28 shorthand words to eliminate from our lexicon forever

For realz, you have to check out this list. It’s amazeballs!

“29 terms we obvi need to totes elims from our lexi forevs.”

Did you understand that? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

I know we’re turning into a texting culture full of shortened and unintelligible words. But we’re destroying our language. At some point, we need to draw a line in the sand. Today’s the day.

I’m making a list of all the shorthand and unintelligible words we need to eliminate from our every day conversations. I know, I sound a little sanctimonious here, but follow my logic. I’m all for fun. I’m all for funny. But, the more you say these words, the more likely they are to seep into an email or a discussion with your boss. Or, her boss. Ever sit in a conversation where someone says, “Our peeps were all over Facebook today for obvs reasons. Totes.” to the CMO. That’d go over real well.

So, we’re going to stop. OK, fine, I’m going to stop. Because, truth be told, I’m guilty of this “language bastardization,” too. I’m making a pact with myself to cut it out. And, maybe you should, too.

I’m starting with the list below. These are obvious choices, and a few were added by friends online.


1. Totes. This is a word my four-year-old would use. Try saying “totes” in your next conversation with your CMO and see how that goes for you.

2. Teeps/tweeps/tweeple or any derivation thereof. I’ve harped on this long enough. It’s time to end it—forever.

3. Jelly. I’m not even sure if this is real. People really use “jelly” in place of “jealous”? If you’ve done this, please light yourself on fire immediately, courtesy of Pamela Shamblin.

4. Obvi—courtesy of Chuck Hemann

5. Ridic—courtesy of Chuck Hemann, even though he uses this word about 4,312 times a day.

6. Vacay/staycay—courtesy of Greg Swan.

7. Adorbs/Adorbz. It’s three more letters people. Really? REALLY? (To confirm, the cap letters indicate I’m screaming.)

Twitter ridiculousness

8. Twitterview. We get it, it’s clever, but enough already.

9. Twesume. I just threw up in my mouth.

10. Tweetheart. Remember when Forbes had this term on its cover? I still haven’t forgiven them.

11. TwinkedIn. Really, you can’t just say I met someone on Twitter and then connected on LinkedIn?

The unintelligible

12. Noms and all variations including nom noms and nomming. I still don’t even know what this means. Call me stupid.

13. Amazeballs. Amazing was just too popular, you had to take it up a notch, didn’t you? via Teresa Basich.

14. For realz. Also see “For reals” via Heather Cmiel.

15. Awesomesauce. Awesome by itself: totally acceptable. Awesome plus any other word, not so much, via Julio Ojeda-Zapata.

16. Coinkydink. For “coincidence” according to friend Kate Selner. I wish I was kidding.

17. Tradigital via Adam Kmiec. I’m not completely opposed to this one, but it does sound a bit stupid.

18. Yummers. Again, this one doesn’t totally bug me, but it certainly falls in the unintelligible category, via Colleen McGuire.

19. Stabby. Not even sure what to say about this one. I still don’t understand what it means after Laura Scholz explained it to me.


20. FTW. Hasn’t this one worn out its welcome? Courtesy of Nicolena Vratil.

21. FML. Just discovered what this meant. OMG. FML. LMFAO. LOL.

22. BRB. Be right back—it’s 11 characters!!!!! via Matt LaCasse.

23. LMAO. I mean, you’ve seen the “band” right? I rest my case.

Other terms that just need to go away:

24. Guru. Honestly, peeps.

25. Maven. I know, everyone likes to say “marketing maven.” There’s alliteration. I get it, but it bugs the crap out of me.

26. #justsayin. Popular hashtag, but it’s starting to get pretty darn annoying, via Jason Keith.

27. #fail. I think this one has run its course. I agree with Andrew Meyer here.

28. Epic. Isn’t epic the new “amazing?” Regardless, it’s overused and worthless, via David Murray.

That’s the start to my list. What would you add?

Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this post originally appeared on Communications Conversations.


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