‘Tis the season for brown paper packages tied up with strings, but instead of talking about our favorite things, we thought we’d share our not-so-faves–namely expressions that set our teeth on edge. Read our least favorite expressions then chime in with your own.
So many annoying expressions…so hard to choose. Okay, in addition to general corporate-speak gems (“good synergy,” anyone?) here’s one of my pet peeves (a skin-crawling term in itself): “Taking one for the team.” Ouch. I mean, what exactly are they “taking”? All kinds of unsavory images spring to mind. And really, how rude of the rest of the team to let that happen. All for one and one for all, right? Just for the record, my fave expression is: “So strong, it’ll make ya fight your grandma.” (Think coffee or horseradish.)
The expression that makes my skin crawl harkens back to my sitcom days: “Get a room.” It’s what we in the business call a “clam,” for reasons lost in the mists of sitcom time. Basically, it means a stale, overused joke that’s become a cliché. And boy, is “Get a room” exactly that, along with “Note to self” and “What are you, the ____ police?” A expression I come across a lot in cozies also chaps my hide: “He/she blew out a breath.” One author used this phrase so much in her book I began to wonder if her characters all suffered from bronchial conditions.
BTW, there are mere words that make my skin crawl. Don’t ask me why, but it’s like nails on a chalkboard for me when someone “gobbles” a meal.
One expression that’s always bothered, or at least puzzled, me is “not half bad.” According to my (admittedly sketchy) math, something that’s half bad would necessarily be half good. If it’s more than half bad, it’s not good at all. I think people use it as faint praise to indicate something is better than they had expected. But, I find this expression “not half good.”
The one that occasionally gets under my skin is “You’re good.” Which usually comes after I’ve apologized, so I know I shouldn’t be picky since I’ve just needed to say sorry and what grounds do I have to stand on at that point? But there’s something about it that grates on the nerves. I welcome a “no problem” or “it’s fine,” but I don’t want “you’re good” for some reason. It’s probably my own fault and if so, I’m sorry. *holds breath*
I’m guilty of using this, but it’s truly an annoying phrase: “No worries!” First of all, it’s NEVER ever true. We all have worries, so don’t tell me there aren’t any. Moreover, it’s simply tiresome to hear. As is “My bad!” Is that supposed to be an apology? Really? More like an “apology light” (or, as they person who says such phrase would no doubt spell it, “apology lite”). Ugh.
I don’t think of myself as a negative person, but I do have a few expressions I’d file under Not for Me, Thanks. Today’s pick: “It goes without saying.” I mean, I get it. It’s basically saying “obviously” with more words and perhaps a little more gentleness. I just find myself mentally responding, “It could have gone without saying.”
The expression I’m waiting to catch on is, “That is so fetch.” It goes without saying that it will probably never happen.
I feel like I’ve agitated about this here before—which actually makes perfect sense because I agitate about it EVERYWHERE—but the word I would like to retire permanently is “arguably.” You see it all the time in the newspaper and magazine articles. “Abraham Lincoln was arguably the best president” … “Friends is arguably the best TV show of all time” … “Pears? Arguably the best fruit.” It’s ridiculous, mainly because there’s not one darn thing that’s not arguable. I don’t know how or why it became so popular and insidious. It’s a weasel word to me. Just take a stand! It’s easy … watch: Abraham Lincoln was the best president. Friends is the best TV show. Pears are the best fruit. See? Now tell me why. Then I’ll argue with you about why you’re wrong.
One of my least favorite sayings is “Have a good one.” I know people are trying to be nice and friendly, but I always wait a beat for them to add something else to their phrase. I want to know: Have a good what? Are you wishing me a good morning? Cup of coffee? Royalty check? Also, it’s not like it’s any quicker to say “one” versus “day.” So, have a good day, everyone.
Readers, what expressions would you be fine with never hearing again?