Deploying Innovative Nomenclature

But Then I Lolled

It’s widely understood that when people say that something is shit, as in “this is shit”, that it is clearly very bad, whereas something described as being “the shit”, as in “this is the shit”, it is in fact extremely good. In the last few years I’ve periodically noted that the phrase “this is pants” has the same negative connotations as “this is shit” but I haven’t seen its obvious (and I would say inevitable) corollary in the wild.

So it falls to us, loyal Cult Following, to fill this void. Being a just and benevolent leader I do not ask much of you, it’s true. But I direct you now to do two things:

  • The first is that you start, in casual conversation, occasionally employing the phrase “this is the pants” in some obviously complimentary context. Later, when you hear it (from somebody not obviously one of us), report back with where it was said, and in what context. And ideally with a Google Maps URL, so that we can evaluate our progress.
  • Secondly when you finally do hear it in the wild, you will quietly acknowledge (possibly with smug or ironic affect) that our reach is long, our powers subtle.

Also I’m thinking we should have a secret handshake or sign. Good cult followings usually do, you know? It would totally be the pants.


  1. Posted June 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    One of my friends at college decided to replace saying “awesome” with saying “weseome, that’s awesome without the a” (always like that). He stopped when he finally heard it from someone he didn’t know at a party.

  2. Amos
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    The pants in question are British pants (panties or underpants.)

    Maybe on this side of the pond you’d have better luck trying to coin the phrase ‘this is the underpants?’

    Maybe not.

  3. Posted June 29, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    sounds to me like it’ll work

    “Six simple principles of viral marketing”:
    Gives away products or services – not really applicable…

    Provides for effortless transfer to others – Check! In this case, “the pants” is a good easy-to-remember meme.

    Scales easily from small to very large – Check! Anyone can do it.

    Exploits common motivations and behaviors – Check! Everyone wants to use a new catchphrase.

    Utilizes existing communication networks – Check! The Blarg+ Network.

    Takes advantage of others’ resources – Check! Use other people’s conversations to convey this meme.

  4. Darcy
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I confess that, after reading the first few lines, a corollary between the two phrases was immediately obvious to me: I was expecting a post on diaper changing. Or has Maya already sailed through the 5 outfits a day stage?

  5. mhoye
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Sailed through it like a poo-powered rocket.