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The 5 Dumbest Nicknames (and Why the Media Uses Them)

#2. The God Particle

The "God particle" is a nickname widely used to describe the Higgs Boson, a nickname that just about every physicist in the world hates. And although it wasn't even the media that came up with the tag -- it originated with an actual physicist -- they're the ones who ran with it. It's hard to find any stories about the Higgs in the general media that don't at least mention the "God particle" label.

Why It Needs a Nickname:

Because the media don't know what they're talking about.

Let's back up a bit and explain what the Higgs Boson actually is. It turns out that it's an elementary particle that ... does ... something. I think.


It pa ... particles? Is that a verb?

OK, I've just checked every general news article about the Higgs, and it's apparently an elementary particle that allows all matter to have mass. So that makes sense. I think.


No, I'm still not getting it.

And that's the problem. Very few people understand physics enough to understand what the Higgs is, what it does or why it's important. It's a complicated concept, a confusing solution to a confusing problem. "The God particle" is a simple concept, which explains very simply that we're dealing with a very important particle. A particle that probably has a beard. And is always angry at us and the things we're doing.


This I get.

#1. K-Stew

"K-Stew" is how a few people in the media describe Kristen Stewart, an actress perhaps best known for her role in the 2002 thriller Panic Room.


Who could forget the huge line-ups to see Panic Room and its four sequels?

"K-Stew" is a stupid, stupid name for a whole lot of reasons. First, it sounds like a low-budget knockoff of Alphagetti, the kind of thing you'd see on the bottom shelf of a grocery store. It also sounds at least a little bit like a street drug, as well as perhaps the kind of bowel movements one might have a few hours after ingesting the same street drug. The name's only reason for existing is brevity, a lousy nine-character savings that happens to grossly inhibit the readability of whatever sentence it's been inflicted on. In no way is this an adequate label for the talented star of Zathura.

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I remember me and all my friends dressing up as our favorite Zathura characters, like "the girl" and "Trevor Sportcoat."

Why She Needs a Nickname:

Because tabloids are staffed entirely by morons.

No one knows how every celebrity reporter sustained a head injury in 2002, the year "Bennifer" was created. My pet theory, that an extremely clumsy intern with a pair of skis over his shoulder brained everyone in LA over the course of one hectic autumn day, is as yet unproven.

...

OK, that's unfair. The real reason is:

Because the morons need to write headlines.

As hinted at above, the celebrity nickname trend really took off this past decade to help name celebrity couples. This makes a bit of sense; although still individuals, couples are treated as a single unit in many different aspects of life, so having a single name to refer to them could be handy. And more importantly, these abbreviated names saved not just a few characters, but dozens, which comes in very handy for a tabloid editor writing a headline, where space is always at a premium.

Hard-hitting headlines like:

Brangelina -- They're on a Boat!

The Brangelina Brood Goes Trick or Treating!

Brangelina at Super Bowl -- Game On!

Huh. Maybe ... maybe ... it is actually ...

Because tabloids are staffed entirely by morons.

Yeah. That sounds better.



Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and can see that you're beautiful on the inside. Join him on Facebook or Twitter and let him make you the happiest boy or girl at the dance.

For more from Bucholz, check out 5 Silver Linings Now That Your Flight Has Been Delayed and 12 Bizarre True Stories Behind Famous Band Names.

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