Sunday, April 12, 2015

Don't say that!: 12 random words and phrases that make me shudder

The things we talk about during downtime at work.

And no, that list doesn't include Game of Thrones, which is still on my to-watch-for-the-first-time list and will likely spend years there before I do. (I never got around to Weeds until a few seasons after it was off the air!) And no, our on-the-clock conversations don't happen around the watercooler. Those are so Melrose Place '90s. Our purified water at work comes from a tap beside the sink, and I've yet to see a crowd there.

My colleagues and I recently had a fun chat (at our desks, in front of our computers) about things people say that sound like fingernails on a chalkboard...which, truth be told, has never really bothered me at all. I'd much less prefer to hear the sound of high heels clomping behind me, the banging of pots and pans, and slamming doors. (Incidentally, "truth be told," which I never say but often write, was on someone's list.)

One of my best friends used to cringe at the sound of "package," "supper," "meal" and "moist," the latter of which makes my boss want to scratch someone's eyes out. Another colleague mentioned "at the end of the day," which I secretly love because it sounds like something I would say before making one of my casual pronouncements.

While I completely understand why all of the words and phrases that offend my co-workers offend, I'm far more annoyed by the ones below. The next time you see me, feel free not to utter any of them.

1. "cocktail" It sounds like something that comes in a too-tiny glass that you shake so that the ice makes that infuriating tinkling sound. Let's go out for "drinks" instead.

2. "at this point in time" The time is now to start saying "now."

3. "ya" for "you" So forced casual but really, "you" is not exactly wearing a bowtie.

4. "baby daddy"/"baby mama" It makes parenthood sound like something dirty.

5. "bitch" I feel kind of silly every time I say "witch" in lieu of the B word. But when a guy says "bitch," it always sounds to me like he's smacking a woman around.

6. "party" as a verb Do people even "party" anymore? If they do, I'd like to party with J. Cole (the ridiculously cute rapper in the Beyoncé video below).

7. "make love" I have no problem with the idea behind it (more personal than sex), and I'd rather "make love" than "fuck," but the phrase sounds straight out of the bedroom script of a '70s soap heroine. I love this song, though...

8. "Congrats!" If you're going to take the time to comment on someone's good fortune, can't you take the time to say "Congratulations" while you're at it?

9. "Morning" instead of "Good morning" Ever since an ex suggested hidden meaning behind my "Morning," it's taken on a particularly terse tone for me. If it's not actually a "good" morning, I wouldn't hold it against anyone for giving in to the urge not to say anything at all.

10. "whilst" It must be an Australian/British thing because I don't think anyone in the U.S. has ever used "whilst" if "while" will do. Thankfully, I've yet to have to be tempted to edit it out of anyone's copy at work. Keep it up, colleagues!

11. "copy" The journalism equivalent of calling the music that an artist has spent months, or years, slaving over "product."

12. "brunch" A favorite meal of people who live in condos instead of apartments and flats and drink -- ugh -- cocktails. I'll have a feta, spinach and mushroom omelette and just call it "breakfast" no matter what time of day it is.

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