Card Collecting Terms I Hate

It’s been a couple years now since I’ve delved back into card collecting. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen some terrible trends come about in my decade-plus-long absence that I would love to have the power to quash right now. There’s plenty of nit-picking that could be done, but for now let’s just focus on two words found within the “new” terminology that have surfaced since I left.

“Base” – Now, I understand that “base” is a legitimate term. After all, it’s referring to the base set of cards (you know, the cards for which you’re supposedly buying the product). I don’t have any problem with “base” as long as it’s followed by the word “set.” Actually, scratch that. I think what really bugs me isn’t so much the word “base,” but more the inflection. If you’ve ever watched a box break on youtube (and let’s face it, who here hasn’t), you know what I mean. “NOICE! Case hit, everybody! So Taguchi 1/1 Framed, Super-refractor printing plate mini cut signature where he signs his name in Kanji (SO MOJO, YO!), aaaaaaaand base…..” You can almost hear the invisible weiner-wanking motion in their voice.

I don’t know about you, but I got into collecting because I like the cards. All the cards. Granted, I would be very excited to pull such a rare card as well, but to treat the rest of the pack as if it belongs on the Island of Misfit Toys bugs me. It’s not that hard to take pleasure in the little things like an amazing action shot or a goofy look a player is making or just the satisfaction that you got a star player from the base set somewhere else in the pack. Maybe there’s a strange factoid on the back. Whatever it may be, don’t just go dismissing the base set just because a single card won’t pay for your entire box or for your child’s college education one day. If you really hate them that much as to dismiss them as if you just shat them out, email me. I’ll be glad to take them off your hands free of charge.

I also understand that video breaks can’t focus on every card and it’s quirks, but there is a difference between not dwelling on them and completely dismissing them as valid parts of your pack. I could go on about box breaks, but that’ll be another post for another time.

Look him in his face and tell him his card is completely worthless

There’s also just something unsettling about the way the word sounds coming from most people. It feels too much like lingo, and horrible, outdated lingo at that.

I’m usually not one to bring up a problem without at least attempting to propose a solution, so here goes. I’m calling the blogging world to action.  Let’s turn it into actual slang. Instead of “base,” let’s say “regs.” In case you can’t figure it out, that would be short for “regulars.” I’m not saying the word is cool, because it is decidedly and purposefully un-cool, but it’s at least different and somehow not as annoying. “I got my first hit…it’s a Tony Romo Domo Kimono Auto, awesome. Aaaaaand regs.” I know it has the same inflection there, but you’re now mocking yourself, which makes me feel better.  And really that’s what this is all about.

Let’s tackle another one, shall we?

“Mojo” – This one I blame solely on the internet and the deterioration of language Al Gore’s invention has caused. I don’t know which World of Warcraft reject thought this up, but it has to stop. To me, it’s one step below l33t speak, and that’s saying something.

Look, I like Mojo Hand (I liked him better when he was still blogging), and he is exempt from what I have to say next.  Still, without fail, when I think of “mojo,” I either think of a monkey from The Simpsons, or the second Austin Powers movie where Dr. Evil tried to travel through time in order to steal Austin’s mojo. You cannot make me think about anything else. I will also accept X-Men villain, but my mind doesn’t go there.

Now, I like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me as much as the next guy (it’s the only one in the trilogy I currently own), but re-naming your sheer luck with this word is annoying. If you’re going to borrow from a Mike Myers movie, why not pick a better one?

That’s why I’m suggesting that from now on, all major hits are “SCHWING!!” cards. You got an Albert Pujols gold ink autographed bat card? Schwing! See? Isn’t that much better? And if you happen to get a horrible hit – say a Ronny Cedeno used gum wrapper relic card – you can take a line from Garth and say “I fell on my keys!” Put some Bohemian Rhapsody behind your video break and you have the “everyone’s happy” ending.

What do you say bloggers?  Are you with me?  If you’re not, I completely understand, because I understand how ridiculous my replacement suggestions sound.  But if you are with me, let’s give this culture a u-turn and start heading in the right direction.

Free box giveaway question #1:  What terms do you hate in the hobby?  Any suggestions as to what you’d prefer instead? If not, I’ll try to think of something for a later post.

36 comments to Card Collecting Terms I Hate

  • eBay 1/1 is probably the term that irks me the most, because it’s a blatant admission that the card is not a legit 1/1. If it were called what it is – an eBay money-making ploy to get more people viewing your items and uneducated consumers buying it – I’d be cool with it.

    A bit wordy, I know. But honest, at least.

  • Well this is too easy. I wrote about this very topic tonight:

    If you don’t feel like reading it, the term is “my personal collection,” or “my PC,” which for a long time I thought was a reference to their home computer.

