Words and phrases to avoid in 2016

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 4-year-old daughter Viva, who literally can’t even with your eyebrows so on fleek, bae.

It’s the beginning of the year! That’s when we put away our holiday decorations and hunker down for three months of oppressive winter misery and stir-crazy children. It’s also when we make lots of listicles about words no one should use in the new year.

I love these lists, not for what they say, but for what they imply about authors. The words are largely derived from hip-hop, teenagers and the Internet. Thus, the lists generally amount Andy Rooney-esque rants of words that frighten and confuse old white people. “Help! Help! How does one nae-nae? What are amazeballs? What does a winky sadface stand for?!”

There are also usually a few obnoxious corporate or political terms. I’ve always been a proponent of banning the term “on-boarding” which just means “orientation.” And when you board a ship, it isn’t called “on-boarding,” it’s called “boarding.” There’s also “mansplaining,” which, on top of being misandrous and essentialist, is a TERRIBLE portmanteau. (“Man” doesn’t sound like “ex.”) “Sexiled,” now THAT’S a portmanteau.

So let’s make a real list of words and phrases we don’t want to hear anymore, not just because they make us feel bewildered and elderly, but because they lower our quality of life or consistently raise our blood pressure. Here are the words I don’t want to hear from visitors to or residents of my house in 2016:

“Daddy, can I see your phone?”

No, you cannot. You are four years old and you have, like, three iPads. And there are televisions everywhere, and you have a dollhouse taller than your mother. I have my phone, and it’s the only way I can obsessively see if people have clicked “Like” on my blog posts and pictures of things I’ve eaten.

“Bottom.” Also, “Potty,” “Toilet,” “Poopy,” and “Underwear.”

This is how my daughter “works blue,” and she’s getting more fascinated with scatology all the time. It’s only a matter of time before she learns “fart” from one of her friends – half of them have those monstrous “fart guns” from that movie with the little Twinkie men – and when that day comes, I’m dropping her off at the fire station and driving away.

“Daddy, can I have some more juice?”

What, three gallons a day isn’t enough? Eat some food. Drink some water. Juice is horrible for you. No more juice in 2016.

“Do you have a moment for …”

I sure don’t. I only came to the door because I thought you were the guy from GrubHub with my chicken wings. I don’t want to help you get on the ballot, I don’t want to sign up for your fake electric service and I don’t want to be saved. There is no saving me at this point and every second you stay on my stoop, your chances get worse, as well.

“Alternative,” “Holistic,” “Homeopathic,” etc.

Stick a daisy in it, hippie. I don’t want to hear about how your baby was born in a wading pool in your family room, I don’t want to hear about the healing power of peppermint oil and the only thing I’m interested in from anything called “Sears” are Craftsman tools. Your babywearing and late breastfeeding and alternate vaccination schedule can stay outside and do some sun salutations.

“I saw on Facebook that …”

Ah, ah, ah – there be monsters. That sentence usually finishes with “Obummer is going to take mah guns,” or “Mark Zuckerberg is going to give away money” or “Luke Skywalker is Kylo Ren.” Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

“I know you’ve had a bad day, but …”

I’m sure the dishwasher is on fire, or the babysitter canceled or my car is being towed right in front of the house, but, please, just stop right there until after the GrubHub guy gets here.

See you again in 2017, when we’ll be banning all kinds of words we don’t even know yet, but which are bound to be floated at the Video Music Awards or trending on Instagram soon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hand my daughter my phone.

If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe (free!) to The Paternity Test Comedy Podcast on iTunes or on Soundcloud, or visit www.paternitypodcast.com.

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