Monday, April 13, 2015

Phrases that I wish people would use less

Here are some things that I wish people would say less. I'm not saying they should "die" or anything like that, just that they should take a much-needed rest. Is it pretentious to make a list like this? Absolutely, and with that out of the way, here goes:

"Obvs" and all other forms of shortened words. Some people say these seriously, some people say them ironically. Both drive me nuts.

"Vice versas" such as: "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" or "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." These are technically called "antimetaboles," and some are OK, but there are entirely too many flying around. Taking a sentence and then switching it it around doesn't necessarily make it deep.

Things that probably started out as therapy phrases but have mutated into silly cliches, ranked in ascending levels of annoyance:
  • "It is what it is." What does this even mean? This is effectively saying nothing. Instead people could say something like, "I'm trying not to freak out," or "I'm trying to keep things in perspective."
  • "Real/Being real," as in "Before this I was not real, but now I am real, kind of like
    Pinocchio." It's an annoying and unnecessary way to "honest." 
  • "Speaking my truth." Really? Is it that profound? Just say it's your opinion, man. Or your experiences. Take responsibility. 
  • "My journey"/any use of "journey." Don't dramatize your life. I supposed if you've changed religions or gotten cancer or found your birth parents or something like that, you can say you've been on a "journey." But if not, your thing probably does not rise to journey level.
"Speaking truth to power." This phrase may have had significance historically but any time I hear it used now it's in the dumbest places. I'm sure abusive corporations and corrupt politicians start shaking in their boots when you give them an earful in a podcast, blog, or tweet. This phrase implies that speaking truth to those in power does something, and in reality all of this "truth" isn't going to actually reach those in power, and even if it did, it wouldn't change anything. Do we think corporations or politicians answer to the people? Those in power don't have to listen to truth at all. Maybe if the phrase was something like, "Speaking truth to lots of people who subsequently demand change/revolt," then I could get behind it.

"That happened." So smug. Just say, "Wow. That was funny/weird/improbable."

That's my list. Please leave a comment if you think I missed some, or I should've left some alone.