Like yin and yang. Bono and Cher. Jekyll and Hyde. While they’ll always be a long list of words we hate, there’s just as many that we’ll always love. Some are satisfying. Others are fun to say. And lots are hard to spell. Here’s a bunch of our favourites, add yours below.
Mercenary: Such a whimsical sounding word with such an unfortunate meaning.
Whack: As in, that shit is whack.
They can ruin a perfectly good sentence. Make your roll your eyes and scrunch up your face. Say grrrr. The worst ones have the power to ruin your day. They’re the words we hate and they’re everywhere. So we’ve made a list! And now all those horrible words can live together at last. Join in.
There are too many perfectly good nouns being turned into improvised verbs. Here are some of our least favourite. Birthing is potentially the most annoying. It’s used in sentences like: “when I was birthing Sally”. And usually by people gloating about the fact that they didn’t have an epidural.
Shudder. This word is the verbal equivalent of a recoil.
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If you’re anything like me, then you’re occasionally susceptible to wild fits of buying stuff that has eco-certification logos all over it.
Fair Trade, carbon neutral, Flipper-friendly - essentially if it’s round, has an acronym, and is preferably some shade of green, then I’ll buy the item it’s endorsing. (Pictures of stupidly smiling animals on the packet don’t hurt, either.)
“Organic” is one such trend I’ve recently been fixated on. It’s a term with an underlying philosophy - products made naturally without the use of modern synthetic inputs - that has been around for quite some time now. The concept has been around since the beginning of time.
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There’s a growing trend in rear window art. It’s the biggest thing since Baby on Board signs. Only these are telling you not just about the baby but every other member of the family - including the cat and dog.
They’re called My Family stickers and they need to come with a warning: “May Cause Road Rage”. Or “Will Incite Anger”. Because people are going nuts about these little white labels.
For every person proudly adding the adhesive version of their dog, cat or sibling to their back windscreen, there’s another one angrily waving their fist in objection. Or joining the Facebook hate page. Yep, those tiny stickers have divided the nation.
There’s an awful lot of hand-wringing these days over the binge drinking epidemic. Well, here’s a really obvious thought. Maybe all those teenagers and 20-somethings are only living up to the example we’ve set them on all kinds of fronts.
Think about it. Society today is full of bingers. We’re all bingers. We consume anything and everything in ever-increasing proportions, usually to the point of excess and often to the point of vulgarity.
Forget the obvious cases of food and booze for a minute. Take entertainment. Remember the days when you’d passively sit back and wait for your weekly instalment of TV drama? That is sooo 2005.
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You know what? As a society, I reckon we must be doing pretty well.
There are still just as many breaking news stories and outpourings of outrage and people walking up and down the street with placards full of puns, and there are still just as many current affairs stories and infomercials identifying new injustices and urgent problems on telly, but it’s the subject matter that’s important.
We often forget that there are populations in other countries experiencing war, famine, poverty, deadly epidemics, corrupt despotic dictators and unbelievable levels of government oppression and censorship.
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For years, I, and many like me, have suffered in silence - hiding our shame in plain sight. We’ve struggled through life without support groups, online forums and Oprah specials, praying each day that no one notices our humiliating affliction. We are the smooth-cheeked ones who walk among you, we men who cannot grow beards.
Much like “Eyes Slightly Too Close Together Syndrome” (ESTCTS), “Chronic Male Beardlessness” (CMB) is a very real condition that affects countless men around the world.
I myself have been a victim since birth. During a recent two-week break, I decided to defy the gods and grow a big ol’ beard. Turns out it’s really hard.
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As a general rule, men and women know squat about babies. At least until they have to raise one.
Then it’s time to knuckle down and survive the crying and vegemite poo, striving for the same primal instinct that enabled our ancestors to find shelter without iPhones and run barefoot across rocky terrain, chasing the evening meal with only a large toothpick and loincloth for protection.
Giving birth, so we have been led to believe, was much the same thing. A labour, in all senses of the word, to be endured rather than enjoyed; a period of a couple of hours (if you were lucky) or a couple of days (if you were not) where all you could do was grit your teeth and hope for the best, as nature intended.
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The exact time and date of the beginning of the end of civilisation is said to be recorded on the birth certificate of an Israeli baby.
Arriving suspiciously close to last week’s planetary alignment, Like Adler wasn’t fooling anyone.
While reportedly exceptionally cute and a source of profound joy to her parents - Lior and Vardit - many believe she is also a harbinger of society’s downfall.
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Wearing tights as pants is the fashion for women as the winter months approach. Tights should never be used as substitutes for pants. It is not a flattering look.
Whenever a female appears wearing tights or leggings as pants this topic is discussed robustly within families and workplaces all over Australia.
The website tightsarenotpants.com has gone as far as publishing a manifesto against tights worn as pants and even offers copyright-free templates of a logo and stickers to be used as protest material. Editor’s note: Aussie readers would be more familiar with the term “leggings” instead of tights. “Jeggings” presumably come under the same category.
