By John Richardson
One of the great things about returning to work after spending the holiday season with young adults is the new vocabulary that I am now able to employ in my daily life. Let me give your language a 2022 update with this top-10 list of the latest, hippest words and phrases from popular culture and the world of startups!
1) “I’m dead.” Spoken as an expression of intense pleasure and surprise, this phrase should be used when talking about an unexpectedly enjoyable song or TV show, as in “That song was so low-key cool, I’m dead.”
2) “You have drip.” I first heard this phrase from a Grade 12 student on the last day of school before December break. He was wearing a dashing green and red holiday-themed suit and looked approvingly at my red sweater-vest and matching bow tie. “What do you mean?” I asked him. “I mean, your outfit is drippy,” he said. (I asked other students later what he meant, and they told me he thought I looked smart. I was inordinately pleased.)
3) “The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.” Spoken by a server at Von’s explaining to me why there are so many unfilled service jobs. It means that something is not worth the effort. Why wait tables for close to minimum wage when you can work from home and attend university at the same time? Given that this was the last time I set foot in a public place before everything shut down, his words stayed with me.
4) “Ron Dons.” McDonalds. Given the location on Bronson, just say “Let’s go to Ron Dons on Bron” for extra punch.
5) “Let’s double click into that.” My son works for a digital-design startup, and this is the first of his many additions to my vocabulary. Applying the metaphor of double-clicking on a trackpad to find promising solutions or interesting possibilities, it means “Let’s look into that further.”
6) “Thinkfluencer.” Obvi (short for “obviously”), this combination of the words “think” and “influencer” means a person who is a thought leader or one whose ideas influences others.
7) “Unlock” used as a noun, not a verb. A novel solution to a knotty problem would be an “unlock.” If the unlock is going to be difficult, say “That’s a heavy lift!”
8) “What’s the mvp?” The acronym for “minimal viable product” means, essentially, what’s the least we can do and still have a go? I use it when making dinner, such as “In the fridge I have a week-old lettuce, a slice of ham that may or may not be edible, a strawberry yoghurt and one carrot. What’s the mvp for supper?”
9) “You’re harshing my vibe.” Use this phrase instead of “You’re raining on my parade” or “You’re dragging me down.” My wife said it to me when I innocently inquired how many episodes of Netflix’s Emily in Paris she planned on binge-watching in one evening. I was just asking.
10) “TLDR.” Both start-up and youth culture place a premium on speed. And brevity. This acronym is short for “too long, didn’t read.” I hope no one applies it to this article.
Glebe resident John M. Richardson teaches at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education.