  • mine is ebay related also. it’s referring to ebay as “the bay”. like it adds some kinda coolness factor to ebay or the writer. like it’s some kinda hipster insider jargon. puh-leeze. i’m guilty of using it myself. i saw it when i started blogging, so i figgered i’d use the same terms everyone else uses. my suggestion: let’s all call ebay the “whirlpool”.

  • I hate it when someone calls a card “rare” because it’s a jersey swatch of a player that there are 350 other cards from other sets of the same player with the same color swatch. I came across this when I realized that almost all of my swatch cards are the same white uniform, regardless of sport, but some of them are unnumbered and some of them are out of 100, or 10 or whatever but they are basically the same card!

  • I get bothered by all the “-fractor” terms… how many different terms do we need for parallels???

  • Jason Cline

    “Vintage”. It’s not that I hate the term itself, just feel it’s overused. I see cards from the 70’s and 80’s being referred to as “vintage”, and it just seems ridiculous to me (as well as making me feel a little ‘vintage’ myself, as I remember opening packs of these cards as a kid). As far as your dislike of “mojo”, yeah it’s probably overused, and I think Austin Powers may have ruined it for a lot of people, but being a fan of classic blues, I always think of Muddy Waters “Got My Mojo Working”. He was singing about mojo 40 years before Mike Myers brought us Austin Powers.

  • I don’t know what you guys are getting all bent out of shape about. I mean, just the other night, while searching the whirlpool to add some regs to my PCs (for me, I thought that term meant Player Collection) I was able to snag a last second Rare World Series Mike Schmidt Pin card on the cheap, Schwing! I mean it’s like ultra rare, they only made 736 of them, right?

    Don’t know about you, but I feel like an absolute DORK now. Thanks for that!!

  • I get annoyed by the term “mojo” also. I, like you, also think about Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. In the context of the movie, it seems like people are getting their good cards back as if the card manufacturers stole them and inserted them into packs. I don’t know if this makes sense to anybody else but me and my twisted mind.

  • Nick M.

    Several of the terms that I dislike were mentioned but I would have to go with the “the bay” like Sealing Home said. That is a term that just makes me roll my eyes as if I’m not hip enough to just say ebay or it’s some upscale store. I could care less for most of the unnecessary terms used in collecting but for some reason this one gets under my skin. I would call ebay “The Trap”… it sucks you in when you want something and if I’m lucky when someone doesn’t out bid me in the last second the seller sends it in a pwe when I paid $3 for shipping.

  • I hate the word “hit.” Like you I just like the cards. You don’t need to stock the product with work-out jersey swatches from a utility infielder to draw me in. Most of those cards are of little value anyways, so it seems to me the term “hit” is way overused.

    Besides, it is damaging to the self-esteem of the “base” cards.

  • I think I get most annoyed by the term junk or crap relics (or crelics as I’ve seen some people call them). I happen to like most relics – and I certainly don’t want every relic to be either of Ruth, Mantle, or Mays because then I’d never be able to afford a pack of cards.

  • When I think “mojo” I think Beatles’ “Come Together”

    I like “eBay 1/1” not as a great term but as a good snarky one. When I use it (or “the Bay”) it’s in a snide way.

    I guess “RARE!!1!!1!!” is the term that bothers me.

  • Mojo doesn’t bother me that much. I big pet peeve of mine from message boards is when people say ebay 1/1 b/c something is serial numbered to the players jersey, or its the first print in a run of 10 or something similar. No explanation for why it bothers me so much, but it does.

    I’d much prefer if people just list it as is and the market can determine it’s worth. We don’t need clever ad gimmicks for me to decide I’m NOT going to pay extra money just because Evgeni Malkin is my favorite hockey player and this insert of his is numbered 71/199 or something.

  • Base doesn’t bother me too much. I use the term and not in a derogatory way – since that’s mostly what I collect.

    “I’m collecting every Topps set since I was born.” – don’t need to use “base” there because most card collectors can figure out what I mean.

    “I’m going after the inserts too – but the base set is my primary focus” – I don’t know how I could change that to convey the same meaning, other than just changing the term used. Slide in “Regs” or “regular set”? It’s still using a term. I like “base” or “base set” better. I don’t think it’s bad to have lingo – it assists in saying what you mean in a concise manner.

    Mojo I could take or leave. I bet it gained traction cuz of Austin Powers. I liked it in Austin Powers – I like it less in cards, but I guess I don’t hate it. Maybe whenever you get a cool insert / auto / relic, you should just be required to post a “Yeah Baby!”

