The English language is full of persnickety quirks, the most despicable of which are buzz words. Words and phrases we’ve decided work better than plain speech. Why say what you mean when you can just toss out a phrase that says what you want, but in such a vague and convoluted manner than people spend so much energy figuring it out that they can’t challenge you? Genius! Or how about those words we overuse, or misuse? Oy, da pain!
So here, for your reading pleasure, are some of the words and phrases that drive this logophile right up the wall. Literally!
Can you unpack that for me?
Nope. I can’t. Literally. What’s more, I don’t want to. I don’t like packing or unpacking. And what does packing have to do with anything? Whatever happened to the plain and simple, “Would you explain that, please?”
Folks, we all know what this means. Fired. Laid off. Out of a job. You can’t take away the devastation by giving it some innocuous name and hoping nobody challenges you on it.
Seriously? It’s not a bump. It’s a baby. Way better than a bump.
Sounds painful. And for most of us, it is painful. Literally.
That’s just so random.
Um…huh? What does that have to do with…well, anything?
NOT a word. Regardless is a word. Irregardless is saying it’s regardless of being regardless. Can you say department of redundancy department?
You know what’s not awesome? Using awesome all the time. To quote one of my all-time favorite movies: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Webster’s defines awesome as something that’s:
Expressive of awe; deeply reverent
Awful (as in full of awe) or terrifying
We’ve literally stripped the meaning and power from this word by using it to refer to everything from Kleenex to chewing gum to you name it. Friends, storms are awesome. GOD is awesome. Your new shoes or car or the movie you just saw? Yeah, not so much.
Okay, if you use it the way Gollum does, then that’s fine. But as with Awesome, people have taken to calling everything precious. Let’s check Webster’s again. If something is precious (in a positive sense), then it’s of extreme value or high price. In fact, it’s of such extreme value that a suitable price is hard to estimate. Now, ask yourself, does the thing you just called precious fit that bill?
Ooo, just makes me wanna throw something. I mean, could you be any more dismissive?
Especially when said in that dumb gravelly voice and drawled out. Makes me want to go deaf. Literally.
And my all-time hated word, the one that literally everyone uses wrong, I mean, they literally can’t figure out how or when to use it…
Yup, you guessed it.
But rather than go into detail on this one, I’ll let Captain Literally explain!
How about you? What words or phrases make you grind your teeth?