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Question of the Week - Please Re-Phrase That

Let me tell you a true story about my bridal shower...

My sister did a fantastic job of putting together my bridal shower. She did a few cute games that really were fun. One of those games was like The Newlywed Game, for which she had asked my soon-to-be husband some questions and he was supposed to give the answers he thought I would say. This was to show how well he knew me. Then, at the shower my sis asked me the same questions, I answered with what my answer were, and she then told me and the group what Londo's said my answers would be.

So there we are sitting at the bridal shower luncheon, asking and answering questions, laughing at it all, having a pretty good time. Londo had done pretty darn well with the answers. And then my sister asked me a stumper:
"What is [caramama's] biggest pet peeve?"

Well, that was a tough one. I thought for a minute, and then looked at my sis and said, "Do I have to pick just one? I have so many!"

She started cracking up. I was slightly annoyed at how funny she found this, but then she said, "That's so funny... because that's exactly what [Londo] said! That you have too many to pick just one!"

So we got the points for that question, because we did indeed have the same answer, which is pretty funny.

This explains why I will never have the Question of the Week be "What is your biggest pet peeve?" Instead, let's focus it a little. This week, let's find out:

What is a word or phrase that you can't stand?

For me, I can't stand the phrase "It is what it is." That's a bunch of words that usually mean nothing. How un-creative. How boring. How passive. It is what it is. That just makes me want to puke when I hear it. That's how strongly I feel about it. Please, never use this phrase with me. Come up with a better way to say what you mean using WORDS that actually MEAN SOMETHING!!

Also, I can't stand it when people say "irregardless." I don't care what people might argue or what websites say it's legit. It IS NOT a real word. It isn't. And if it was, it would mean the opposite of why people say, because people mean regardless or irrespective. The "ir" in front of regardless actually negates the "regardless" part of the word, so it should mean the opposite of regardless. But more importantly, IT'S NOT A WORD.

Don't get me started on grammar. That's a whole other set of pet peeves. Luckily for you, internetters, I don't evaluate grammar or spelling in comments, emails, text messages, IMs and similar medium. So you are safe... this time...

What about you? Do you have any words or phrases that drive you crazy? Please share, so I can remember to avoid using them in the future.


-goofydaddy said…
i remember the first time i heard this phrase - i was working in the Pentagon, fall 1996. Larry Brem came into my office and asked "How goes it?"

to this day, i'm not entirely sure if it's grammatically correct or not. either way, it grates me when i hear it.

i also loathe over-hyphenation (hehe--good example there for kicks). i have to explain the problem with that to people on a daily basis.
caramama said…
goofydaddy - I loathe when people don't hyphenate where one is required! That's one of my grammar pet peeves. In places where it is optional, I make the judgement based on readability (hence my using a hyphen in "un-creative" which isn't needed, but I thought look more readable than "uncreative" but you may differ.
-goofydaddy said…
i see what you mean. what i meant and pretty much all i ever see is totally-unnecessary-hyphenation, like robust-platform, internet-based, graphics-enhanced, idiotic-text. things like that may be optional, but i say NO!
Becoming Mommy said…
My biggest language pet peeve has to do with the pronounciation of the word "nuclear". I realize that dictionaries list "Nu-cue-ler" as an alternate. But it's just wrong, wrong, wrong!!! That isn't at all what is written there and the word is not derived from any foreign tongue where that might be at all the way those letters, in that arrangement should be spoken. There is only ONE "u" in the word people (and Mr. President, you in particular!).
My second pet peeve has to do with people editing paperwork and insisting on edits that are actually incorrect for grammar, spelling, format, etc. Or who waste time when editing. If, say, you were to include part of a publication as reference, it makes no sense for editors to spend time red-penning it. To me, that's like going to the library and red-penning the Encyclopedia Britannica, then asking a kid who used it to write his term paper to make the changes.
I removed my previous comment because I realized I made some "bushisms" myself.
nutmeg96 said…
When people are sitting in meetings and say "let's take this offline" -- I mean, wtf? you aren't ONline right now. You're sitting face to face. I suggest "let's talk about this privately."

