10 of the most misused slang terms
It's challenging to keep up with slang, and it can be even more difficult when people are misusing it. Here are ten of the most misused slang terms:
The GOAT is the greatest of all time, not one of the greatest of all time. However, people often refer to multiple athletes in the same sport as GOATs (e.g., Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers). There can be only one.
2. Cancel culture
Cancel culture refers to an online mob mentality that is quick to shun those with controversial opinions. However, people often complain about cancel culture when facing the consequences of their actions. No, the police aren't canceling you; they are arresting you for fraud.
LOL is a classic misuse example. While most people now recognize the acronym as "laughing out loud," some boomers still believe it means "lots of love." Remember this when you receive an LOL text from your 64-year-old aunt after your dog dies.
Gaslighting is psychologically manipulative behavior when one person twists a narrative to deliberately make the other person doubt themselves. It needs to be called out. However, people often throw the term around when simply disagreeing with another person's perspective. This flippant use usually occurs in online disagreements, especially on Reddit AITA posts.
Similar to GOAT, there can only be one best friend. So when you have 7 BFFs, you have no best friend. Also, having one best friend forever is a big commitment. Choose wisely.
6. Fake news
Fake news was initially meant to call out fake news sources pretending to be authentic or websites that misreported facts (cue Donald Trump impression). People now commonly use it whenever they don't agree with or believe something. Eating fast food every day will lead to diabetes and high cholesterol? Fake news!
Millennial has become a catchall for everything terrible associated with younger generations. Boomers often use it when looking for a scapegoat for society's problems. While plenty of things are wrong with millennials, they can't shoulder all the blame. Zoomers are also out here screwing stuff up.
Group this one with GOAT and BFF. You can't have multiple BAEs because it stands for "before anyone else" and refers to your go-to person. Again, there can be only one!
9. Break the Internet
While breaking the Internet is hard to do (just ask anarchist hackers), some memes and stories flood news outlets and social feeds, making it seem like the Internet is about to burst. Think Dressgate, the Smith/Rock Oscars slap, and Queen Elizabeth's funeral. However, hyperbolic netizens use the phrase much too loosely. If an influencer's post about their new fit gets a thousand likes, they did not break the Internet.
A person's wokeness was initially meant to refer to their awareness and understanding of social issues, like racial injustice and LGBTQ discrimination. However, it has since become a political rallying cry against anything liberal. See the "Go woke, go broke" slogan and the "Stop WOKE" Act.
Did we miss any terms you often see misused? Let us know!