I hate when people say . . .

Posted on: September 27th, 2012 by Mr Roaming 25 Comments

As a foreigner living in the US for quite sometime now, it strikes me that some English expressions not only sound stupid but are also very irritating.

Talking to some of my American friends here in Washington, what surprised me is that we share the same feelings. That’s when we decided to come up with a list of expressions, or just stupid things that people say. Check out our infamous list:

-When you are out in a bar or club, and just meet someone and they ask “Where do you work?”/”What do you do?”

Why do you want to know where I work or what I do? What if I don’t like what I do, or if I am a secret agent, or I clean your street? Does this really matter when you’re getting to know me? Why is this your first question?

- “I did not get the memo.” It is fine if you are girl in high school (I guess), but don’t repeat this around. It’s just dumb!

- When you are in a restaurant and the waiter introduces himself and asks “do you want to know what is in the menu?” NO! Let me just guess!!!!

- Yet, while eating your dinner and the waiter wants to clear your plate he says “are you still working on this?”

I think it’s vulgar. Food is to be enjoyed, not “worked on” like it’s a task. Also, it’s overly colloquial – such hackneyed phrases should not be used at a nice restaurant.

- Or when you are in the supermarket and the cashier asks “did you found everything OK?”. Duh, I did I am already at the damn register…

- “All your eggs in one basket.” OK, it makes sense why people say it, but no one carries eggs in baskets anymore, so I just think it’s outdated and overused.

- “The proof is in the pudding…” What does that even mean? It seems that people say this a lot, but what proof could possibly be in pudding? The only situation I could think this would be relevant would be if someone was hesitant about the quality of another’s pudding. The other person would state that it’s good, then the hesitant one would say “well I don’t know” and finally the pudding-maker would say “the proof is in the pudding.”

- “How is DC (or any city) treating you?” Could there be anything more annoying than this one?

Of course, every language, from Greek to Portuguese, has its own expressions and colloquialisms able to drive even the most notorious illiterates crazy. This is not a privilege of Americans, but because I live here and English is the language I use most frequently, I thought it was fun to joke about it. Hope you all got the memo.

What about you? Do you have any expressions that irritate you and would add to this list?

25 Responses

  1. claire says:

    How about “that’s a wrap?” So annoying!

  2. ED says:

    While watching legal TV shows I always hear lawyers saying to each other “I’ll see you in court.” Do TV writers actually believe lawyers speak this way??

  3. Al says:

    In the same vein as the first addition, I suggest ‘that’s all she wrote’. Who is she and what the heck did she write?

  4. SJP says:

    It’s a slam-dunk, hindsight is 20-20, Monday morning quarterbacking . . . take your pick.

  5. Henry says:

    I vote for: “let’s party like rock stars”.

  6. BR says:

    “That’s all she wrote!” ‘Nough said.

  7. raz says:

    I have one! “Not my cut of tea.” STUPID, STUPID STUPID!

  8. Tim says:

    “Hold your horses”, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and “you want your cake and eat it too”. So annoying!

    Coincidentally, your blog is very interesting. I really like the variety of topics you cover and the way you develop your articles. I am a fan!

  9. Kasi says:

    “DMV” – I hate it when people use these letters to denote the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area.

  10. carl says:

    “I need some me time” – that’s just the pits.

  11. wil says:

    It was epic! As far as I’m concerned, for something it be “epic” it has to be once-in-a-lifetime . . . . And seeing the frequency of use, it just can’t be “epic”

    Great post!

  12. F.W. says:

    I love this list – I have heard most of these things being said and every time I do, I laugh! I will add the following:

    “Cool beans”

    This is so old – can you believe people still use it? Even on TV!

  13. campbell says:

    Here are a few I found which I love:

    “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
    There’s nothing killing me right now, so I should be getting stronger by the second, right?

    “Think outside of the box”
    Why didn’t you tell me that earlier. I’ve been sitting in this damned box for 4 days straight, trying to figure out why I was in it to begin with.

  14. campbell says:

    I have to then share just a few more . . .

    “It’s all good”
    You only hear this expression when the situation is less than ideal, hence, not “all good”

    “I can’t wait”
    You have no other option.

    “Money doesn’t buy happiness”
    How would your broke ass know?

    “I’m just saying…”
    And I’m just getting tired of you just saying that you’re just saying.

  15. Fernanda says:

    I hate when I say ” thank you very much” and the person replies “uh-huh”. I expect a simple ” you’re welcome” or ” no problem”. I know that they don’t have bad intentions, but I think it seems rude.

  16. Albert says:

    Actually, I remembered this great NPR bit about the idiom “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” And yes, English is crazy! http://www.npr.org/2012/08/24/159975466/corrections-and-comments-to-stories

  17. Frederico says:

    Muito bom!!! A mais irritante para mim foi sempre “are you still working on this?” como se uma refeição fosse uma tarefa que deve ser completada rapidamente e de forma funcional….

  18. robert says:

    “Tell us how you really feel” is quite annoying if you ask me.

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