"Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think."
-Michel de Montaigne

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Phrases That Make Me Cringe

At the risk of sounding like a total elitist language-Nazi wench, my face erupts in a series of ticks when people use certain phrases. It's not that I'm judging them (well, maybe a little). It's more like my actual nerve endings reject a certain brand of ignoramus. I'd love to say that I had a neatly compacted 'Top Ten' list, but for now I submit the 'Top Seven' that are nagging me this week.

1. "We're pregnant"--No, actually, SHE's pregnant. Is HE also downing prenatal vitamins like candy, hovering over a toilet every thirty minutes, and experiencing a strange darkening of the areolas? No? Then "WE" are not pregnant. I can accept "We're expecting" on a technicality, but even that makes me wince just a little.

2. "Going green"--Let me clarify by saying that this phrase only makes me cringe in advertising. Just because you are a store that is now offering to sell me a crappy reusable bag that I will inevitably forget to bring during my next shopping experience does NOT make you an environmentally friendly company. I am not fooled; but thanks for the new lunch bag anyway.

3. "You people"--It's the favorite phrase of bigots everywhere for a reason. Fury-inducing cringe-worthiness.

4. "I hate to bother you, but..."--Remember that song from School House Rock, "Conjunction, junction, what's your function?" Well in this case, the conjunction 'but' is meant to describe its speaker. As in, you ARE one by using this disingenuous phrase to feel less guilty about bothering me.

5. "Can I ask you a question?"--This is the epitome of backward-logic-falsely-polite-I'm-too-insecure-to-just-spit-it-out-waste-of-a-phrase. You need to ask me permission to ask me a question? Oh, the irony. That level of self-doubt could cause a head injury.

6. "Parking in rear"--Do I even need to say anything about this one? Your inner middle-schooler should take care of this nicely.

7. "She/he's my boo!"--Excuse me, what? She's your boo? Are you scared of her or something?

What's on your cringe list?


  1. 1. "K" as a response to a text/IM. Talk about making my blood boil.

    2. "I/I'll tell you what!" I think you just told me.

    3. "I don't know, kinda." If you don't know, then don't add anything after the sentence. You can't not know "kind of".

    4. "I'm just saying." Yes I use this one too, but mainly just to make fun of the people who say it so much. Anyway, of course you're just saying, you just said!

    I'm sure I could think of more, but I'll leave it at that for now too.

  2. And let's not forgot, "Whole nother." What does "nother" mean anyway?

  3. Ah LOL youre too right. My biggest skin crawler is

    "me likey"... ewww

  4. Sitting in class - the professor says, "I have nothing else to say, does anyone have a comment?" Then, that one person in the class who has to comment on everything raises their hand and says, "I was just gonna say..." What does that mean? You were going to say it and decided against it? If so, then why are you raising your hand and taking up the precious time that I could be using to walk to my car and get home! Argh!!!

  5. Like Grant above, it drives me crazy when people put words like "definitely" and "maybe" or "kinda" in the same sentence. You cannot be defintely into something and kind of at the same time!

  6. I have to say that "we're pregnant" totally makes my skin crawl as does: "do what?", saying "I stay at.." instead of I live at, and many many others...