Top Overused Words Of 2005

Moral High Ground

If you start bitching about it, you don’t have it. Period. End of story. If you think you have it and the rest of the world disagrees, it’s not their problem – it’s your problem. When you get old and die and go to Heaven, you’ll get jewels in your crown for doing the right thing even if everyone on Earth said bad things about you. Just remember, though, that it cuts both ways. Just because you can find ((population / 2) + 1) people to agree with you doesn’t mean God does.

The (insert group of choice) Agenda

Gay. Radical Right. Socialist. Secularist. American Taliban. Fundie. Liberal. Whatever, people. Every group has an agenda, and capitalizing it doesn’t make it any more ominous. There are three questions I care about when someone gets frothy about So-And-So-Group’s Agenda. First, does the group actually exist as an entity or is it just a convenient stereotype? Second, is the summary of the aforementioned agenda accurate, or does it grossly misrepresent the group’s goals and vision for cheap rhetorical points? Third, to what extent do I believe this agenda is beneficial or dangerous? If you can’t deal with those questions clearly and honestly and calmly, go away.

Culture Of (random noun)

You don’t know what it means, and you haven’t bothered to tell anyone else, either. Suck it up and learn to communicate without your bumper stickers, kids. If what you really mean is “A world where a majority agrees with me,” go back to writing Left Behind fanfic.


Yes, there are a lot of people out there who believe in God and think that The Bible is God’s word. A large chunk of them believe that God’s ideas are good ones. You may disagree with them, and you may find them inexplicably goofy, even insane. This does not mean that they desire a theocracy. Look the word up. Think about it for a moment. A religious person being elected to high office does not make the country a theocracy, any more than a woman being elected President makes American culture matriarchal.

Aiding and Abetting

This phrase, specifically as applied to terrorism and “The War On Terror,” has been broadened by rhetoric to the point that it’s meaningless. Opinions are not treason. Expressing opinions is not treason. Vocally disagreeing with the actions of the US government is not treason. Even vocally disagreeing with the US government in ways that our military enemies might enjoy hearing is not treason. This line of reasoning gives us the national equivalent of the dumb boss who demands that people support his asinine office polices because “conflict hurts the company.”

Everyone’s dishonest.

A craven, cowardly cop-out by those who can’t defend the actions of those they hold up as heroes. Trusting a leader you’ve never know and never met because of their character and then brushing off their public misdeeds as “what everyone else does” is pathetic. If you think (insert random misdeed) doesn’t matter as much as other peoples’, then explain WHY instead of pretending you’re a cynic.

Because (group) Hates (value)

Terrorists hate freedom. Christians hate knowledge. Gays hate God. Atheists hate marriage. Liberals hate America. Conservatives hate the poor. Pro-choicers hate babies. Pro-lifers hate women. This generic statement is a frothy blend of straw-man and false-dichotomy, misrepresenting the real motivations of the group in question. It also pressures the listener to jump to the defense of whatever mom-flag-and-apple-pie value is supposedly under attack without considering the real motivations and concerns of the group in question. It’s for the children!

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