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Everyone should have a favourite cookbook. Mine are almost entirely from the 1980s (not forgetting the Women’s Weekly birthday cake book), and obviously a reminder of my parents’ flair for entertaining when I was growing up.
Epicurean, Vogue Entertaining and the Women’s Weekly dinner party series inspired many nights of cheese soufflé, poached chicken with white sauce and hand-rolled chocolate truffles. All washed down with endless glasses of chardonnay in the 1980s.
But cookbooks from the 1970s have an appeal all of their own.
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The Punch’s fashion queen and all-round style guru Nedahl Stelio made a shocking announcement this morning.
The clog she tweeted is making a comeback.
That’s right ‘clog’. That funny looking shoe made with open backs and closed toes.
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Yes, there have been some corkers in the fashion world this past ten years – thigh high rubber boots usually worn to wade in alligator-infested swamps anyone? – but there have also been some winners. Pieces that women have been thankful to add on high rotation in their wardrobe. Here’s a round up of the best and worst trends of the decade.
The 80’s revival
Those who are old enough to have gone through it once are also old enough to remember how horrifically unfashionable the 80’s were. All you have to do is look at Sarah-Jessica Parker then, and Sarah-Jessica Parker now to know that the 80’s should not be revisted.
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The Daily Telegraph ran the story today as its Monday lead, “Drug lords hit town – cartels get rich on Aussie hunger for cocaine”.
A “generational shift” the paper explained, has pushed the demand for the drug making Australia the world’s most lucrative coke market.
While this was surely a shock for the few Sydneysiders who haven’t stepped out to a bar, club, trendy restaurant or party in the past few years, for the rest of us, the story was more a case of no shit Sherlock than shock. Because, if you live in Sydney and are under the age of 55, chances are you will run into the drug every day if you knew what you were looking for.
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When did everyone suddenly get tattoos? And marginally more sinister, why do I want some? I’m in my early forties, married with three children, and suddenly I have a yearning for three hours worth of ink-work on my upper arms. What gives?
Maybe I’ve watched too much rugby league. Perhaps it was being surprised at what nice lads those brothers from Good Charlotte were on their recent visit (and they’re covered in the stuff). Or maybe the constraints of my fortysomething life have lead me to believe that defiling myself would be some sort of rebellious act. Whatever the catalyst, I’ve had a paradigm shift in my view on tattoos. In particular with reference to whether they should appear on my body somewhere.
I grew up in England in the working class, naval City of Portsmouth, where tattoo parlours were plentiful and usually sheltered menacingly under railway arches; their windows covered in wire mesh.
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“That is one seriously crazy toilet,’’ my boyfriend explained after returning from the lavatories in one of Sydney’s swankiest restaurants.
It wasn’t the nicest topic to discuss over our yellowfin tuna and pork belly mains but it got my attention. Curious to know what he meant by ``crazy toilet’’ and whether it had multiple personality disorder, unsure if it was a toilet or bidet, I flung down the cutlery and headed for the ladies.
My mind was racing with ideas on how fascinating this trip to the loos was about to be. Maybe it was unisex, maybe there was an attendant waiting for me with facecloth and a spritz of perfume. But nothing braced me for what I was about to see.
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The internet is probably the best beach in the world to go for a surf. It’s the reason I spend more than ten hours a day on the computer, at least eleven if you include my iPhone.
It’s not just the great weather, the rad waves and the cool surfers you meet, in fact there are too many reasons why the internet is awesome to talk about here.
But one of the more interesting ones that’s emerged lately is the concept of collaboration. And not just any collaboration, because that’s been around for ages. But this idea of people who have very little in common, have no prior knowledge of each other and in some case even remaining anonymous, coming together and working together.
So we know the GFC is here. Many of us have lost our jobs, we’re all watching our superannuation shrink faster than we can top it up, and all of a sudden bling is out and understated is the new black.
But what does a nearly recession actually look like? The Team at the Punch has come up with our list of the 50 ways the Global Financial Crisis (it’s officially capped, you know), has changed Australia.
Some of them have hard numbers to back them up – others are a sniff of the wind, observations about changes in language and society. We welcome your suggestions.
1. We’re cooking at home. Woolworths has noticed a bump in sales of cooking staples such as eggs and butter, as well as increased demand for value cuts of meat (we’re making casseroles), and for cheaper Home Brand products.
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Typical. Just as the world peaked Paul Levi, the man who had no small part in bringing us the slightly dubious word “Foodie”, launches the Gastrosexual, a man with more dazzling kitchen tools than penile length.
I’ve never had much truck for foodies (although a few of you are okay). I’ve met too many who know nothing whatsoever about food.
If you would like to see this variety you only have to watch Masterchef which is packed full of wannabes who mostly have no idea how to shop (cottage cheese with sun dried tomatoes) or cook (raw chicken, insipid tarte tatin) for that matter.
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Up to the minute Twitter chatter
@iainpayten ha ha. His real name is probably Sebastian
Here we go. Former PM Kevin Rudd has remarked on Wyatt Roy's gay marriage shift (lower down): http://t.co/IPtsKLk4JE
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