Also, the word "impactful" annoys me, a lot. As does "non-concur" aka disagree!
La folle maman said…
Whenever we go to NC to visit my DH's family, I clench my teeth whenever I hear "Jont sum sweet tee?" which is southern for "Do you want some sweet tea?" Ugh! I hate that! I shouldn't feel so strongly since my Baltimoron grammar kicks in occasionally but for whatever reason, that one really gets to me.
Ali said…
For me, it's all about the inappropriate quotation marks. ("Fresh" tomatoes!) I know they're just trying to draw attention to the product but it makes me instantly suspicious...

BTW, thanks for your kind words on Moxie's blog. Made my day!

Rudyinparis said…
Any kind of corporate mumbo-jumbo drives me crazy. I also wince whenever I hear the phrase "it's apples and oranges." I don't get that. Seriously--I don't understand it. Does the person mean that the two things being compared to apples and oranges are entirely different from one another? That seems to be what people mean. But apples and oranges are so similar. I'm greatly puzzled by this. They are both round fruits, readily available throughout the year. As a matter of fact, I have a hard time thinking of two things more similar than apples and oranges, when you consider the whole universe of potential items that can be compares to each other. "It's like apples and concrete blocks" or "It's like giraffes and oranges" appear to be nonsensical statements, but they certainly make more sense to me. I think there's something I'm not understanding with this.
I'm Not Skippy said…
I hate the phrase "touch base." As in "let's touch base to discuss my being a corporate weasel." That and most other business-speak (hyphen in honor of goofydaddy, by the way my spell check says goofy-daddy should have a hyphen).

I'm a graphic designer in marketing where most grammar goes out the window. I don't care if a hyphen is needed or not. If it looks good in a layout and will make sense to most people when read I'm happy. Most text is just boxes of gray for me. That's why we have a proofreader. I just make it look pretty.

I'm sure my own blog blatantly shows my reckless abandon for grammar. I'm OK with that.
Sharina said…
I use “it is what it is” from time to time. I think I may have said it yesterday. To me, even though I’m literally not saying much, in the context I use it, I am usually saying a lot. I know that made no sense, but whatever- it’s a handy phrase!

And to goofydaddy—the phrase “how goes it” is really funny to me. I never say it, but if I heard someone else say it, it would make me smile.

Things that irritate me: the phrase “at the end of the day.” I cringe every time I hear it. Also, I hate ending sentence in prepositions. Sometimes it makes for a less verbose way to say something, but most times it’s completely unnecessary. For instance: “Where’d you get that from?” I hate that!

Oh yeah, and the word “taffy.” My in-laws are from Philadelphia and evidently, “taffy” is interchangeable with “lollipop” in those parts. This is new to me. My husband and I argue all the time over the correct term for candy on a stick!
caramama said…
You people crack me up! I don't know what made me laugh hardest, but I think it's between rudyinparis's "'It's like apples and concrete blocks' or 'It's like giraffes and oranges'" or I'm Not Skippy's "As in 'let's touch base to discuss my being a corporate weasel.'" (You'll note I used the quotation marks correctly for US grammar.)

Sharina - Taffy is that stuff that is all pully and sticky, you know like salt water taffy. Candy on a stick? Totally a lollipop. I'm sure the internet will back you up.
I'm Not Skippy said…
I thought of 2 more. Saying "honestly" or "in all honesty" ("quite frankly" is up there too). So you're weren't being honest (or frank) before?

And the next one I apologize if I offend anyone who's already posted. . . I hate when people use more that one exclamation point!!! (<- Like that) One was enough thank you.
Sharina said…
I just came across a new annoying word that I had to share: "bandwidth.” As in “do you have bandwidth for a meeting tomorrow morning. . .” WTH? I’ve never heard this one before, but I hope it doesn’t become popular.
caramama said…
I'm Not Skippy - You don't like mutliple exclamations points??? I can't believe you read my blog!!! ;-) Sorry. I'm a huge offender on that, and I'm unrepentant!

