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YOLO, Swag: Annoying words and phrases we could really do without

Last updated on: January 21, 2014 19:20 IST

YOLO, Swag: Annoying words and phrases we could really do without


Paloma Sharma

Your verbal deformities can still be corrected without surgery/homoeopathy/babaji ka churan.

All you have to do is follow a strict diet and skip the following terms.

Paloma Sharma lists out:

While sticks and stones will only manage to break your bones, words can actually kill you.

The process, though, is very slow.

It starts off with one of those annoying terms that you can never make sense of and slowly, with every use of them, your blood pressure begins to rise little by little until you finally go into cardiac arrest.

We've all dealt with people -- on the train, in the bus, at work, in college and even within our group of friends or our home -- who are always throwing around the latest abbreviations (read: abominations) in order to keep up with the times (and sometimes the Kardashians).

If you don't have at least one friend who keeps saying 'coolio' like it is still 2005, you can consider yourself very lucky.

Nevertheless, there is no need to lose hope.

Your verbal deformities can still be corrected without surgery/homoeopathy/babaji ka churan.

All you have to do is follow a strict diet and skip the following terms:


Nobody knows where YOLO came from, but come it did and it took social media by storm.

YOLO started off as one of those things people couldn't stop using as hashtags every time they put up a picture of themselves doing something dangerous and stupid like:

  • Drag racing
  • Doing 23 simultaneous shots of Malibu
  • Watching Yaariyan

Soon enough, YOLO leaked from the internet onto WhatsApp, essays and finally people began to use it as a spoken word.

It's nice how people hand you a cigarette and say YOLO -- or You Only Live Once -- because hey, how else would you have ever known.

It would be a real luxury if people would stop trying to justify their irresponsible behaviour by putting a "because YOLO!" after every sentence.

Do forgive my North Indian naivety but the next time someone goes YOLO, I'm just going to have to ask, "Excuse me but kya lo?"

Illustration: Dominic Xavier


I Don't Know

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Broke a priceless family heirloom? Lost your parent's car? Covering for your drug peddling significant other?

These are the times when "I don't know" is a legitimate answer. For other occasions, it's a complete no-no.

'I don't know' is the perfect conversation killer. Picture this:

You: How are you?
Them: I don't know.

You: What are you doing Friday night?
Them: I don't know.

You: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Them: I don't know.

Although 'I don't know' has been a teenage favourite as an answer to every form of parental inquiry for generations, it gets a tad annoying when people use it otherwise as well.

How is it possible for everything to be 'I don't know'? How can someone not know anything? Is it a medical condition or something?

I guess it is. But then again, I don't know.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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Dude, he got swag, man!'

Um, what?

Suhaag, I am familiar with. Saag, again, is understandable. But what is this swag?

I was left dumbfounded the first time I heard the word. So, as any rational person would, I looked it up and this is what I found:

Swag (noun): /swag/ an ornamental festoon of flowers, fruit, and greenery. As in "garlands and swags of foliage."

So, if one were to translate "Dude, he got swag, man!" would it mean that he has a centre piece?

I suppose wedding planners and florists can safely claim that they have swag.
Interestingly, in the 1800s, swag was slang for stolen items.

So the above sentence could also mean that the man in question was in possession of lifted goods, in which case, a whole lot of Chor Bazaar would have swag.

How swag -- if it were to be the shorter version of swagger -- would translate into a compliment, I don't understand.

Why would you call someone arrogant or conceited and expect to praise them?

Florist and thief are politer, honestly.

Okay, maybe not florist.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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There are two kinds of flies that I am aware of -- the kind that has wings and the other that people forget to close.

However, it is this "Baby, you so fly" thing that I haven't been able to make sense of.

People can fly, they can have a fly but how can they be fly?

Apparently, fly is supposed to mean cool or sexy.

How the connection was made, I am still trying to figure that out but here's a tip from a real, live girl who exists outside the internet as well: if you want to tell someone they look beautiful, keep away from the term fly.


It's only going to remind her of insects.

Fly is certainly not going to sound like a compliment in India unless she's an entomologist or a follower of the cult of Satan.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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If I had a rupee for every time I heard someone say LOL instead of laughing in the normal, human fashion, I'd be LOLing my way to Switzerland to hide my wealth.

LOL is the perfect substitute for polite laughter. However, it is important to know what LOL is short for. Just the other day my mother sent me a text saying, "Thanks for cleaning the balcony. Enjoy your journey. Tc. LOL."

No mum, LOL does not mean loads of love.

' LOL or Laugh Out Loud/Lots of Laughter/Loads of Laughter was all right when one had to communicate under circumstances that required one to use only a limited number of characters, but the moment it spilled over to verbal communication, all hell broke loose.

Every time someone chooses to say LOL -- or worse, "Lawl" or "lawlz" -- it brings us one step closer to a dystopian future where the machines rule us and humans are fitted with only certain responses to situations. LOL would be one of them.

Why would anybody choose to LOL instead of exercising their facial muscles in order to produce that strange little sound that comes bubbling out of our throats every time we find something funny?

It's almost as if people have become too busy (or lazy) to actually laugh. Maybe they should invent an app for that.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

Got any slangs you think are so 2013?

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