Trendy Words Eclipsed Eloquence in 2017

Rob Kyff on

This past year's language was a fright!

We traded barbs from left and right.

Insults, jeers and accusations,

Eloquence was on vacation.

Media buzzwords sang like Latifah:

"Narrative," "pivot," "alt-right," "antifa."

Widespread "harassment" by men with great power:

Weinstein and Franken and even Matt Lauer.

"Russian hackers," malevolent "trolls,"

"Collusion," "complicit" were all on a roll.

While Vladimir Putin continued to peddle

The dubious notion that he didn't "meddle."

"Partisan politics," "palpable" dangers,

As "tribal" divisions spawned two "echo chambers."

Hurricanes "barreled" and wildfires "raged,"

Rain totals, "historic," cliches at "flood stage."

"Millennial" "squads" "threw shade" now and then,

So "woke" and so "salty," we called them "Nextgen."

On college campuses, "snowflakes" flew:

"Discourse," "engagement" and "hashtagMeToo."

In corporate lingo, with "swim lanes," "deep dives,"

"Intentional" "stakeholders" "monetized."

Marketers monitored all the "crowd cultures,"

--Sponsored Video--

As "buy-ins" and "bandwidth" were lurking like vultures.

Trump often surprised us with his feisty tweets;

Acclaim and aspersions cascaded like sleet.

His friends were "tremendous," and always "great guys,"

Including "some very fine people" (both sides).

His foes, they were "stupid," "disasters," "sore losers,"

Reporters, "believe me," were always "fake newsers."

His "Rocketman" was "short and fat."

And, as for the nukes, he'll "take care of that."

Inaugural "carnage" took some folks aback.

And that overblown crowd count? -- "Alternative fact"!

"Repeal and replace" became the new fad;

When that didn't happen, Trump called it "so sad."

The hapless Sean Spicer elicited gasps

With "lasterday," "althewise," Holocaust gaffes.

Just one wondrous word on our nation's lips

Brought total agreement, and that was "eclipse."

Overall, our language flopped,

So we'll just skip a boastful "mic drop."


Rob Kyff, a teacher and writer in West Hartford, Conn., invites your language sightings. Send your reports of misuse and abuse, as well as examples of good writing, via e-mail to or by regular mail to Rob Kyff, Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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