Archive | Bad Word Pairs RSS for this section

Bad Word Pairs #017


I connote this hyphenated word pair mostly with paper products and wood. Whether toilet paper or paper towel, single-ply is nothing but a misleading phenomenon. The theory is that single-ply TP will give you twice as much paper per roll, but the truth is that you end up using twice as much, and it’s twice as coarse.

Same goes with wood, a single-ply of plywood is hardly durable, and it usually takes 3 or 6 or more layers to have anything worth your while.

Single-ply: the poor man’s rationale to efficiency.

Bad Word Pairs #016

“Rhubarb Pie”

Now I know that lots and lots of people love rhubarb pies, but I have a feeling they really don’t. Rhubarb on its own is a terribly tart flavor, and requires a small mountain of sugar to make the pie edible.

And more often than not, it’s strawberries that complete a rhubarb pie. The rhubarb stalks, tart and nasty as they are, are the best part of the plant. The leaves are toxic, inedible, mostly to repel pesky animals from eating it (I don’t think rhubarb has to worry about that).

Bad Word Pairs #014

“Button Fly”

Not only do I not wear them, I just dislike the use of “fly” to describe where my zipper should be. At least in the marketing sense. Button flies are too much work, inefficient, and not as fun as zipping a zipper, let’s be honest. Buttoning something could lead to risk of carpal tunnel syndrome in extreme cases. That’s not technically proven, but I’m guessing.

Bad Word Pairs #013

“Tropical Depression”

I guess it’s the irony of this phrase that bugs me. I know it’s a technical weather term for a low pressure system occurring in tropical regions of the world, but what a crappy way to phrase it.

The term makes me think of group therapy sessions where islanders talk about how being isolated from the rest of the world has turned them into them manic depressives.

Bad Word Pairs #012

“Pregnant Chad”

In this election year, I was reminded of the debacle a couple elections back, where some of the votes were confusing due to holes not punched all the way through the voters’ cards. Fortunately most of that has been resolved with digital/computerized voting systems (which likely present their own fun set of issues).

Nonetheless, the term “pregnant chad” emerged from that whole quandary. And I have to say, I wanted to punch something every time I heard a smug reporter using the phrase with a snide grin, since it was a funny thing to say. My ire has since abated, but let’s hope nothing lame like that emerges this year come voting time.

Bad Word Pairs #012

“Jiffy Lube”

This word pair is fine, until you actually stop and think about it. The connotation with lube in this day and age is probably different than it was 20 or 30 years ago, but still. I don’t want anything lubed, let alone anything lubed in a jiffy.

Bad Word Pairs #011

“Happy Holidays”

This cop-out phrase is more concerned with offending people during a happy time of year than letting us enjoy it. I mean, nobody says anything about Valentine’s Day, or St. Patrick’s Day, both Christian-based holidays. America has lost its cojonés lately, becoming far too politically correct (another bad word pair, and perhaps an oxy moron to boot?) for its own good.

I say that if we can’t say Merry Christmas, or Happy Hanukkah, then we shouldn’t be able to be in the Holiday Spirit, because, heaven forbid (oops, not heaven, but you know what i mean), what if someone doesn’t believe in spirits!?

Bad Word Pairs #010

“Paper Cut”

The only thing that scares me more than a shark attack is a paper cut. Something about the razor thin incision something as innocent as paper can make just makes my skin crawl thinking about it.

When I’m at a restaurant with paper tablecloth, I immediately fold the exposed edge so as to marginalize the risk of any potential damage.

Paper cutting someone to death would be a worse method of torture than water boarding in my opinion.

Bad Word Pairs #009

“Ownable Look”

This is a mostly trite and redundant term used by those in the creative field who maybe wish they could have been stars in the advertising world.

It’s some sort of buzz word which suggests to your client that you understand them better than they do, and that you want to make something stand-out, something that pairs a unique aesthetic with the brand.

But, isn’t that the very point of creative advertising? To make something that stands out, that people will remember, that will sell more product?

It’s kind of like telling a customer at a bakery that you’re going to make the bread tasty and doughy.

Bad Word Pairs #008

“Tighty Whiteys”

What a stupid phrase. For men who wear briefs, save yourself the stigmata and just get them in gray. But be aware, wearing “tighty whiteys” can lower your fertility. Use at your own risk.