Words That Kinda Matter

2017 Made Us All Dumber

Exhibit #1: Covfefe

image source: Mike Maguire on flickr (CC BY 2.0)

2017 is the year #Covfefe was born into our collective lexicon. I don’t even want to explain what #Covfefe is or how it exploded the internet because I’ve already spent a little bit of time thinking about this nonsense and any amount of time spent on #Covfefe is too much.

But, I would like to list a few things that make me angry about #Covfefe:

  • The United States of America elected into office a misogynist idiot to be our leader.
  • Not only do we allow this dude to tweet, we also allow him to communicate important information via Twitter.
  • What kind of country relies on Twitter for communication from its leader? Presidents used to address the nation in respectable ways (I’m thinking FDR’s fireside chats here), ways in which they would need to prepare their thoughts in advance and clearly articulate their ideas using actual language and maybe even subtle vocal cues conveying further meaning through their choice of diction and delivery. Those days are long gone.
  • Whatever the fuck dude was trying to type when he typed “covfefe”, he did not, in fact, type it. I too am frustrated by Twitter’s lack of a function that allows tweets to be edited, but I’m not President of The United States of America and so I could tweet covfefe all day and nobody would even notice or care, but OUR NATION’S LEADER should not be allowed to do this. Doesn’t he have a handler?
  • And then, once “covfefe” was tweeted out into the universe for all to see, the universe could not un-see it. It became a thing that went viral. Hashtag Covfefe. It was trending. It was funny, people thought, to see our president make such a mistake. But also, in my opinion, the whole thing was just really, really, really sad.
  • We allowed this to happen. And then we obsessed over the damn thing and it probably made us all a tiny bit dumber.

More Dumb Things In 2017

Now I will list more things we obsessed over in 2017. Each one alone probably made us a tiny bit dumber. But collectively, they definitely made us dumber.

Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino

image source: BrittRenePhotography flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A single Grande (aka “medium”) Unicorn Frappuccino made with whole milk contains 410 calories and 59 grams of sugar. That amount of sugar is approximately equal to the following:

  • 20 Starbursts
  • 3 Honeycrisp Apples
  • 9 Marshmallow Peeps
  • 3.5 Vanilla Jell-O pudding cups
  • 3 Starbucks Grande Whole Milk Caffè Lattes

Nutrition info aside, I saw lots of people in my social media feeds posting about how this drink doesn’t even taste good. And yet, people continued to buy and consume it. That’s just dumb.


This NPR article from April 2017 describes the phenomenon well:

“Some dogs are doggos, some are puppers, and others may even be pupperinos. There are corgos and clouds, fluffers and floofs, woofers and boofers. The chunky ones are thicc, and the thin ones are long bois. When they stick out their tongues, they’re doing a mlem, a blep, a blop. They bork. They boof. Once in a while they do each other a frighten. And whether they’re 10/10 or 12/10, they’re all h*ckin’ good boys and girls.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? If not, you’re probably not fluent in DoggoLingo, a language trend that’s been gaining steam on the Internet in the past few years.”

I argue this: acceptable terms for adults to use when describing our four-legged canine pets include dog and puppy. “Dog” may be used universally. “Puppy” may be used to describe a young version of a “dog”.

“Doggo”, “pupper”, “fluffer” and other such bullshit terms make us sound like we are a society of children. Or a society of lunatics. Or a society of lunatic children. If you are over 10 years old and you use such absurd terms on a regular basis, please stop because you are making me feel dumber.

“Cash Me Outside How Bow Dah”

I’ll assume I don’t need to explain why this made us dumber.

The Male Romper

Romphim, a company that makes male rompers, became a trending thing in 2017. Personally, I think the female romper is a dumb thing because it’s completely impractical in the event one needs to use a public bathroom (or really any bathroom at all). Also, I think they just look sort of dumb. Why not go with a shirt and shorts? Or a shirt and a skirt?

Rompers could be okay clothing for children because I guess maybe it’s easier to get one thing onto a toddler than two. But adults have no legitimate reason to ever wear a romper. Ever.

The male romper teems with a lack of self-respect and a lack of effort at even the very basic human skill of dressing oneself. They say to the world, “I have given up on life and I am perhaps so dumb that I can’t even take the time to pair two separate pieces of clothing together into one outfit.”

We Let Justin Bieber Get Away With Not Knowing The Lyrics to “Despacito”

In May of this year, a story began circulating about Justin Bieber being unable to perform Despacito live because he didn’t know the Spanish lyrics. Here is one video, though I think there rumored to be other occurrences:

As much as I’ve become somewhat of a pop-music aficionado, I too do not know all the lyrics to Despacito. The big difference between me and Justin Bieber, though, is that I am not the artist who recorded the song.

Even if Bieber is not fluent in Spanish, he should at the very least know the damn lyrics to his own damn song. But when he didn’t, the whole world was just like, “Oh, silly Bieber. He’s just a white pop singer from Canada so we’ll let him slide if he doesn’t remember the Spanish words in his own song.”

But we shouldn’t let him slide. That’s bullshit for so many reasons.

Not only does this clip make Bieber look dumb, it makes the rest of us dumb for not caring that he doesn’t know the words. It makes us dumb because the only reason this song rose to such popularity is because Bieber was asked to record a version of it and it took having a white Canadian pop singer to make an otherwise Spanish language song popular in America. And if that’s the case, the very least that Bieber could do is learn the words.

This clip should really be an embarrassment to Bieber, to his fans, to the music industrial complex, and to Spanish-speaking people everywhere.

But he doesn’t know the words so he just sings “Dorito” and we give him a free pass because this is 2017 and we’re all becoming dumber.