“OMG too funny!” NO. “Hahahaha too funny.” NO. “LMAO!! Too funny!!!” NO! NO! NO!
For whatever reason, certain phrases penetrate the cultural zeitgeist and soon thereafter become commonplace before eventually sliding into outright banality through over-usage. Most of time, these linguistic trends are fairly innocuous. Phrases like: “get out!” “stop it!” “you’re too much,” and “you’re kidding” have been around for a while. They’re inoffensive and they fit in with our light, American sarcasm. I don’t like them, but I accept their existence in our vernacular. “Too funny” fits into the same category, it’s a spawn of the same host, but I hate it—and you should too.
Nothing is ever too funny, ever. Now, obviously, that’s the whole thing here. Nothing is ever too funny, but guess what— what you just said, is. Stating something is “too funny” is a direct descendant of stating that a person, typically acting in an overly gracious or charismatic way is, “too much.” What you just said is, “too funny” and what you just did is, “too much.” But, really, neither is either.
Surely we can do better than this.
Now I know that most of the synonyms for the word, funny are stilted and don’t fit in with casual speech (ie. comical, amusing, humorous) but our reaction to a lack of adjectives shouldn’t be over-emphasizing the intensity of phrasing. We are going around labeling billions of videos of children dancing, or cats cating as being, “too funny” and it needs to stop. There is nowhere to go from something being “too” anything. The hyperbole has to reigned in or expressive language as we know it will be infused with so much exclaiming that all impact therein will be lost—a relic of a bygone era. We will all be, “too” everything—and really, deep down, we’ll be dying inside.
But its usage is so pervasive, how do we combat it?
The next time someone says, “too funny” in response to something you’ve done, hit back at them with a faux, sarcastic apology, “Oh, I’m sorry, that was too funny? OK. Now I know for next time.” Then laugh a bit. It might be a little mean and awkward, but the next time that person is about to use this phrase, he/she may think twice.
Also, in terms of personal usage: don’t get hamstrung into thinking everything humorous you see or hear should garner a response that is stitched within a comedic realm. Perhaps that video of your niece dancing is “adorable” or “precious” or even, “awesome” these words are still circumstantially appropriate if the video is funny. And sure, they’re generic responses, so if that bothers you, perhaps compare her dance moves to the serpent-like swaying of Axl Rose or Beyonce’s soul-quaking mastery. Go funny or go real.
And, in general, when you’re at a loss for adjectives of praise: compare to Beyonce.
Say anything! Say, “Holy shit! That’s amazing!” Say, “Woooooooooooow,” say, “She’s killing it!” say, “Ehh, I’m better, she went off beat after the first few bars.”
You can even say, “LOL.”
But please, please, don’t say, “too funny!”
Never say, “too funny!”
by Jesse Mechanic
Jesse Mechanic is the editor in chief of The Overgrown.