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As writers, we kinda have a thing for vocabulary and word choice. We love the way certain words sound and how certain expressions paint the most perfect picture. But on the flip side, some of these words and expressions just need to stop. So, we asked our writers…

What is a famous tagline/expression that you wish would just die already?

Eric Mochnacz – “You’re on mute.”

“You’re on mute.”

Can we just forget Zoom exists?!

I can’t believe I’m saying this as a geriatric millennial who is supposed to hate phone calls, but can you JUST call me?!

After all this is over, as a nation, can we all agree to throw our laptops in the nearest dumpster and become a nation of anti-technology, non-working isolationist weirdos who pay for things through barter?!

It’s really the only solution to Zoom fatigue—and that’s not even a word that captures the gravity of how much I hate Zoom—and having to hear or say “you’re on mute” one more fucking time.

Heather Shaff – “Cheugy”

Ugh… cheugy. I cannot stand this word, which appeared out of nowhere last year. Half the population doesn’t even know what it means, but ironically, that’s the point. Cheugy refers to something that is off-trend or out-of-date. And usually, the person who is sporting the offending trend is clueless that said trend is now uncool.

This smacks of popular-kid high school stuff to me. Which is funny, because the term was apparently coined by a student at Beverly Hills High School. Which is all so… 90210.

Honestly, people. We have so much work to do, trying to come together and heal during one of the most polarized social and political periods in history. And now we need to fan the flames with a smarmy internet word like cheugy? This trend isn’t worth a pumpkin spice latte, and better slip on out as suddenly as it slipped in.


Adated, ancient, Gen-X, total cheug.

Jillian Conochan – “That’s a good question.”

Mass adoption of phrases can have the negative consequence of obliterating real meaning from it. Any version of “That’s a good question,” is devoid of any actual meaning anymore, due to unknowing Michael Scotts and Barbaros of the world using it as part of a “sandwich method” or to buy time while mentally formulating an answer. So while “What is a famous tagline/expression that you wish would just die already?” is authentically a good question, I can no longer in good conscience say so because I just hammered the final nail in its coffin. RIP

Keven Balderas – Social Media Terms

Mmm… I’m not passionate about any expression needing to die, but it would be a great idea if we would weigh social media terminology more often. For instance, social media is not quite “social” if it keeps us from talking with others because we don’t put our phones down.

And, what does it mean when we “like” something on Twitter or Instagram? Are we expressing approval? And if we are, why should we? Do we have any right to approve or disapprove others’ probably sporadic thoughts?

And, what are “followers?” I mean, I do “follow” others on Instagram, but at the same time I don’t really follow them. For clarity, we should look at the few who took these words and appropriated them for their platforms. Did they mean well for the world or for their businesses? Would social media be a healthier thing if we changed these words?

Marybeth McDonough – “Hot mess”

“Hot mess” and any iteration of the phrase? I’m OVER it. Know why? I’m an actual mess and there’s nothing hot or trendy about it. I’m tired of seeing women recording a reel with a “messy bun” that still seems polished and a strategically placed stain on their off-the-shoulder athleisure top as they sip from a glass of wine. The fact that you can have your children pop in as precocious guest stars on your TikTok to the tune of [insert whatever song I can’t think of] shows me, madam, that you are no mess at all. And you know what? That’s okay. Own it. I’m completely jealous, of course, but at least you’d be living a truth. If you’re an actual hot mess, the last thing you want to do is to broadcast it.

Jay Heltzer – “Fake News”

“Fake news” needs to take its exit. I’m referring to the term. Yeah, the artificial, society-manipulating, intelligence-insulting dreck needs a Thanos-snap as well, but good luck with that.

When someone says, “fake news,” it is usually laced with the same emotional punch as a snot-nosed seven-year-old who repeats “I know you are but what am I?” after you call them a “butthead.” Smart readers and viewers know it’s bullshit and the dumb ones can’t be reached. Screaming “fake news” at a dumb-ass news story is like going outside during a storm amidst flying bovines, car-crushing hail, and deadly lightning, and saying “I think it’s cloudy.” Fucking duh!

Plus, the mom of whomever wrote that crap will hear you, and you’ll make her cry from saying her kid is a butthead for creating fake news. You should never make someone’s mom cry. You’ll go to hell for that.

The Prompt Staff

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