COMMON NONSENSE: Things to ditch for 2014

Anna Ortiz is a junior journalism major and writes ‘Common Nonsense’ for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Anna at

While you’re still accidentally writing the date as 2013, the new year is here whether you like it or not. Please leave all of the tasteless hashtags, selfies and discrimination at the door. Here’s some 2013 cliches and faux pas we are hoping to leave behind for good.


In rape case convictions and trials last year, somehow “slut” has replaced the word “victim.”

In March, two high school football players from Steubenville, Ohio, were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. A second case in Steubenville of a 14-year-old being raped in April has recently caused four school officials to be indicted by a grand jury.

The rapists were pitied for how “ruined” their lives became after the crime. Just search Steubenville on Twitter and let the cringing begin.

Other cases add to the example, such as one in Maryville, Mo., when a 14-year-old and her family were harassed after she pressed charges against a high school football player for rape. Her family’s home was burned to the ground in April after they moved because of persecution.

Sadly, 2012 had brewed up much of the victim-blaming we see that had bled into 2013, but there has been an effort to end it.


Selfies have had a golden year in 2013, and it’s nothing to be proud of. It was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, so take a minute to bow your head in shame.

Social media has sadly misled users to believe what they had for breakfast is of striking interest to the world. And everyone has that Facebook friend who enlisted their 300-plus friends as their tireless therapist with a constant stream of dramatic posts.

Etiquette needs to enter the realm of social media, and that starts this year. If you wouldn’t do it in real life, such as hand out wallet-sized photos of your face to everyone you know, then think twice on the Internet. The old mirror and phone gig needs to end because if I accidently hit one more person with the bathroom door when I walk into a selfie session, phones will be shattered.


Putting a name to certain things only normalizes it — thus the word “twerking” is the first to go. While it has been under many unmentionable names in the past, let’s put this dog down. Have we learned nothing from the VMAs? Honestly, the moonwalk is a cooler dance move than this. Let’s leave the rump-shaking to professionals like Shakira and, like most possibly dangerous stunts, not attempt it at home. Maybe if it were more aptly deemed a “butt seizure,” then less people would readily embrace it.

Also, it is not Obamacare — it’s called the Affordable Care Act. Whether you agree or disagree, don’t sound uneducated when debating the pros and cons. By the way, you may want to mark the ACA in your calendar or it could hurt you tax time next spring. There will be more than a $90 fine or 1 percent of yearly income that will come out of your taxes if you don’t have health coverage and haven’t signed up on by March 31.

Finally, YOLO needs to die. And if the phrase is taken as fact, it will not rise again.


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