Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ill Communication: If You Want to Make Me Nauseous, Say or Write These 10 Things

Griping about things I wish people wouldn't say (or write) never gets old, or irrelevant (because people keep saying -- and writing -- them), so here we go again. Today's Top 10 conversational pet peeves:

1) "Everyone's entitled to their opinion." Um, duh.

2) "Let's agree to disagree." A true cop-out by someone who doesn't have a wobbly leg to stand on.

3) "a fresh start" The past always comes back to haunt, especially when one of you gets mad.

4) "Deal with it." So dismissive, so nasty.

5) "She's had (a lot of) work done." This cosmetic-surgery/Botox shaming has got to stop. Does Renée Zellweger's face shock us because it looks different or because we think it wasn't just the handiwork of time? Who cares? She looks great.

Who cares if current General Hospital star Donna Mills, 73, has her (excellent!) plastic surgeon to thank for not looking a day older than she did when Knot's Landing ended in 1993? If she looked her age, we'd be slamming her for that, too.

Are make-up, wigs, hair extensions and highlights more authentic agents of attractiveness than nips and tucks? Do they make Beyoncé (at least the one we see on stage, in videos, on red carpets and in publicity photos) more real than Renée? In episodes four and five of How to Get Away with Murder, Viola Davis showed us how what we see is rarely what we get with women in Hollywood, nor do they generally wake up like that, despite what Beyoncé sings.

Constantly putting women on the defensive for pursuing an airbrushed standard (forever youthfulness and impossible beauty) is like punishing them for following the rules that society set. If you don't have something nice to say, then just don't say anything when someone else does.

6) #Anythingwithahashtaginfrontofit. I'm not just annoyed with hashtags because I'm still not sure what they do. I'm annoyed with them mostly because they symbolize a society of communicators who believe words are useless, especially sentences (of 140 characters or less), unless they're "liked" and "retweeted" by the masses. Even condolences are offered with "reach" in mind. "RIP" and a hashtag should never be in the same vicinity!

7) "[Insert absolutely "amazing" thing here] is giving me life." What I used to say -- "I'm living for [insert absolutely "amazing" thing here]" -- was kind of the same thing, but then, hardly anybody else used to say that. Along with other stale staples of blogosphere-speak -- like "Co-sign," "Fail" and "Epic fail" -- it was probably clever when one or two bloggers or blog commenters used it, but now it just comes across as hackneyed and bandwagonesque.

8) "Let's grab a drink/dinner sometime." I get what people who say this are trying to do (make an invitation sound as casual as humanly possible), but I can never shake the image of crying over spilled vodka or picking up chicken parma off the floor, for who "grabs" a drink or dinner without making a total mess?

9) "What did you do today?" One of the best things about starting a new job on Monday is that people will no longer ask me this unless it's the weekend.

10) "Brekkie" I adore Aussie-isms ("buddy," "mate," "heaps" and "nah," "tomoz" for tomorrow, "arvo" for "afternoon," "How are you going?" for "How are you doing?" and "as" in lieu of an exclamation point, as in "Hot as" for "Hot!"). They're giving me life (wink wink) as I settle into my new city. But what's the point of shortening a word ("breakfast") to something with just as many syllables ("brekkie")? Plus, "brekkie" doesn't sound particularly palatable, especially not first thing in the morning.

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