January 10, 2014

Phrases I Can't Stand

I consider myself a steadfast lover of the English language, but there are a few cliche phrases that make me want to punch something whenever they're put into use.

For some reason, several of these abhorrences show up frequently on television shows. That makes me hate them even more, because I know they're coming from the pens of well-paid writers (or, let's be real, a cheeky producer that decided it sounded "more realistic.")

Without further adieu, here are some colloquialisms you should never use around me, if you value your face:

1) "We're all adults here."

The person who uses this phrase is almost always someone who you just know came out of the womb considering themselves an "adult."

2) "I'm just asking for a liiiiiiittle bit of ______."

Regardless of what the fill-in-the-blank is here, I'm betting I don't want to give it to you. Even a liiiiiittle bit. Please note the extra i's, because this phrase is almost always said in that pushy soccer mom voice that makes the word little sound little. Sometimes they'll even do the finger thing. You know what I'm talking about.

3) "I'll tell you what..."

I should clarify -- I'm not referring to situations like this: "I'll tell you what, Suzy... if you eat all your potatoes, then you'll get your ice cream." This is a wonderful sentence. Especially the ice cream part. No, I'm talking about this: "I'll tell you what, I really hate when people attempt to confirm your attention with 'I'll tell you what.'" I'm ALREADY LISTENING TO YOU. Just tell me what's what and then you don't have to tell me what before you tell me... what. What?

4) "I'm not gonna lie..."

Oh good, I'm so glad you've chosen this one particular moment to be honest with me. THANK YOU, FRIEND.

5) "Do you want to ______?"

Again, there are times this phrase can be finished acceptably. For example: "Do you want to get a tub of ice cream and enjoy it together?" "Do you want to come with me to this rockin' 80s dance party?" "Do you want to make cookies?" (The answer is always yes.) In most situations, though, this is a cleverly disguised demand which you rarely have a choice in whatsoever.* I'm talking about the kind that ought to finish with "for me." Consider: "Do you want to file these papers (for me)?" "Do you want to take your car (so we don't have to take mine)?" "Do you want to take your feet off that coffee table (for my sanity)?" Don't pretend like you're asking my opinion when you're really asking me for favors.

*Admittedly, since I learned the power of this phrase at work, I've started using it to my own advantage. Guilty as charged.

Speak classy, kids.


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