Friday, November 1, 2013

10 Worthless Phrases

The human animal is given to lots of activities through the benefit of our rather large brain.  We worry.  We pretend. We speak.  In speaking we often will say things that seem to convey interest or concern, but which are actually worthless.  Most of these are expressions, but that's ok, they really don't do much but exercise your vocal cords.

10.  Be careful! - Perhaps one of the most overused and unimportant phrases we have come up with as a race.  Often told by irresponsible parents when they give a 3 year old the jug of milk to pour into a glass.  What's the result?  A perfectly poured glass of milk?

9.  Remember to ______ - This little reminder is like a hex.   It's only useful at the moment that you need to remember something.  Before you need to remember it?  Worthless.  Example: Mom: Remember to bring home your jacket today.  You:  Ok.  What happens? When it's time to come home, you forget.  A better answer?  Stick a post it note on the book of the last class of the day, or that time honored tradition of tying a string around your finger.

8. I told you so - I should say this isn't a worthless phrase it serves to show it's user as a bit petty depending on the i told you so in question.  We've all been guilty of using this self appreciating technique.  We should all stop it.  This phrase can sometimes be said without actually verbalizing anything.  Just an 'I told you so' look will give this worthless phrase undue purchase.

7. How do you feel right now? - This phrase has a lot of value when a doctor is saying it to you after a car accident.  The very same phrase has little to no meaning at all when a sports reporter asks a victorious or defeated sports team member after 'The Big Game'.  Ugh, do they actually pay these people?

6.  Did you find everything ok? - This is the phrase you hear at the end of a shopping trip.  You have a full cart with all the necessities and a lot of the non necessities, and you are asked this question.  I have taken the opportunity to mention that I was unable to find the pineapple pop-tarts or maybe the peach root beer.  Then they tell me I should talk to the customer service desk.  Maybe they should put a sign on the customer service desk that says 'Couldn't find it ok?  Come talk to us'  That would save precious breath on the part of the checkout personnel.

5.  Are you kidding me?  -  Kidding.  There is no sincerity in the are you kidding me statement because it usually follows a statement that can not possibly be true but you believe probably must be.  When the balloon festooned van pulls up and a guy with a microphone and a camera crew tells you 'You've just won the Plumbers Flushinghouse Sweepstakes!'  You say 'You're kidding!'  Obviously they aren't and you just won a lifetime supply of plumbing fixtures.

4.  Have you seen? - MOST of the time this question just doesn't have any value because right after it's asked the inquisitor will then proceed to tell you about what you just said you haven't seen.  Or they will say 'yeah, that was good'  if you're lucky.  If you're not lucky, they will reiterate the story that you both know.  This question does have some value in the right situation though.  If you are looking for something, you have a 1% chance of this phrase jogging someones memory.   If someone is on a talk show, it's a good segue into the prepared subject of the guest.  Yes, it's prepared.

3.  You're lucky - Telling someone they are lucky has no value because if they don't know it, they don't appreciate it.  It's not lucky to them, it's average.  The other thing is, usually you are told you're lucky in an ironic fashion.  You just got hit by a stray baseball in the back of the head and someone will tell you you are lucky that it wasn't a lawn dart.  Great.  Don't bother.  If that's the kind of luck I've got, I'd rather not know.

2.  Any name joke - Ugh.  Lets say that your last name is VanPelt.  That seems to be a somewhat rare name that might not have any jokes surrounding it.  It does.  Anyone that has that name can enumerate every joke they have ever heard about it.  The obvious one would involve Peanuts' Linus and Lucy.  But there are several others that might be dumber.  If you are the owner of that last name.  You've heard them all and you've been forced to bear them all.  Name jokes are NEVER useful.  If you feel like telling them.  Don't.

1.  Have a nice day - Said by people that don't really care that much if you have a nice day at all or not.  The time this phrase is at it's most worthless is when it is the closing statement of law enforcement after they have pulled you over for speeding.  At the end of one traffic stop a police officer said 'Have a better day'  I appreciated that.

There it is.  10 items by 15 days.  Come by in another 15, I might have another 10.

No comments: