Saturday, April 30, 2011

English Still Doesn't Make Sense

I have this odd habit of listening when people speak and through this habit I have, once again, come in contact with odd/stupid things that people say.

Let's begin, shall we?

  • Thank you for your patience.

Living in New York City and using the subway system, this is a phrase that we inhabitants are far too familiar with.  It always follows some announcement about why the trains are all fucked up, usually when you are in the middle of a subway tunnel, under the East River, with 100 of your closest friends sweaty strangers all up in your grill.  Its the MTA equivalent of being put on hold.  My thought has always been - what other choice do we have that to be patient?  Ranting, raving, taking a shit in the middle of the train - how would any of this help us?  Of course we're  going to be patient!

  • Go suck an egg.

The origin of this phrase actually comes from an old English Easter tradition wherein you would take a raw egg, using a needle - make a tiny whole on either end of the eggshell and blow out the contents, leaving you with an empty eggshell that can be decorated and the raw egg which can be used in cake making.  Sucking on the egg yolk as opposed to blowing would indicate a very idiotic individual.

For my money, though, it just leaves me with a lot of questions.  How likely is it that the person who tells you to go suck an egg actually knows all that stuff?  So, what would you mean when it comes to sucking an egg?  Is it like the above, sucking raw egg yolk?  Or maybe sucking on an eggshell.  Perhaps a hard-boiled egg?  Sucking on scrambled eggs would be difficult, and I don't think I would enjoy the texture of that at all.  What if the egg is in a sandwich?  Would you suck on the bread/ham/cheese as well?  I guess that phrase would be "Go suck on an egg breakfast sandwich."  What about egg salad?  Sometimes people put bacon in egg salad and its really delicious.

 . . .

Moving on.

  • Sounds like a plan.

I am completely guilty of using this phrase, and using it a lot.  I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized just how condescending it sounds.  If I had an idea that I had agonized over, fleshed out,  decorated with sparkles and ribbons and presented to a person with excitement and their response is, "Sounds like a plan," I think I would be incited to homicidal tendencies.

  • A death mark's not an easy thing to live with.

This one is for my Dad.  In the most excellent film The Empire Strikes Back our intrepid heroes begin the tale on the planet Hoth.  Han Solo is still in trouble with Jaba the Hutt, so he goes to one the of commander types and tells him that he has to go and take care of the price on his head.  The commander type replies with, "A death mark's not an easy thing to live with."


  • I saw it with my own eyes.


  • That is so funny.

 As a comedian, I hate this phrase.  When people say this and don't laugh, it is one of the most annoying statements a person can make.  If its funny, then fucking laugh.  I don't get paid when you don't actually laugh.  Saying that you appreciate the form of a joke without even a chuckle is a great way to line yourself up for a comedian round house kick to the FACE!

  • No one is more frustrated than I.

What a belittling combination of words to utter.  How the crap do you know?  It is very possible that another person would be more frustrated.  People say this about opening pickle jars.  There is someone else somewhere who is wrestling with their insurance company to get them to pay for their two-year-old daughter's eye surgery.  Obviously, that person is more frustrated.

But not more frustrated than I.  I haven't been about to talk for almost 24 hours.  Damn laryngitis. 

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