It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when wide-eyed schoolchildren and their parents alike look forward to the celebration that unites the entire globe. Yes, I’m talking about the annual unveiling of the Word of the Year.
Actually, it’s WORDS of the Year, because several lexicographers compete to see who can be the most supercilious, pompous, ostentatious, pretentious, pedantic, and condescending in their selections.
Alas, the annual WOTY awards haven’t been the same since Stephen Colbert lobbied successfully for truthiness roughly 15 years ago. More recently, the selections have been uninspired, bland, insipid, boring, dull, unimaginative, unoriginal, featureless and other adjectives that I absolutely didn’t steal from MSWord’s thesaurus.
Last year, the Oxford English Dictionary picked toxic for their WOTY, while Merriam Webster came up with Justice, dictionary.com chose misinformation, and Cambridge Dictionary settled on nomophobia. No, I had no idea what nomophobia means, either, but it’s clearly such an important word that it might soon obtain 500,000 hits on Google.
You can understand how the judges came up with such uninspired choices when you consider some of the runners-up from 2018, including: big dick energy, cakeism, excelsior, feckless, lodestar, maverick, no-platforming, pansexual, pissant, and techlash. Seriously, I think some of these people need to get out more, which might mean that some of them should get out ever.
When I read the disappointing announcements last year, I thought, “Anybody could do better than this. The dumbest, most illiterate idiot in the world could do better than this.” And when it comes to dumb, illiterate idiots, nobody is more qualified than yours truly.
With all the confidence that comes from not having a clue, the wordalicious team at Dad Writes has been taking note all year, searching boldly and meticulously for the combination of letters that is truly deserving of the WOTY honors. And, we are proud to announce, we truly have all the best words for 2019.
At first, we looked at the most commonly used words, as if this thing was a popularity contest. First, we considered, “both sides,” which is the political equivalent of “whatever.” Then we took a look at “both sides’s” fellow traveler, “whatabout,” which is shorthand for “My side sucks, but you suck worse.”
Ultimately, we disqualified both options because, frankly, we don’t want to encourage anyone to use them. Ever.
Next, we turned to the words that don’t mean what users seem to think they mean. These included literally, diverse, fulsome and grandiose. The challenge here, unfortunately, is that people would still be using the words incorrectly, but they’d be much prouder about doing it.
Then we looked at words that people use to seem more cultured and discerning. We considered and rejected curated, artisanal, plethora and paradigm. Really, who wants to encourage the preening pomposity of artisans who curate a plethora of paradigms?
And finally, after countless late-night conference calls and tear-filled macroaggressions, the diverse cohort at Dad Writes has chosen, selected, opted for and designated as our 2019 WOTY: SURREAL.
Surreal is the perfect word for our Zeitgeist, combining the best of incorrect usage with the worst in triteness and pomposity. Nobody is having a real experience anymore; all of life is simply surreal. Yesterday’s salad? Today's shoes? Riding the elevator with that weird guy from the 12th floor? It was all incredibly surreal. Surreally!!
Surreal is a word so overused that it might as well be an epidemic that’s about to kill us all. By this time next year, we predict that Americans will be exhorting each other to keep it surreal, get surreal, and invest in surreal estate. Online, the technorati will drop IRL and use ISL exclusively, and real will disappear like prithee, gadzooks and whippersnapper.
And when it happens, we’ll all remember that we knew it was coming, that we were warned about this transformation, thanks to the WOTY wordsmiths at Dad Writes. It will all be so, so, surreal.
Be sure to share your own WOTY choices in the comments section, and take a second or two to join our exclusive subscriber list by simply clicking here.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself when I told my trainer I had left some French fries on my plate four days in a row. Then he acted shocked and incredulous and amazed and otherwise uncalm as he demanded to know how often I ate French fries at all.
“Well, they come with the sandwich, so pretty much every day,” I answered, with the sudden realization that I was expected to feel guilty about this.
“Don’t you ever have a salad?” he asked in that tone you hear when a question is really an accusation.
And, no, I almost never do, for many good reasons.
First, I am an environmentalist (when it’s convenient or supports one of my rants) and the lettuce that goes into a salad is the most environmentally damaging food in the universe. On the scale of nutrition per dollar, lettuce is right behind a pizza delivery box.
Second, lettuce grows in fields, where animals frolic and poop and, need I mention, screw. Heads of lettuce are convenient support for randy rabbits who, as you know, enjoy coitus like rabbits, and you should be warned that the curved indentations in your arugula did not occur naturally. It is only safe to eat French fries because potatoes sport thick skins and have the decency to grow underground, where the fauna can’t reach them.
It’s not just lettuce that is suspect. Pretty much everything that grows just above the surface is plagued with animal excretions, along with skins so thin that anything can penetrate them. Compare that to your average steer, which has skin as tough as leather. And do you know why it’s as tough as leather? Exactly.
If we’re going to be honest about it, there is absolutely nothing good to be said for vegetables. Basically, they are a combination of indigestible fiber, water, and a handful of vitamins I can swallow in a pill before I finish my first cup of coffee. It’s trendy to say you like vegetables, but nobody really does. Brussels sprouts only became popular after chefs decided to cook them with bacon and blue cheese. Add enough bacon and blue cheese and they’d enjoy haggis, too.
