At one of my previous places of employment, I was moved to start compiling a list of cloyingly ubiquitous office lingo that used to set my teeth on edge. As discussed way back here, such terms included corporate douchebag favorites like “wheelhouse,” “iterative,” “granular,” “learning” (used as a fucking noun) and the ever-present “low-hanging fruit.” But being that I worked alongside an ever-growing legion of chirpy millennials, my list of irritating office lingo beceame contaminated by an influx of equally annoying slang used by that particular demographic, the most memorable of which being the epithet “baller.”
Now, while the folks in this particular scenario had probably adopted the term by way of either professional sports or Hip-Hop or a messy amalgam of both, the term always struck my comparatively ancient ears in a completely different way, and -- suffice to say -- not in a manner that would have rendered the term “office-friendly.” Maybe this is me just being an old man, but when I hear “baller,” I think “to ball,” that being a somewhat coarse and clinical way of describing sex. Regardless, I’d constantly hear things like “that new scrolling functionality is totally baller!” or “our affiliate just released a truly baller app, yo!” It made me kind of crazy, after a while.
For the most part, I kept my otherwise very big mouth shut on the subject, although I was entirely unable to silence my vitriol about the flagrant dropping of T’s that seems to be the new millennial calling card – ala Manha’an instead of ManhaTTan, but that’s another matter.
In any case, in time I was somewhat ruthlessly laid off from said spot, the seemingly solitary silver-lining being that I no longer had to subject my ears to such affronts. Time passed and, I believe, even the usage of “baller” in its more contemporary application (i.e. meaning something excellent, impressive, formidable or talented) became passé, although –- for all I really know –- perhaps it was already passé when my former colleagues were throwing it around, and they were just oblivious … or using it ironically.
So, if it’s indeed a passé term, why am I bothering to invoke it now? Well, NYC blogger (and now author!) extraordinaire Jeremiah Moss put up a New York Post article on his Facebook page this week that painted an irksomely accurate portrait of the current NYC dating scene. If you’re keen on making your own soul vomit, click here to read Why I Won’t Date Hot Women Anymore.
But beyond its depiction of genuinely dreadful, vacuous people engaging in a variety of shallow courtship rituals, there came this choice passage describing the changing priorities of one eligible young aspirational.
Chitre, an environmental lawyer and the founder of Priyamvada Sustainability Consulting, considers herself “a 9 or a 10,” but she says she’s done with gorgeous guys. Now, she’s more interested in “superballer” men with high-paying careers.
We’ll get to the “superballer” invocation in a second, but riddle me this -– how is eschewing guys who are obsessed with their own great looks in favor of guys who are obsessed with their own wealth really that much of a shift for the better? I digress.
But yeah, there it is…. “superballer.” Now, again, I assume she’s using this term as a means of describing an individual of prodigious skills and/or savvy, but to my ears … “supeballer” just sounds like a priapic lothario of indiscriminate loyalty, singularly hell-bent on sexual congress at all costs!
But, y’know … what do I know?