. . . and other annoying expressions.
At lunch in Cedar Mountain last week, the talk turned to annoying expressions and someone mentioned "thinking outside the box" as a phrase she was tired of hearing. Someone else mentioned "Whatever" and I think "at the end of the day" and "at this point in time" were others.
I'm not crazy about "Whatever" as a response (though I'm sure I'm guilty of using it.) Turns out I'm not alone. The email newsletter World Wide Words mentions it as the single most annoying phrase according to a survey of Americans.
Of course, these annoying little catch phrases are infinitely useful to a writer. They're a way of making a character's voice unique -- just as my editor suggested having Sallie Kate, Elizabeth's realtor friend call people "Honey."
"You know" is another odd conversational tic that a lot of folks drop in every few words, as if trying to make sure you're listening. Or "You know what I'm sayin'?"
"Awesome," I've noticed, is a kind of all purpose positive response for all kinds of things, as in:
"I mailed that letter for you, Ashley."
Kind of takes the oomph out of what used to be a powerful word. Awesome should have been left for the Grand Canyon, the ocean, a volcano's eruption, God's hand reaching down from the clouds . . .
Just like "wonderful" -- are all those things I've called "wonderful" really full of wonder?
Oh, well, nothing worse than an old English teacher /curmudgeon.
Or, as some might say, "Whatever floats your boat."
The Internet Radio interview I did Friday is available for listening here. My goodness, I say umm a lot.