Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Best. Movie. Ever. Did This Construction Start With Chris Berman?

Slang isn’t always word-by-word. It is also common for popular phrases, whole sentences or partial constructions to come into sudden usage. We looked at one such trope the day before yesterday with the popular slang construction, “What it is is.”

Another pop construction I will admit to having derived some amusement from goes like this: Adjective. Noun. Ever.

The adjective is almost always a superlative, usually either best or worst, but it can also be hottest, coolest, dumbest, smartest or some other expression of extremity within its category. The noun is where you can get creative, and the word ever is required.

“Meanest. Teacher. Ever,” the child sniffed. One might consider that perhaps it was derived from sportscaster Chris Berman’s famous touchdown run yawp, “Could. Go. All. The. Way.”

I first heard this rhetorical setup on the west coast four years ago, and I appreciated its potential for dramatic oratory, but like so many pop expressions, it  lost its luster and despite my brief dalliance with it, the three sentence punch holds a different place in my heart now. Worst. Construction. Ever.