The slang term “bae” needs to go.
From social media marketing to third graders on the playground, use of the word “bae” has exploded in the last year. It has reared its ugly head in songs by Pharrell and Miley. Time even wrote an article about it, albeit an incredibly awkward one.
It has gotten to the point that Adweek wrote a blog post about a Twitter handle dedicated solely to brands using “bae.” Yeah, they went there. We can’t make this stuff up.
I am here to say using the word “bae” needs to stop. What does “bae” even mean? No one knows! Is it (one letter) short for “babe”? Could it be “baby,” or “Before Anyone Else”? Why do I receive Snapchats of breakfast plates with the caption “bacon is bae”? That doesn’t even make sense! I’d be more inclined to simply say “BAE” in the caption as an acronym for Bacon and Eggs.
As I write this, I can only imagine the shudders my poor copywriter will have proofing this post. The autocorrect on my Mac is having a heart attack right now. I swear I’m not trying to say “bad,” Apple. “Bae” has more vowels than consonants: isn’t that illegal? Little does he know, “bae” was runner up for Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year, “vape.” Could it be that a digital trend is, once again, changing the English language?
Think back 10 years ago. If you said, “My ex just liked my vacation photos with ‘bae,’” you might get institutionalized for speaking absolute gibberish. Yet today, I’m not sure you would get more than perhaps an eye roll in response. Digital trends actually change the way we speak out loud IRL (in real life). Poking someone had a completely different meaning 10 years ago, kids. The advent of social media, hashtags, and digital trends has changed the way we speak.
To Adweek’s credit, they did touch on a very relevant subject. Smart digital marketers are capitalizing on these trends to garner attention. Trend-jacking is an easy way to cheat for a few extra likes or retweets. Clearly, we’re guilty as charged.