Even the word vegetable is suspect, as it should be. If I was hit by the proverbial bus and, instead of dying, I was in a coma and unresponsive, would anyone say I was in a meatatative state? No, they would not. They would say I was in a vegetative state, which is one of the worst states to be in outside of Alabama.
While we’re on the subject of vocabulary, vegetables are often called “greens.” Do you know what else is green? Mold. Coincidence? I think not.
Another word to consider is “fertilizer,” which is a euphemism for manure. When animals are busy growing their fabulous meats, manure is a waste product that gets discarded. Sometimes, though, that manure gets sold, and do you know who buys it? Yep, vegetable farmers buy manure that they slather all over—and into—their crops before selling it to the rest of us. So-called “organic” farmers are the worst offenders, bragging about the “natural fertilizer” they use to poison us all.
With meat, the USDA has rules to keep the poop out. With vegetables, as they say, it’s a feature, not a glitch.
Finally, if you are what you eat and I am made of meat, it is almost a requirement that I should only eat meat. And some fat, so as not to upset the delicate balance within my bio-domain.
Man doesn’t live by meat alone, though, so it is acceptable to balance my diet with French fries, ideally cooked in animal fat. Bread is okay, but only the minimal amount required to transfer the meat from the plate. Ditto for pizza, which is nature’s delivery system for pepperoni.
Someday, the entire world will recognize the wisdom of my dietary insights and I will be lauded as a visionary.
In the meantime, are you going to finish those fries?
You remember when mom said you had to eat your vegetables? Don’t you feel betrayed now? We’re very sorry about that, but we’d like to make it up to you by offering a free subscription to this priceless blog. Just click right here and get ready for us to burst even more of your bubbles every week.
Every so often, a new piece of technology is so exciting, so revolutionary, that you just can’t believe it wasn’t invented sooner. Seriously, I can’t tell you how obsessed I am about these cutting edge “pablets.”
Omigod, this hot new technology is solving so many of my problems. All day, I’m switching from one website to another to keep up on what’s what in my busy world. I’m checking on sports, business, entertainment, world developments, investments…frankly, it all gets dizzying and I forget where I’m at. Some days, I end up reading the same story two or three times because it appears on multiple sites.
And, when I want to make a note about something I’ve read, I have to put the note in a text or email that I send to myself or comment on a page that everyone else can read. It’s hard to corner the market on World’s Best Dad coffee cups when your evil plan is visible to the entire universe, and I can’t tell Alexa I need to stock up on Clearasil, because she’s a big blabbermouth who will tell every advertiser in the world about my zits.
Now, all my problems have been solved by a new service that’s just like Grubhub or Jet.com or Amazon, but instead of having my food or books or undies delivered to my door, I get a printed report about my world every morning. Soon, I hear, it will be delivered by drone.
These newfangled “pablets” are amazing with a capital Mazing. A simple lifting motion that’s very similar to a left swipe allows me to log in, with no passwords to memorize and retype over and over again.
Spotty wifi is no impediment to getting my updates and I don’t need to worry about being hacked when I’m at Starbucks, because it is 100% air-gapped. Public networks are suddenly risk free, and I never have to worry about my battery dropping to 1% while I race to finish exotic recipes or movie reviews.
Groundbreaking fiber technology allows me to actually separate the paper-thin screens, so I can leave the screen with upcoming television shows in front of the TV and the screen with recipes in the kitchen. If I want to share something interesting with my wife, I can just tear off that screen and hand it to her to read while I’m reviewing other screens.
If I want to remember something or make a note to myself, I can use a special stylus to record my idea directly on the screen, and the screen is remarkably flexible, so I can fold it up and put it in my pocket or a file folder to retrieve later.
But wait, there’s more. Nobody is tracking me while I shift from the business sites to politics to entertainment, no pop-ups slow me down, and the unique, fiber-based screens are 100% recyclable.
Best of all, it’s a terrific time-management tool. Most websites have the same amount of information every day, but this advanced technology prevents information overload when I’m heavily scheduled during the work week. Conveniently, it stores important data during the week and then provides a more complete package of information on Sundays, when I have more time available for page-surfing.
Whatever was the greatest invention since sliced bread has dropped to a distant second. If the people behind these “pablets” can market them effectively, the sky is the limit.
Be the first to know when we discover another hot new technology by clicking here to become a subscriber. The future is calling.
Now that my daughters have their own children, they call me every day to ask me for advice on how they can be the bestest-ever parents like I was for them. Okay, they aren’t really calling about this, but I once had a dream where one of them said I wasn’t the worst father in the world, so it’s the same thing.
Anyway, if ever there was a time when my daughters should be calling for fatherly wisdom, this is it. Halloween is coming up in a few days and every good parent is looking for answers to the world’s most important question:
How do I make sure my kids bring home Hershey bars instead of candy corn?
