active listening, n. Pretend listening.
alternative facts, n. Bullshit. Example: Grant was caught having sex with his wife’s best friend. And there was smoking-gun proof: a sex-tape made by a private investigator hired to check up on him. But Kellyanne says she can get him off. She’s gonna present his wife with some alternative facts.
apocalyptiboner, n. The feeling of great enthusiasm and excitement which washes over some people when they contemplate the complete destruction of the world. Example: Everything he said about the impending crisis made sense, but the glee in his voice was downright disturbing. He could barely conceal his apocalyptiboner.
appetude, n. Hunger-induced bitchiness. Example: Look, I know it’s been a long ride, but I’ve had just about enough of your appetude.
attachment parenting, n. Parenting.
cc-ebomber, n. Machiavellian colleague who regularly sends out passive-aggressive emails, cc-ing everyone, whose sole purposes are to: take credit for other people’s work; cast aspersions on colleagues; and give their superiors the impression that they’re taking care of business.
codependent relationship, n. Meaningful relationship.
cuck, n. Full-grown man. Example: Peter is a really great husband and father who treats women like human beings. He’s such a cuck!
dis-disease, n. Degenerative disease of the soul characterized by a hypersensitivity to real and imagined insults. Starts out as garden-variety touchiness but grows into an obsessive concern with disrespect. Before long, the sweet kid you once knew has turned into a hateful, poisonous adult who harbors resentments for decades, keeps a detailed record of every past “dis” (real or imagined), and prayerfully pages through a hateful little Naughty List each and every day.
down-to-earth, adj. As unexceptional as me; devoid of excellence; that which does not make me feel inadequate, insecure, jealous, or envious.
elites, n. Smart people who disagree with me and can demonstrate precisely why I’m full of shit.
I’m bored, interj. Entertain me.
I’m fine, interj. I’m not fine.
interdisciplinary, adj. Undisciplined.
irrational, adj. Not convinced by your rationalizations.
like buzz, n. The endorphin rush that follows a well received social media post.
liker’s remorse, n. The deep sense of regret that washes over you when you realize that you’ve liked something horrific on Facebook.
Luthecostal, n. A polite Protestant who speaks in but one tongue; the offspring of a Pentecostal and a Lutheran.
narcissitter, n. Single person who manages to strategically occupy an entire four-top table at a coffee shop.
networker, n. A person who treats human beings like instruments and pretends to care about people they don’t care about because they think they might be useful to them at some point in the future.
nostalgiagasm, n. An emotionally ejaculatory experience brought on by an intense wave of nostalgia. Example: Had an intense nostalgiagasm last night whilst listening to The Pet Shop Boys. It was actually too much to take. Had to turn it off right in the middle of “Being Boring”.
philosopher, n. A person who fails to see that the unexamined life is in fact well worth living.
poster’s remorse, n. The deep sense of regret that washes over you when you realize that you’ve jumped into a social media debate and posted a stupid, ill-informed comment. Especially prone are those who comment on articles before reading them.
primal cellscream, n. The sound you make after your cell phone falls into the toilet.
privilege laundering, v. To conceal, or downplay the significance of, one’s privileged origins by (a) fabricating a history of oppression outright, or (b) stressing the importance of an underprivileged ancestor. Highborn patrician Publius Clodius Pulcher unwittingly inaugurated a pernicious political tradition when he reinvented himself as Joe Average to get elected in 59 BCE. Our upper class is filled with Richie Riches masquerading as self-made men. In fact, my guess is that the number of rich people who conceal their privileged origins in 21st-century America is roughly equivalent to the number of noblemen who hid their humble origins in ancien-régime France. My friend Clayton Bailey refers to this process as “privilege laundering”. Ambitious social climbers used to invent aristocratic ancestors; these days, they fabricate histories of oppression and talk incessantly about their underprivileged ancestors. Example: It was privilege laundering of unprecedented proportions. Almost everything about dread-locked Rachel was a lie. Her enslaved ancestors didn’t exist and her interracial heritage was a sham (she kept her skin dark by tanning on the sly all year round). Her ghetto accent and gangster mannerisms were all part of an elaborate act (she had in fact attended one of the most expensive private schools in the country). What’s more, all of her stories about “coming up hard in the hood” were, we discovered, complete and utter bullshit too (she was in fact raised in the lap of luxury, in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city).
pryrrhic victory, n. When a BS artist within an institution—who specializes in PR, cc-ebombing, self-promotion, and little else—succeeds in seizing control of a project he didn’t create, doesn’t really understand, and is thoroughly unprepared to manage. Example: After wresting control from the pilot, he realized that he didn’t know how to fly the plane. It was a pryrrhic victory.
redemptioner, n. A callow emigrant from Proletaria to Professionalia who pays for the voyage to middle-class America by going into debt for an unspecified period (usually a decade, though frequently much longer). A redemptioner is enticed to take on mortgage-sized student loans by poverty and/or shrinking job prospects.
revolution hawk, n. Activist who advocates revolutionary violence without knowing anything about revolution or violence.
Sanctimonium, n. Newly-discovered element; a self-righteous metal; most recent addition to the periodic table. Silvery-gray in color, and surprisingly lightweight, Sanctimonium has been classed on the periodic table with Preachium, Pontificatium, Moralium, Priggium, and the rest of the self-righteous metals. Although it is found in trace amounts everywhere, concentrations seem to be especially high in Canadian water.
scalarious, adj. Scary and hilarious.
sharer’s remorse, n. The deep sense of regret that washes over you when you realize that you’ve shared something stupid on social media. Especially prone are those who share articles before reading them.
sociologist, n. A person who believes everybody’s blinded by social forces, everybody but sociologists.
surreal, adj. Not like the movies.
teaching critical thinking, v. Teaching students how to think like you.
trumping, v. Spending an inordinate amount of time on the Internet obsessing over Trump’s latest antics.
Twitter feed, n. An ongoing stream of messages that lets you know who all the good people are ganging up on at the moment.
unreasonable, adj. Not convinced by your reasons.
white knight, n. Decent human being who refuses to participate in the bystander effect. Example: Did you hear about that Good Samaritan guy who helped the woman from Jerusalem who was badly beaten, robbed, stripped naked, and left for dead on the road to Jericho? Bet he was just trying to get laid. Such a white knight!
—John Faithful Hamer, Being a Philosopher in Social Media Land (2017)