And the Internet’s Most Overused Word of 2016 is…

Posted: June 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

Savage!

Followed closely by “dank” which can probably be an accurate description of the types of people who think that these words merit their gross overuse.

Every time I have the misfortune of tripping over some misuse of the word “savage” I imagine three things:

– Some gymrat who is still wearing his Affliction shirt that was cool for about 30 minutes back in 2008.

– A Chive user who is alternately idolizing the sentient pile of rocks described above, or is using it “ironically” but failing as bad as Alanis Morissette did back in the 90s.

– Buzzfeed

See, you take a word that had carved itself a nice little niche, where it is thus described as such:


adjective
1. (of an animal or force of nature) fierce, violent, and uncontrolled.
“tales of a savage beast”
synonyms: ferocious, fierce; More
noun
2. (chiefly in historical or literary contexts) a member of a people regarded as primitive and uncivilized.
synonyms: barbarian, wild man, wild woman, primitive
“she’d expected mud huts and savages”
verb
3. (especially of a dog or wild animal) attack ferociously and maul.
“ewes savaged by marauding dogs”
synonyms: maul, attack, tear to pieces, lacerate, claw, bite
“he was savaged by a dog”

…and immediately made it worthless by applying it to things that it has no merit describing.

Now, the reborn usage of “savage” is clearly geared towards the third definition above, whereas the people who use this word tend to lean towards being accurately described by the second example.

Do you remember about 5 years ago when every single fucking event in your life, on Facebook, and elsewhere was “epic”? Here’s a tip: No… It wasn’t epic. It was a modicum above mediocre, but due to the fact that pop culture as it exists now is little more than a parrot with Tourette’s Syndrome, you’ve been conditioned by such exaggerated responses to basic positive feedback that if it isn’t a life changing event, it’s not worth putting into 140 characters or less. The end result of this is that you end up coming across like your mildly retarded Labrador Retriever:

“OMG, a wedding! This is my favourite thing ever!”

“OMG, a car ride! This is my favourite thing ever!”

“OMG, a meal! This is the best thing ever!”

Your breakfast wasn’t epic. Your breakfast was good enough for a picture, and after you posted it to your #socialmedias, you inhaled it like everyone else does, with little regard for the high esteem you had held it in just minutes prior.

Similarly, every time there is a moment where a person is being critical of another, it is being described as savage (alternatively, a “savaging” or engaging in “savagery”). I understand that in this Buzzfeed era of bite-sized, high-calorie media, some hyperbole is required in order to get that valuable ad-based revenue, but by forcing more meaning out of an event than what is accurate, it merely trivializes the word in question.

The Washington Post recently published an article claiming that Trump savaged Hillary but also savaged himself. Besides the fact that using a unique adjective like that twice in one headline would be frowned upon for a 5th grade class’s newsletter, much less a national publication, it’s simply idiotic to use a word like that when describing the circus happening in the US. There are so many more appropriate words to describe the shitshow happening, and if “savage” needs to be used in any context, it should be used to describe the people who have been suckered into thinking that Trump is actually a viable presidential candidate and not actually just a juiced carrot poured into a vaguely human shaped mold and left in the fridge overnight.

So, the gist of this is that you don’t need to use unnecessarily intense words to get more attention, nor do you have to mimic #celebrity in whatever terminology is in their cache for the next 30 days.

This current trend of pandering to an audience with the attention span of a goldfish on MDMA is not doing us any favours. It’s great for soundbites and getting the unwashed masses to wave sticks and throw stones at each other, but many of us need more substance. I don’t care if “Trump savaged Hillary” or vice versa on any given day. I would be impressed if Trump managed to not choke on his own cock during one of his self-fellatio sessions he does in front of thousands of people.

Language is beautiful, sexy, and it’s literally your CV when you’re talking to people. I know that this isn’t the first time that I have harped on the importance of this, but it’s such an irritant when the media latches onto a word that they then bleed dry before moving on to whatever gets trendy next.

A well educated populace is the government’s greatest fear. Regardless of your political affinity, being more educated is only going to help you, provided you are able to see and read it clearly and are able to recognize that an article titled “Trump prefers to blend the babies alive in order to stay youthful” isn’t going to be any more accurate than “Clinton sent emails about blending babies alive in order to stay youthful”.

For the tens of people who might read this… read critically, keep an open and questioning mind, and don’t be a dick.

And please stop using the word “savage” unless you’re describing a literal, physical act against another being. Or a Trump supporter, in which case it’s a noun.

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