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 OK, it makes sense why people say it, but no one carries eggs in baskets anymore, so I just think it’s outdated and overused.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?