Phrases that make me gag – By @danieljburkitt
By Dan Burkitt
Phrases that make me gag:
We all have them right? Certain phrases make your toes curl and your sphincter tighten. They make you want to turn into a wet piece of spaghetti and slip down the nearest plughole. They make you want to grab the person who’s just uttered that cliche, that nonsense platitude, those awful awful words, and shout in their face: please please please never say that again please I’m begging you.
“Everything happens for a reason”
We’re sentient organbags hurtling through space on a rock. Nothing happens for a reason. Everything just happens. I find it particularly galling that people tend to use this phrase in essentially trivial contexts like a breakup or a failed job interview. Try telling an orphan in a refugee camp “ah well, never mind, everything happens for a reason”.
“I just fell into it really”
I was quite lost after uni and sought out careers advice from a lot of people. I wanted to punch everyone who said this to me. No one falls into a job. You didn’t trip over and end up behind the desk in that accountancy firm. Tell me why you wanted to do it. Tell me how you got into it. Tell me the truth, you tosser.
“I’m just one person, I can’t make a difference”
Reading that you might think I’m about to give a rousing speech about the limitless potential of the individual. Well, I’m not. The sad truth is most of us are worms destined for a life of mediocrity and sadness. But that doesn’t mean you should cease to take any personal responsibility for large scale problems, particularly when it comes to the environment. We’re all slowly choking the planet together. It’s your duty, my fellow worm, to do your bit.
I appreciate there are often good intentions behind this phrase. But to me it just calls to mind the worst excesses of the social justice movement. It’s used to batter people and make them feel bad about what they’ve said, not bring them round to your viewpoint in a productive way.
“Touch base with them”
One of the worst officespeak crimes, along with its ugly cousin “I’ll action that”. Why do you feel the need to no longer speak like a real human being because you’re working in the comms department of a small organisation?
“You can’t eat that hardshell crab in the library”
Then what am I supposed to have for lunch? I’m not going to go to Tesco and get an egg and cress sandwich like some kind of lobotomised drone. I promise this time I won’t make too much noise. Please, just this once and I won’t do it again.
That’s all for now folks. Feel free to share the phrases that push your buttons with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – I can’t wait to hear them! Stay clean, stay pure, stay safe out there everyone!