Sharina - I hear that one all. the. time. It's one of the many terms I call "consultant speak" as is the "take it offline" that nutmeg96 hates.
caramama said…
Oh, I just thought of Londo's biggest one, so I'll share his:

Londo hates it when people use the word "literally" when they don't mean it. It literally kills him. hehe.
Anonymous said…
Oh God, I could go on and on. I particuarly hate it when people misuse phrases--someone being thrown onto a bus, something being a mute point, etc.
La folle maman said…
I have to admit, I'm a big offender of the consultant speak many of you hate (especially "offline" which does make sense if you are on a conference call with someone who won't shut up).

Another consultant friend of mine makes a game of it sometimes to see how many acronyms and consultant jargon you can fit into one sentence or thought. That's kinda fun. DH will pick a word (not necessarily consultant speak either), inform a few meeting attendees of the word and the person who says the word the most wins at the end of the meeting (but you have to use it correctly). Sometimes it's just to see if they can fit a weird word into the conversation, like "girth". You do the math. ;) Get anyone with that one?
Londo said…
Londo also really hates two things that happen all the time at work (3rd person references are not among them):

1. When people say/type the word "utilize." There is a perfectly good word for that in our language. "use." It is simple, elegant, and takes up 45% of the space.

2. This one is my biggest pet peeve over the last few years. This may be more specific to my job area, but when people type/say the word "Resiliency" instead of "Resilience." If you look up the word resiliency in the dictionary, it says the meaning is resilience. Seriously people, the "y" does not make you sound smarter.

I have a ton of grammar/word usage pet peeves. I am a geek that way.

Oh I literally over use that :)

but I am in recovery.

For me it's about the ALL CAPS. I HATE all caps. I think it works for emphasis, but please do not send me a full email in all caps. Just stop shouting at me. eek! Also as a designer when you use all caps for your headers I have to go in an retype all of that so just stop it please.

and like the "it is what it is" I HATE non words or non sentences. When I read job postings or descriptions of company's and they go on and but say nothing. "we are an up and coming company with a really dynamic work flow." All I hear is charlie browns parents, wan wan wahn wahn.
OneTiredEma said…
I hate it when people make up words using real ones. Like "randomism." WTF?

I have a freelance contract to edit government docs, and I am CONSTANTLY changing utilize to use. (Drives me nuts.) However, there is plenty of jargony bullshit that I have to leave alone, or people get nervous :-)
Colleen said…
"How goes it?" is how you ask someone in German "how's it going?" or "what's going on?". "wie gehtest einen" literally translates to "how goes it" (yes, literally, Londo! :) )

and my most annoying word/phrase?...not sure since I hate hearing "irregardless" (agrees it's NOT a word, people!), but I also can't stand hearing "trying to be proactive." Either you're being proactive or reactive...trying to be proactive means that you're still reacting after the fact.
Professor Mama said…
My language pet peeve is when people say, "I could care less!" I want to respond, "Oh, you could care less, could you? Just how less could you care???" What they really mean is, "I *couldn't* care less." Meaning, they are done.
AmyinMotown said…
"It's all good."

Idiotic and meaningless. And generally used when it is not, in fact, all good but the person in question wants to backtrack on whatever they have said.

And I'll admit to using irregardless, although I know it's wrong and that's kind of why I use it. It just sends people over the moon, and is also kind of a family joke.

I also hate fake accents. Like makes me skin crawl. You're not British, and it's not cute to pretend you are.
ImpostorMom said…
"could care less"

That is not the correct use of that expression. It should be "couldn't care less" by saying that you could care less you are implying that you DO ACTUALLY CARE. Ugh, I think I die a little inside every time I hear/read that one.

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