The Things People Say

Exaggeration is a powerful tool when used correctly. When making a point a little exaggeration can get your point across with a touch of humor and can really make the point memorable.

Some exaggerations I’ll never forget:

“Sorry I’m late, I was stuck behind someone at the ATM who was balancing the national debt.” – spoken by my brother John, some years ago.

My father to me a month or two before I finished 8th grade – “Pick some electives that’ll mean something to colleges, not basket weaving and pothole digging cause it’s an easy a.”

“Jesus, this asshole’s driving right up my ass…” – spoken almost daily by either my wife or myself. That’s how we roll this close to Boston.

I have a healthy appreciation for exaggeration. I enjoy them, as I do the English language in general. However, the attention that I unconsciously pay to things like exaggerations doesn’t stop there… It’s present at all times, so I pick up things like exaggerations even when people don’t really realize they’re using them.

I don’t know why it bothers me, and honestly, I kinda wish it didn’t… Perhaps it’s some kind of psychological problem my pain-in-the-ass mind interprets the unconscious use as a disregard for something I enjoy, or something like that… Who knows. I’m a pain in the ass. It is what it is. I can’ explain it. Fortunately, this is my blog, so I don’t have to. 😉

Anyway, there’s a commercial for stamps.com where some guy says “There’s nothing worse than going to the post office and waiting in line!” …C’mon. I can think of SKILLIONS of things that are worse than that. How about going to the post office and and accidentally mailing yourself somewhere inconvenient. That’d suck, right? I’d rather stand in line.

Another one is when someone says “I could care less.” …soooo… You mean you care then?

“The LAST thing you want is to…” sorta goes along with the first example.

Double negatives used to bother me a lot, but I have worked on it… English is one of the only languages that doesn’t allow double negatives like “I aint got none.” Technically in English, that means you got some.

So what bugs you about the misuse of the English (or any other) language?

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11 thoughts on “The Things People Say

  1. What bothers me is the simple things that folk should have a handle on if they made it through grade school. For example the use of your and you’re incorrectly. I have seen college graduates use are instead of our. For some reason this really irritates me.

  2. Using like or it’s like inappropriately drives me crazy. “I ran down the street and like my dog was up ahead but it’s like she was running so fast that she turned a corner and I lost her and then it’s like I tripped on the sidewalk trying to keep up and I couldn’t find her because she was like cowering behind a bush.” Just makes me cringe when I hear it.

  3. Using “like” in that way removes it of all meaning. Take the word out of the sentence and it actually works better.One thing that bothers me more than it should is the use of “lightening” instead of “lightning.” There are others, too, but that one came to mind first.

  4. Using “like” in that way removes it of all meaning. Take the word out of the sentence and it actually works better.One thing that bothers me more than it should is the use of “lightening” instead of “lightning.” There are others, too, but that one came to mind first.

  5. I’ve come up with one recently that bugs me, a lot. It is the use of the word “sic” by those who wish to explain that the person or text they are quoting is incorrect, either grammatically or in some other factual regard.It seems to me superfluous in most instances and only inserted so that the author can point to himself and say “I’m bright! I know that this guy was wrong!”It is especially disturbing, however, to see it used when someone else was obviously going for a laugh. I was reading a treatise on The Three Stooges, and the author quoted a line said by one of them in a certain film, then appended (sic) to it. Well, duh, you asshole. That was the entire point of the joke. If it hadn’t been (sic) you wouldn’t have anything to write about!

  6. This is about spelling/punctuation, not necessarily grammar…but one big pet peeve of mine is when apostrophe’s are misused. Just looking at that misspelled word is giving me tremor’s. See I did it again and I’m not even going to correct myself!Now I must run before I go back and get rid of those ‘s’s…:)

  7. I’m with TAS. Apostrophes. I read somewhere that the primary use of apostrophes these days is to announce the imminent arrival of the letter “S.” Too true, dat.

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