Because, let’s be real about this whole Halloween thing. We say it’s fun for the kids and they love to dress up and get free candy, but we’re lying. No little kid has ever wished for the opportunity to put on a sweaty plastic costume and cover their faces with a cardboard mask so they could stand out in the cold and the rain while some stranger hands them a malted milk ball.
Yeah, they’ll say they like it after we coach them enough, and they’ll tell their parents they’re having fun, but that’s only to avoid being left out in the cold near the old house that everyone knows is haunted by a real ghost.
By the time they’re three, every kid knows there are much easier ways to get candy. Either whine non-stop until mom gives in or wait for gramps to show up and just ask him. Getting dressed up to beg for crap from strangers? That’s amateur stuff, and way too much work.
In truth, Halloween is a holiday for parents, and it’s all about the candy that the parents can score, even if it means pimping out their costumed progeny as “trick or treaters.” The whole thing is truly nuts, though. Mom loads up on Snickers and Milky Ways and all the other candy she likes, but then she ends up giving those treats to a bunch of snot-nosed tykes while hoping that her own snot-nosed tykes will bring home….Snickers and Milky Ways. If everyone eliminated the middlemen, or middlekids, this would all go so much better.
But we’re Americans and we love to complicate things, so we’ll all be dressing up the kids to go out and collect the candy and telling everyone how much fun it all is for the little ones. And we’ll all be regretting our choices when dad brings Junior and Little Missy home with a tub full of candy corn, popcorn balls, wax lips and Necco wafers. Meanwhile, back at home, mom has been reduced to tears as she gave away the last of the really good candy she was hoping to enjoy with dad after Missy and Junior went to sleep.
Happily, all this nonsense can be avoided if parents follow our simple Dadwrites Guide to Halloween Bliss. The seven-volume how-to manual won’t be out until next year, but here are a few of the highlights:
Halloween is only one of the many tests that parents face as they strive to clear the path for their children’s success. Whether we’re fighting for admission to the preppy pre-school or the Ivy League college or the top summer camp for entrepreneurs, it’s our number one job to make our children winners, not whiners. Because, except for our “fair share” of the Snickers, we’re doing it all for them.
Your children will succeed at Halloween, along with everything else they do in life, but only if you read and follow all the incredible parenting insights that we offer here at Dadwrites. Make sure to subscribe by clicking here and save your children from the total failure experienced by losers who don’t sign up.
Successful people are boring, the mystery of hot bicycle seats, and one question you should never ask, among the deep thoughts we've been thoughtifying all week…
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For some reason, I keep thinking chicken and waffles should be my favorite breakfast choice.
Fried chicken for breakfast. How can that not be great? It’s right up there on the food pyramid with bacon and, unlike bacon, I can eat it in front of my rabbi. Likewise for waffles, the breakfast food so delicious they named an entire restaurant chain after them. Put them together and you have a surefire winner.
Except, you don’t. My odyssey has been going on for about two years now and I have yet to find a place that serves chicken and waffles to die for, or even to get seriously injured.
The best fried chicken is moist inside, crisp outside, with breading that is almost a second skin. Great waffles have endless pockets of crust surrounding an inner body of chewy dough. There’s give and take, push and pull, crunch and gush, an ideal combination. Yes, there is an art to this, but it’s not like fried chicken and waffles are new inventions without 5 zillion how-to videos on YouTube.
You can find thousands of restaurants where they know how to make fried chicken and thousands more with great waffles. Doing both at the same time should not be close to impossible, and yet it is.
Part of the challenge, of course, is that both waffles and fried chicken are more complicated than their homespun legends would suggest. Making fried chicken with crispy skin and not too much breading, with meat that’s still moist and not overcooked…that’s a major challenge for everyone. Creating waffles that are almost crunchy without being a dry pile of crust is likewise a feat.
Even restaurants that get these basics right will find a way to screw it up, though. Some cooks think it’s a great idea to throw a couple of burnt chicken wings on a waffle, because nobody really wanted any edible “chicken,” while others deliver a thigh that’s still dripping with fat that ruins the waffle’s structure.
Some restaurants put no seasoning at all on the chicken, or come up with bizarre combinations like sriracha syrup with blueberry compote and ramp. A few places have decided corn is the absolute best flavor for a waffle, such as the restaurant that proudly served me a chewy concoction slathered in corn flakes and an ungodly agglomeration of spices I have never experienced before on Planet Earth.
Over the past two years, I’ve ordered chicken and waffles about 40 times at roughly 30 restaurants. This search has morphed from a fun excursion to a death march, as I slog through one disappointment after another. I feel like Prince Charming, doomed to touch every smelly foot in the kingdom in hopes of finding my true love.
After all this time, I’m in too deeply to call it quits. The search continues and it will not end until I find the chicken and waffles that are every bit as wonderful as I had believed them to be when the journey began.
Clearly, this is a noble quest.
Just as clearly, I have way too much time on my hands.
You can follow this incredible odyssey (odd-yssey?) until its dramatic conclusion by subscribing to dadwrites. When we find the pot of golden waffles and brownish chicken at the end of our rainbow, you’ll be one of the first to know, but only if you click here to subscribe.
Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.