For no particular reason, and certainly not because campaign season is about to shower the country with steaming buckets of offal euphemistically called political advertising, I've decided to post a list of trite expressions that really irritate me. I harbor no illusions that anyone will stop using them just because they are annoying, but it is my hope that my flinch-and-scowl maneuver will be well understood throughout the fall.
Trite Expressions That Annoy Me
1. Just sayin' Ah, the response of surly teenagers everywhere. What it means is: I know I can't defend what I just said with logic or evidence or even human decency, but, dammit, I didn't intend to actually stand by or support my comment anyway. I just wanted to say it.
2. It is what it is. This one has several uses, but the most common definition seems to be, "Yes, I know that is unfair, immoral or obnoxious, but I don't really care." Indeed.
3. Doh! Is that show even still on tv?
4. Whatever. Another teen favorite, better left in the 1980s where it belongs. And whatevs doesn't even bear thinking about.
5. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. So now you want the rest of us to share your nausea. How nice.
6. Piss-shit on that! Okay, no one hears this one except me, but I can't figure out how to convince Mom that it's not an actual curse word. I'm also getting tired of Screw-off!
7. It was epic! Or any variation thereof. Look, if on your weekend you did not visit the underworld or stick a spear in someone or invoke your version of the muses in blank verse, then whatever happened last night was not epic. And what happens tomorrow won't be either, dammit.
8. With all due respect... If you had any actual respect, you wouldn't say whatever you're planning to say next. And if I don't mean to offend anyone, but ever leaves your lips, just go stick your head in a pail of water because your next words are going to be told and retold in "what not to say" conversations for years.
9. That awkward moment when...you start bleeding all over my floor because I had to smack the living daylights out of you for saying that awkward moment when. (Okay, I wouldn't really hit you. But I'd be thinking about it.)
10. Want. (with or without an exclamation point). I suppose the author is trying to convey some kind of primitive desperate need and desire, but it just sounds to me like they've forgotten how to use personal pronouns. Some people even like to string these little fragments together for emphasis: Want. Coffee. Now. Fine, fine, creative use of punctuation, but it's gotten trite and annoying, and it's time for the complete sentence to make a heroic comeback. Possibly an epic one.