Millennial Writing must stop.

The way many in the current generation write for publication is a blight on the media landscape. Their style has many annoying qualities, but I’ll focus on the two I find most heinous: The use of “we” and of ridiculous hyperbole.

Here’s a made-up headline that incorporates both traits: “Robert Downey Jr. Has a Creepy Big Toe and We Just Can’t Handle It”. Were that a real headline written by an actual Millennial, it probably would’ve ended with an exclamation point, but I’ll spare you that  indignity.

Why does writing in that style cause me to throw up in my mouth? Because it’s trying to be cute without getting anywhere near the target. It reminds me of people who think they’re funny but aren’t. People who think they’re funny but aren’t would be tragic if they weren’t so fucking annoying. Like me, you probably want to strangle people who think they’re funny but aren’t, only you can’t because Social Contract.

I’m getting to the same place with Millennial Writers. The strangle place.

What’s so bad about “we”? you may ask. Isn’t it inclusive? Doesn’t it invite us to come along for a fun ride? No. No, it doesn’t. What it does is assume we’re already along for said ride. It covers our mouth and nose with an ether-soaked rag and muscles us into the trunk of a Prius — whereupon we’ll take a ride to an undisclosed location to look at poor RDJ’s hammertoe. Words can’t express just how much I hate that “we”. It’s presumptuous, it’s ridiculous, and it hasn’t got the verve it thinks it has.

But the hyperbole is worse than the faux inclusiveness.

Consider again the fake headline from above. Apparently, Iron Man’s feet are grotesque enough to paralyze an entire people into slack-jawed, gaping horror. Consider what the Millennial Writer has done. He’s ripped us from the trunk of that Prius and forced us to agree that Downey’s big toe is monstrous — whether or not we think so. In modern parlance, isn’t this a “micro-aggression”? Aren’t they inflicting emotional violence upon us by forcing use tow the line? Why’re we letting Millennial Writers do this to us?

I have just one request of our twenty- and thirty-something wordsmiths: Cut it the fuck out. Really. Stop it. Where and when did you decide you all wanted to sound like tween girls?

I don’t want to be part of your “we” and I assure you, whatever it is, I can probably handle it. Millennial writing must stop.

Photo by Julián Gentilezza on Unsplash