Adult is Not a Verb.

adult is not a verb

A friend just brought up the subject of using “adult” as a verb, and I figured it’s time to complain about the latest words and usage crimes that are making me flinch.

“Parenting” was bad at first but now I accept it; it will never go away. But adulting? WHY? Can’t you fucking millennials get it through your heads that most of your lives will be spent as a grown up?? Why does it strike you as an amusing condition? Just because you’re too commitment-phobic to buy a car or a house or have children, it doesn’t mean you can act like a baby forever.

Call your Ubers and drink your cold-pressed coffee but don’t come up with these awful words, okay?

A word that’s been cropping up everywhere is “intentional.” It’s a perfectly good word, when you mean “on purpose” and the opposite of “by mistake” or accidental. But does everything you do have to be intentional now? Before you use it, stop and ask yourself if it’s an extraneous word that just makes you sound like an asshole. Better yet, if you like to use it, go here and get back to me.

What about “performative?” People seem to think it makes them sound smart to use this word, but outside of a college classroom, it’s pretentious. Just stop it.

I can’t remember if we’ve discussed “yassssss” before. It literally kills me. I mean literally, because I can feel my soul die a little, each time I see it. That and “woot.”

Squad” is gut-wrenchingly awful. Are you in middle school? If not, don’t use it and don’t condone its use.

If you read Instagram comments, you should hate these two with all you’ve got: “This is life.” And “This is everything.” Usually it’s in reference to a sweater or something. Can a sweater really be life? Can it be everything? Can’t you just love it or say it’s nice or gorgeous or dope? If it’s life, what’s left?

I’m too angry to continue. Please feel free to add your complaints or argue with mine.

No, wait! I just remembered a word-related moment of joy I experienced last week. I was shopping at a local thrift shop, where the ladies behind the counter are around 100 years old. I heard one of them say to another, “That’s not my jam.” I was astounded; old ladies are that hip now???? Then I turned around and saw that she was talking about an actual jar of jam.

Okay. Your turn!


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22 Responses to Adult is Not a Verb.

  1. David Duff says:

    Heavens to Betsy! Do I detect just the merest hint of, dare I say, old-fashioned (small ‘c’) conservatism on this blog? Oh no, say it ain’t so!

  2. Caroline says:

    ‘Reaching out’ makes my blood boil. What’s wrong with ‘spoke to’ or ‘called’? Also the ubiquitous and mealy-mouthed ‘passed on’ or ‘passed’. What the freak is wrong with ‘died’? Grrrr. Love your work Sister Wolf, keep on picking holes in shit.

  3. Romeo says:

    I hear it all the time but I’m still irritated out of my skin when I hear someone say that something is “concerning” when previously we would say something “is cause for concern” or “alarming” or “holy shit we’re totally fucked.” I believe this usage is grammatically acceptable but the lines in my face grow deeper each time I hear it.

    Also too as well: why are you throwing shade at cold-pressed coffee?

  4. Cat says:

    “Slay”, “Bomb”, “Shook”, “That _____ though” (e.g. That dress though), peppering everything with “literally” and, the severe misunderstanding and misuse of “ironic (e.g. Ironically I hate the yasssss too)” in addition to everything you said.

  5. lisa says:

    I heart the thrift shop old ladies. (there you go, I just gave you one)

  6. Frank says:


  7. Dj says:

    I’m liking it’s not my jam…
    It is what it is.
    The Mooch. (Rip7/29/17)
    Tick tock

  8. Sister Wolf says:

    David Duff – I may be even more reactionary than you when it comes to language!

    Caroline – Reaching Out has annoyed me for years now. I can’t believe how it’s caught on. It’s used as a synonym for contact, but I still picture someone actually reaching out, like to a drowning man. “Passed on,” stupid and awful.

    Romeo – Concerning IS concerning. How do you feel about problematic?

    Cat – “That____though” is the fucking worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It makes me want to kill everybody. How about when it’s “Dat____do?” Are people just fucking crazy or what? This may be the most sickening usage of all time, right after yasssss.

    lisa – They are great. At least one of them is actually 100 years old, too.

    Frank – Ew.

    Dj – “It is what it is” – I like to say “no it isn’t” in response. Tick Tock is gross; how did that one start?

  9. Bobbi says:

    “Curated” and “satisfying” for everything – it drives me crazy. Lately my instagram is full of videos that are “satisfying to watch” whatever. Ugh.

  10. Penny says:

    Starting a sentence to explain something with the word ‘basically’. To me that means “basically you’re too stupid to understand what I’m trying to tell you so I’ll explain it in terms that a 10 year old would undertstand.” My excruciatingly annoying husband does it all the time. Love your rants SW……

  11. Madam Restora says:

    “You got this’ also known as ‘I got this’. Both shit me to tears.

  12. Simone says:

    As the mother of a young baby, I keep hearing the word sensory, and it is really irritating to me. Everything is ‘sensory play’ this, or ‘sensory activity’ that. A cheap squishy ball is no longer just a little toy to play with, it is now a ‘sensory’ piece. Everything is bloody sensory, surely that just goes without saying! My husband and I joke about everything being sensory now – his beard, the cat’s tail, the baby’s vomit on the floor that he’s just stepped in.
    Working in local government, I’m tired of hearing the phrases ‘community engagement’ and ‘space activation’. Also way too much use of the word ‘resilience’; it’s a decent enough word on it’s own, but it gets used too much and seems to have become shorthand for ‘just get over it’ when shitty situations arise.

  13. Emily says:

    Unboxed. Tell me why “opened” no longer does the job.

  14. Suspended says:

    “That’s not my jam” hahaha

    “Adulting” makes my balls crawl back in my body.

    I need “man bun” to fuck off. Both the term and the hairstyle.

  15. helen waite says:

    I’ve used “yass” for a rather long while but it’s because of Kerouac.
    Relatedly-ish, I sometimes use “sez” because of Pynchon.

    Pretentious, or goofy? Both!?!

  16. Romeo says:

    Sister Wolf-

    I’m very fortunate not to be bothered by “problematic” because that’s one ubiquitous motherfucker. But have you seen the phrase “that is so cringe?”

    Please, Jesus, cleanse the world with radioactive fire already.

  17. Sister Wolf says:

    Bobbi – Ew, what does “satisfying to watch” mean??? I don’t like the connotation…like masturbating or something? Not good.

    Penny – God, I can’t believe you haven’t killed him yet. I knew a woman whose husband began every sentence with “I suspect…” What a fucker.

    Madam Restora – Hate those, too. Hate.

    Simone – Wow, I hate these!!!! I’m with you on resilience – it’s like it contains an accusation.

    Emily – “Unboxed” hahahaha. This reminds me of “eatery” instead of cafe or restaurant.

    Suspended – Aww, I already feel nostalgic about man buns!

    Jill – Oh no, people still use that????

    helen waite – Yasss is ok if you’re being ironic. Otherwise, I’m begging you, stop!

    Romeo – I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with “that is so cringe.” If anything happens, I will see you on the other side. I promise.

  18. Sister Wolf says:

    Dj – HATE. Bring back “people” for fucksake!

  19. v says:

    “all the feels”

  20. Sister Wolf says:

    v – Nobody should use that term, it was awful at its inception and gets more awful every day.

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