Over the years, much digital ink has been spilled on the phrase “Offbeat Lite,” the term I jokingly started using back in 2007:
- Why we continue to use the term “Offbeat Lite” even though some people hate it
- Battle cry of the Offbeat Lite
- Othering: the ways Offbeat Brides push themselves away
- “I’m weird for being normal”: the reverse discrimination fallacy
Over the years, there’s also been a significant amount of reader friction over the term, which I’ve always been fine with… but interestingly, over the last year, my editors and I have just organically stopped using it. Not because some readers didn’t like it (because, trust: there’s ALWAYS something our beloved readers don’t like), but because it stopped being useful.
See, we’ve always been committed to allowing readers to self-identify. We only ever categorized posts as “offbeat lite” if the author identified that way. But here’s what’s interesting about allowing people to self-identify: there’s been this weird, like, grade inflation? Where suddenly people are like, “Well, I’m not a polyamorous transgender Whovian marrying a buskin-identified amputee, so my wedding must be offbeat lite!” My editors look at many of these weddings being like, “Uh, wtf? This wedding has almost no hallmarks of cultural or religion traditions… why is it tagged ‘offbeat lite’?”
Basically, offbeat-ness as a concept is so relative that “offbeat lite” has stopped meaning much of anything.
The phrase has slowly lost its editorial value as a taxonomical term. When it comes to weddings that involve more cultural or religious traditions, we have more specific tags like our Christian or Jewish archives. When it comes to weddings that aren’t super geeky or themey or colorful, we have archives like simple weddings and small weddings.
For me, this decision is strictly editorial: the term “offbeat lite” was taxonomically useful for five years or so… enough so that I defended the use of the phrase in the face of reader complaints. Here in 2014, the term’s gotten so watered down that it’s lost most of its editorial value. So, almost three years after I wrote a post called Why we continue to use the term “Offbeat Lite” even though some people hate it, I guess today’s post boils down to Why we stopped using the term Offbeat Lite even though we don’t care that you hate it. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
That said, for those of you who’ve always been uncomfortable with it: REJOICE! My editorial reasonings don’t really matter: the moral of the story is that my editors will no longer be using of the term Offbeat Lite. (Although as always, we allow readers to identify however they want — if you find the term useful, by all means call yourself Offbeat Lite! Or Offbeat Dark! Or whatever else you want! 🙂 )