right now.”
The second headline trend I find especially icky, but I see it everywhere, is using death as an exclamation of pure joy. A quote from the Huff Post: “Michele Obama Crashed My Book Club and I Died”!
If you are old, then wanting to die was a phrase you used if you did something really embarrassing. If you are young “Death,” in the Urban Dictionary, means hilarious, like “died laughing.” First Person: “If that guy had a thought, it would succumb to loneliness.” Second Person: “Death.” This use, I understand, but death as pure joy is a tough one for me to get my head around.
That being said, I do realize that if I want to remain relevant, I need to adapt and adopt.
Clearly, I have the hang of this. But I still need a catch phrase that is uniquely mine. Something that is hip but international in flavor, that I could use in Baseball, Soccer, Curling, all of it.
Well, once again, my wife saved the day. Becky walked in while I was writing this, read it over my shoulder and came up with a brilliant catch phrase. Becky is very Irish which covers the international requirement. She said there is a common phrase that has been used in The Celtic Isles for decades, and might be just what I’m looking for. She was right.