Everything’s gotta be small nowadays. Tiny houses, little tapas, miniature Matt Damon, and most recently, affairs so minuscule they seemingly don’t even exist. If it’s not little, you’re a loser — unless it’s a cell phone, in which case, it should be enormous, even though it feels like we spent the previous 20 years shrinking them?
Whatever, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the Age of Minimalism, and as such, “micro-” has become the essential prefix. But not all micro-buzzwords are created equal.
So it’s time to rank them.
10. Micro-bangs. You cannot make this a concept. I won’t allow it. They’re BANGS.
9. Micro-influencer. Come on with this shit. The word “influencer” is bad enough — now it’s getting microed? A micro-influencer would be someone with negligible influence, and thus, not wanting for a title. Except they allegedly have audiences of up to 100,000 people, at which point aren’t they a regular influencer? God, the internet is trash.
8. Micro-dosing. Almost as bad as the above, and no surprise, it’s a Silicon Valley favorite. Separated from a laboratory context, “micro-dosing” is Rich White Guy for “I routinely take acid at work,” behavior that is for some reason permissible in the startup world but not when you’re working the register at Burger King. My beef here is that the word “dose” already implies a set quantity without specifying size. You’re dosing, nerds
7. Micro-bag. From what I’m seeing, these are just “bags,” “clutches” or “wallets with handles.” But I understand that fancy accessories need to seem cutting-edge. Fine.
6. Micro-cheating. This is a very dumb word, but since it’s making people mad online, I bumped it up a few slots. I guess monogamy has people so fucked up they’re carrying on semi-flirtatiously in secretive Facebook chats with other people of the same sexual orientation, and that’s a thing you need to panic about. “Micro-cheating” feels too judgy if we’re talking about regular friendship, but where romantic boundaries are being blurred, it’s a better euphemism than the dreadfully overwrought “emotional affair.”
5. Micro-home. Look, the tiny house people are out of their gourds and frequently filled with regret. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a cute nickname for the biggest little real estate mistake they’ll ever make! This kind of miniaturized abode is absolutely a separate architectural object from the structures known as “houses.” Fair play to them.
4. Microbrew. I don’t like “microbrewery” as a term for a smaller brewery, because guess what? They’re still pretty dang big! A true microbrewery would be, like, bathtub-sized. But as a term for a single beer from such a place, it gets the job done. Sure, you could always say “craft beer” instead — if you want it to sound like a beverage mixed up by third-graders in an after-school arts program. Anyway, I’m drunk.
3. Micromanaging. I once had a boss who, when he wanted me to do something, flagged it in our internal workflow system, then emailed me about it, then instant-messaged me to see if I’d seen his email, then turned around in his chair to tell me he’d given me something to do, because we sat three fucking feet apart in the same cramped cluster of cubicles. That, friends, is micromanagement, and the language has no other way of describing the behavior, which ought to be grounds for legal murder.
2. Microaggression. One reason it’s so difficult to combat entrenched toxic attitudes about race, gender and sexual orientation is that they frequently manifest in a subtle, implicit and even unintentional manner. Isn’t that fun? Recognizing these comments and actions as microaggressions is crucial because people continue to assume that all bigotry is overtly hostile, wrapped up in a Confederate flag and screaming that date rape isn’t real. The truth is more insidious and omnipresent, a depressing mosaic of theoretically unprejudiced people’s unexamined assumptions. It’s a good word to have.
1. Micropenis. The genius of the “micropenis” designation — it refers to a dick 2.5 deviations from the average size, in the negative direction — is that it doesn’t differentiate a tree-trunk cock from a modest schlong. It actually distinguishes between a so-so salami and a true pipsqueak of a pecker, a nubbin so extraordinarily short that if you have intercourse with one, you’ll probably be interviewed by a lifestyle website. The good news is that the condition needn’t stand in the way of a satisfying sexual career, and for the rest of us, well… try saying it aloud without giggling. Ah, that’s the stuff.