Sunday, December 19, 2010

English Doesn't Make Sense

I have found recently that I have problems with the way people talk.  Of course, correct grammar and malapropisms are always bothersome, but colloquialisms have begun to grate on me.  Mostly because we don't ever think about what we are saying.  Someone who doesn't speak English who hears us saying these things must think we are complete assholes.  Not to mention that many of these sayings are direct excuses to BE a complete asshole.

Let's begin, shall we . . 
  • "Let me be honest with you . . ."
This is a prime example of  being an asshole.  This implies that you (the speaker) were not being honest to begin with.  Thank you, yes, finally!  Be honest with me!  Enough with your lies!  The truth will set you free!
  • "The truth will set you free."
Ok, we know this isn't true!  How many movies have we seen where the exact opposite has happened?  And, as we all know, movies only tell the truth.  Didn't everyone see the new A-Team movie?  Its the whole reason they left the opening for a sequel, because of the truth the imprisoned them!  And to give an excuse to show Liam Neeson being an ass-kicker again.
  • "It's always in the last place you look."
I don't know about you, but I always keep looking for stuff AFTER I've found it.  Of course it's in the last place you look!  Even if it was in the FIRST place you looked it will still be the LAST place!  Why would you keep looking?  Ok, maybe if you're an old person and you forgot you found something you might keep looking, but that's a specialized chase and this saying wouldn't apply in any case.
  • "Listen . . ."
My father says this to me all the time when I talk to him on the phone to emphasize that what he is about to say is important.  I am on the phone with you.  OF COURSE I AM LISTENING TO YOU.  What else would I be doing?  If I was in the middle of an extremely sensitive chemical experiment, I probably wouldn't be calling home for a chat.
  • "Near miss."
Let's take a moment to examine this phrase, short as it maybe.  Wouldn't a near miss be a hit?  Just think about it.
  • "Strictly prohibited."
Because just regularly prohibited isn't enough.  
  • "This is just a shot in the dark . . ."
This implies one of three things.  A - That you have no idea what the crap you are talking about.  B - That you are a condescending jerk who is attempting to make someone feel bad.  C - That you are about to do something extremely dangerous and you have no business carrying a gun.
  • "It's like shooting fish in a barrel . . . "
This just leaves me with all kinds of questions.  Why would you be shooting fish in a barrel?  How many fish are in the barrel?  Is there water in the barrel?  Are the fish alive?  Why are the fish in the barrel to begin with?  If you have the fish in a barrel, why are you shooting them?  It's just excessive.
  • "It'll be a piece of cake . . . "
Unless someone made the cake for you or you made crappy cake from a box, cake isn't all that easy to come by.  Does the cake have icing?  That's more work!  At least if you want it to be good.  And what if the person you are making the cake for is lactose intolerant?  You have to get special ingredients to make everything work.  Cake doesn't just magically appear!
  • "You can't have your cake and eat it too . . ."
Um, yeah you can.  You're just upset cause you have to make cake for someone who's lactose intolerant!
  • "Very last."
How can something be more last than something else?  COME ON, GUYS!

 . . . 

See what I did there by making that the last one?


  1. You are too funny, Ashley. I have been enjoying your blogs. You are multi-talented. :) Have a great holiday!

  2. I'd direct you to more or less all things George Carlin in regards to this subject. He is particularly (or more to the point was...if it was present tense he'd be a zombie) poignant on the fact that a 'collision' is a near miss. And the Mythbusters did a wonderful treatment on shooting fish in barrels concluding with a large barrel, large fish, and a minigun...