When I have free time, I like to listen to old podcasts of an NPR show called “A Way with Words”. It’s a show where two word nerds take calls from listeners who have questions about the background of various words, phrases, etc. One day I was listening and a discussion came up about words or phrases that people use too often in their daily speech. They talked about ways to reduce the frequency of those words or in some cases eliminate them altogether . This got me to thinking about the things I say a lot and whether I should cut back. After lots of introspection I decided against it. I have decided that I will spend 2012 ridding others of the habit of saying things that annoy me. Here is a short list of words or phrases likely to get you de-friended:
I don’t mean to be difficult…- I mostly hear this at work but I occasionally hear it amongst family and friends. Someone wants you to do something that’s going to be a pain in the ass, so they try to soften the blow with this phrase. Usually they mean to be difficult they just don’t want to hate them. For instance, “I don’t mean to be difficult, but can you put on some pants. This is a family restaurant.”
Go big or go home-I don’t know who coined this phrase or why it became so popular but every time I hear it, I want to punch a kitten in the heart. The point of this phrase is to inspire someone to give something their all, but it’s become so overused, I cringe every time I hear it. Usually if I ask the speaker of the phrase “Can I go home?” I get angry stares, but I don’t care anymore.
Oil, Boil, Foil, Wash, etc.- This one may need a little more explaining. I am originally from the south and words tend to get pronounced differently. For some reason, it’s fashionable to pretend words spell with “OI” are actually spelled with “ER”. Oil become erl, boil becomes berl and so on. I used to correct people all the time, but then I gave up and moved north. I don’t hear near as much living in Indiana, but I do hear it on occasion. However, I do hear the word wash pronounced wersh fairly often. It makes me want to cry.
I probably shouldn’t let stuff like this get to me but it does. There are probably lots of words and phrases I say that annoy people. That’s not really my concern. My concern is being as happy as I can in 2012. It’s going to be a great year, even if kills me and everyone else around. Go big or go…well you get the picture.