  • wmcduff

    Personally, I think of Mojo Jojo, from the Powerpuff Girls, but I have younger sisters. I’m not partial to ‘mirror’. If it’s a mirror card, I better darn well be able to see myself in it.

  • Dan

    I don’t like a couple terms….”hit” is not a favorite of mine…I get where it comes from, “I hit something great in that pack”….it’s just some have really stretched the definition to be not as special or great as it was (look at Tristar Obak boxes for an example)….and this might be something else entirely, but I’m tired of reading “…..give this card justice” I know it’s appropriate, can’t there be an alternative? I’m sure I use it a lot in my posts, so who I am I to talk?

  • Zach

    I am just back into collecting since the early 90s so all of the recent lingo is new to me. In this short time I have really begun to dislike the constant referral to book value, especially “Beckett value”. In reality all cards are going to be worth what someone will pay for them and, more often than not, it’s not very much at all. Cards are about enjoyment and sometimes we miss that. Sure it’s nice to get a cool insert card in my pack but it’s not the sole reason the hobby exists.

  • Alec

    I’d say calling cards an “insert” when they’re really just a rarer subset of the regular set. I guess I consider inserts should be their own sets. Press Pass does this a bit in NASCAR sets

  • Steve D.

    Not to copy Zach, but it’s definitely book value for me. I understand that people want to have an idea of how much their cards are worth, and that’s completely fine, but it’s really an arbitrary number thought up by a magazine. It really annoys me when people (mostly on forums, not on blogs) treat it like the Bible and trade solely by it.

  • Joey

    I think “XRC” shouldn’t even be considered a rookie card at all so people dont get them mixed up with a player’s true rookie card.

  • Hmmm… words used in the hobby that bug me. I honestly can’t think of anything that truly annoys me when I hear it. Night Owl brought up PC or “Personal Collection”, but I say that all the time. I use the term “base” cards on a regular basis… but I also collect them and definitely don’t look down upon them.

    I guess if there’s one word that comes close to bothering me (but it really doesn’t)… it’d be the overuse of “mojo” in YT videos and promotion of group breaks.

  • btw, Topps used “Base Common” on the backs of some of there cards (forget which) several years back, so it isn’t just collectors that came up with that.

    When it comes down to it, the hobby words I dislike most are “That Twins card is not for trade.”

  • My least favorite term sort of goes hand-in-hand with base. My least favorite term is “junk wax.” I refuse to use those words on my blog and have replaced it with overproduction era. It wasn’t (and still isn’t) junk to those of us that started around that time. Who cares that you won’t be able to sell it to pay your student loans off…they are still cool.

  • Play at the Plate

    “SICK”! That’s the term I don’t like. That’s a “Sick” card. I guess I’m just old and don’t get it.

  • The Diamond King

    I’m surprised someone hasn’t said ‘Yankees’. Ha ha! I don’t have strong, hate type feelings, but I’d throw my vote at ‘mojo’ too.

  • nick

    amen on “Base”!
    also do not like
    pc and lcs!
    and junk wax..

  • I hate Mojo, I used to be in on a box break group and they used it all the time. They’d pull a hit and yell “BOOM BABY, ALL MOJO HERE!” I quit doing the breaks just because I hated all the terminology they used.

  • Ebay 1/1. God I hate that term!!! Dammit Greg already beat me to that one. Oh well I still hate it. And I love the term Wax back, which never gets used anymore since the card companies don’t seal packs with a little dab of wax anymore.

  • all good suggestions… mine might be “book” as in book value. I can’t tell you how much I hate it when I ask someone how much is one of their unmarked cards for sale, or if they want to trade it, and they reply with, Well, it “books” for this much, so…..

    Do I care? These people usually do not get my money.

  • I really hate the term Mojo too….. It’s like everyone is just looking for the mojo, ewww…or book valve, lol

  • Bipped started out great but then got way overused. Kinda getting tired of trifecta too. Add epic to that list as well.

  • Book. To me it doesn’t matter what any book says somehting is worth. Somehting is worth what people are willing to pay for it and Beckett hasn’t got a clue what that is. If you want to know what somehting is worth look at completed auction listings.

  • I’m a little late here, I was in Detroit for training and got way behind! Just about every term has already been mentioned. Mojo, the bay, book price(who cares), XRC.

  • Philip D

    It has to be “book value.” I am not sure that is ever accurate…if it is why aren’t we all millionaires?

  • I really tried to think of something not used but frankly the only term I really loathe is “mojo”. Ugh.

  • My least favorite term is not a term. But, I hope this qualifies. Actually, how about “worth.” When I tell someone I collect, usually their first question is which card is worth the most in your collection? Well, my worth means nothing to do with money.

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