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Miller Times: It’s time to retire a certain four letter “f” word online

I can count 345 ways to make fun of this little hillbilly’s cat scratches, and each one of them is better than ‘Haircut Fail.’

There comes a time in every popular word’s life when its meteoric rise to overuse signals its imminent demise. Today, we lay to rest “fail”, a four-letter slang term used to represent an undesirable or negative outcome.

As Urban Dictionary so eloquently describes it, “Kind of like the word ‘sh*t,’ ‘fail’ is used by people who don’t stop to think of a better word to use, making them pretty much useless to society.”

While I don’t think it’s statement of one’s societal value, I think the usage of “fail” has run its course. Furthermore, I can’t support minimizing the English language to single-syllable words intended to oversimplify scenarios that often require elaboration:

Young Husband: “So, how did the pregnancy test go?”
Young Wife: “Fail.”
Young Husband: “Excuse me – so we’re expecting or not?”
Young Wife: “Fail.”
Young Husband: “I’ll take that as a … wait? What are you saying?”

We’re better than this.

“Fail” was verbal styrofoam, a placeholder, akin to “literally,” a four-syllable word unnecessarily used to make one sound more intelligent, but also to clarify something really, actually happened, that it wasn’t figurative or metaphorical. There are over 50 million words in the English language. (Trust me.) If we’re killing off “fail”, “literally” can go, too.

If you’re reading this blog post — and you’ve made it this far without a read FAIL! BAHA! :( — tell your friends it’s over. If they so much as utter the word, tell them, “No, that word no longer exists. I don’t know what you mean by that. You’ll need to elaborate on what you’ve just expressed, because ‘fail’ means nothing to me or anyone, because it died. Now go on without speaking like an asshole.”

The time has come. “Fail” has ascended into slang heaven to make friends with words like “phat”, “bootylicious”, “boss” and “gnarly.” It was a hell of a run, but this is a happy day. Let’s celebrate literacy, the English language, complete thoughts!

(If you’re feeling a void in your vocabulary and “fail” leaves you longing for another younger, hotter word, roll with “swimmingly.” It pretty much means the opposite of “fail” and it’s got a real aquatic feel to it. How are things going? Oh, swimmingly. Try it out. You’ll love it!)

This post was written by Andrew Miller and originally published on the Miller Times. Follow Andrew on Twitter: @the_millertimes.

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