A very happy new year to all of you! Wow. 2005 is finally over, huh? I can’t say that I’m not happy — given the events of the past few months here in Louisiana, all I can say is “Happy New Year, and may the hurricanes die pathetic little deaths in the Gulf in 2006.” Please continue to keep my friends south in your thoughts as they continue to try to rebuild their lives.
Now. About this new year thing. You know it’s the time for everyone to make resolutions. We’re all going to lose weight, think more positively, stuff like that. Yeah yeah yeah. Know what else we are going to do? Stop sitting there, scratching your heads and looking at your monitor quizzically — you know I’m going to tell you. We are going to stop using the following words/phrases/expressions this year. Yep, we’re gonna stop, cold turkey. No easing out of them, no sir. Let’s bring this business to a screeching halt, right here and now.

First, “24/7.” It worked for awhile. Not all that offensive. But it’s time to let it go, people. Let’s keep it out of the vernacular 24/7/365, ‘kay?

“Giving back to the community.” Usually used by someone with buttloads of money in need of an end-of-the-fiscal-year tax writeoff. Always used in the presence of a microphone or a tv camera.

“Step up to the plate.” Intended as a motivational tool. Meh.

“On the same page.” Used in discussions regarding work, marriage, and about a gazillion other situations. What say we get on different pages this year, huh?

“Closure.” Where do I start? When will it end? Will I get closure from closure?

“At the end of the day.” All of the great writers got by without ever, ever, using this expression. Mediocre writers and speakers? Take note.

“Stay the course.” W, I love ya, but we need a new buzz-phrase.

“Basically.” Overused by just about everyone, but especially athletes being interviewed by sports writers. “Basically I’m from Texas.” HUH?

“It’s the new…” As in, “Pink. It’s the new black.” Umm, I’m thinking no.

Now I’m sure I’ve left out something dreadful, but rest assured — if I think of it, I’ll pass it along. In the meantime, let’s get to work on these. And if you, recognizing my quest to rid the world of overused, trite catchphrases, care to contribute, please, please do.

2005 needs some closure.