Top Three Overused Phrases at Whitman

Tabor Martinsen

Illustration by Marlee Raible
Illustration by Marlee Raible

Whitman students love using hip phrases almost as much as vegans love to remind us that they don’t eat animal products. Naturally, hip phrases move quickly through our small school, and chances are, if you’ve heard the phrase from more than two students, it will catch on and become “the cat’s meow”––in other words, completely ineffective and utterly obnoxious until you reach a point where if you hear the phrase one more time you swear on your life that you will abandon your studies and willingly lock yourself into a room that only has Enya music playing until the world has become a more tolerable place again.

1) Phrase: “Gender exists on a spectrum.”
Why it’s annoying: People toss this phrase out like businessmen toss out cash at a cheap strip club––all the time, without really thinking about the reason or the consequences. It’s essentially used as an ultimatum to make others feel uncomfortable or less open-minded, e.g., “Well, gender exists on a spectrum, so STFU,” or something to that effect.

2) Phrase: “That’s so Whitty!”
Why it’s annoying: Because it is meant as a pun about Whitman’s students’ wittiness and every single time it is used, two things happen. The first is that the person who says it acts as if he or she is the first person to realize that Flo Rida’s name is Florida if you put it together and then laughs to his or herself about his or her own cleverness. The second thing to occur is the collective sigh and a half-hearted attempt to laugh and make the person feel better, like a half-hearted attempt to make a friend feel special on their birthday by getting them a gift that ultimately results in the giving of a partially used iTunes or Starbucks card.

3) Phrase: “Hey, we should hang out sometime. I’ll let you know when.”
Why it’s annoying: Because 99 times out of 100 the “hanging out” doesn’t happen. This phrase is used with little to no thought whatsoever, and for all intents and purposes could easily be changed to, “Hey, we should shoot up sometime and then drop an infant off a roof––I’ll let you know when,” because it honestly wouldn’t make a difference; each version is just as unlikely to materialize. And so help me God, if I hear this shouted out one more time in a passing conversation near Ankeny Field or at a party, I will literally lock myself in my room and watch re-runs of “The Crocodile Hunter” until I hear of an instance of an agreed-upon hangout actually happening.