Phrases/Words That Give Me PausePosted: October 24, 2020
What are some phrases and words that make you shake your head? I dislike misleading phrases and some of these are used frequently. “Half a million” is one. Folks, it’s half way to million. Five hundred thousand is not close enough to warrant the million label as it’s just as close to 100,000. It’s used to make you think 500,00 is more than it is. Another phrase used in sports is “the first time.” Mostly when it’s used, it is not really the first time, it’s just that the team hadn’t won in a number of years and sometimes it’s not that many. The first time in five or ten years? Not that big of a deal. They could say the team hadn’t won since 2015. I prefer accuracy.
Overused words bug me and are often part of a trend that may or may not disappear over time. Often the younger generation start using a word or phrase and other generations pick it up to sound cool. Some had been considered offensive or “bad words” at some point and are so frequently used in conversation, that they have lost their original meaning. One that bothers me is “perfect.” When I give my order to waitstaff at restaurants or answer questions of clerks in stores or businesses and they say “perfect.” Seriously? (I just used one of those overused words, didn’t I?) What’s so perfect about my choice for salmon salad or no starch on a shirt? “Like,” was a teenager’s word thrown in conversations mindlessly. Then the adults picked it up. Why? It dumbs down the discourse.
“Bathroom words” were no-nos in my younger days. Poop, fart, pee, piss. Not anymore, which in my opinion is not necessarily a bad thing. Pissed off and pisser have become so frequently used one doesn’t connect the slang word with urine anymore. “Piss” was considered vulgar for centuries, now it is used everywhere by many people to express anger. The f-bomb is another. You would get in BIG trouble if you used that word in many situations. Now, conversations, movies, cable television shows are loaded with it. There have been some movies where every other word is fuck. That’s annoying to me. Too frequently used and it looses its punch, and then what word can replace it to show anger, shock, and frustration quite as well?
Word choices can make us sound dumb, vulgar, and uninspired, or intelligent, classy, and thoughtful. Shouldn’t we be more mindful and choose our words wisely? Fuck yes.