6 phrases I wish would go missing.

It's, well, a clicheHere are 6 phrases I’ve heard or seen enough. Feel free to add yours to the list.

1. Sweet spot.

“Working for the government is just one area in which the secretary of state hits the demographic sweet spot,” writes the Wall Street Journal.   “Green Products are the ‘Sweet Spot’ for Spending During Downtown,” says GreenBiz.com.   “Finding That ‘Sweet Spot’: A New Way to Drive Innovation,”  insists Knowledge@Wharton.

2. I’m good.

Waiter: Would you like fresh ground pepper with that?

Diner: No, I’m good.

3. I’m all about / It’s all about.

Back to Wharton: “For most companies, it’s all about inventing everything yourself.”  “It’s all about superior insights and intellect. It’s not all about money and scale.”    “Facebook Announces New Homepages: It’s All About the Stream”   The church is all about Jesus Christ and his mission. Are we now guilty of moving toward an ‘It’s all about numbers’ posture?I’m all about enjoying life – whether you’re 2 or 82.”

4. How’s that workin’ for ya?

Republicans.   Eczema.   The mug.   The book.

5. Went missing/gone missing

It’s ok to use if you’re British. Otherwise, “disappear” is a perfectly good verb.

6. The “…well…” construction.

It’s often used by unsteady hands to denote humor or a light touch. (e.g. “The most expensive burgers, well, ever.”) Please let me know if you find other examples and I’ll post them.

[Addition. Let’s make it an even 7:  “Boyle’s Got Legs, Her Career … Not So Much”   “Respect for Harbaugh rises; Manny, not so much”   “Technology Changes, People Not So Much”  and an article on it all:   “Snappy? Sure. Original? Not so much“]



Filed under communications, popular culture, writing

17 responses to “6 phrases I wish would go missing.

  1. Ben Pincus

    So I go, “what-everrrr!” And then she goes, “that’s so random,” I mean, it’s like…

    All of these can be lost without tragedy.

  2. Mary Alice (Carey) Kohs

    I’m sick of hearing “absolutely” as a response to a blatantly obvious statement, i.e.:

    Person A: “I think child pornography is despicable”

    Person B: “Absolutely!”

  3. Nice list. “At the end of the day” has gotten a little tired, too. “Thanks for reaching out” has brought an unpleasant whiff of therapy to professional interactions.

    I’m still amused by some variations on “man up,” though, e.g. “lawyer up.” (“Time to lawyer up and sue the bastards.”)

  4. Laura

    I think this is a Southern thing, but I really hate it when someone says “I’m fixing to…” instead of “I’m going to” or “I’m about to”. AND I also hate it when people say “I got pulled.”, instead of “I was pulled over”. “I got pulled” means nothing to me, y’all get what I mean?

  5. DB

    One phrase that bugs me is “When it comes to …” as an introduction to a topic. What is the “it” that is coming?

  6. lucy

    “Going forward.”

    The plan should create more jobs going forward.

    “Share out.”
    (Teachers know this one…)


  7. Man, where do I start? As a mom of two tweens and a Bostonian living in Southern California, I constantly cringe at the slang out here.

    My skin crawls when I hear:

    “He is SO not a good dancer. And I am SO not into him.”

    “He is SO OVER.”

    “I’m all, ‘SHUT UP!’ and she’s all, ‘No, YOU SHUT UP!”

    “I’m like totally liking him, like, you know, like, he’s like, so cute, like, I totally didn’t expect him to like me.”

    “I’m not feeling it.”

    “She bugs.”

    “She bugs big.”

    Common response to asking someone if they like something: “Not so much.”

    EEERRRHHH! Thanks for giving me the space to vent.

  8. you’ve each brought up some good points here. of course now i’m more self-conscious than ever, both when i speak and when i write.

    my daughters (ages 16, 21 and 22) would like the world to be rid of all things “epic,” “legit,” and the phrase “win/fail,” as in “I got a ‘B’ on the test! Win!” or “I only got a ‘C’ on that test! Fail!” or worse, still: “I got a ‘D’ on the test – Epic fail!”

    However, the test was ‘so legit.’

    I know a woman who fines her children a nickel for each “like” offense. Profitable, much? You betcha. The whole family went to an amusement park on those “like” nickels. They had, like, an epic good time. It was so legit.

    Oh dear, Dave, you make me pine for the days of Twentythree skidoo, and “Jeepers, Mrs. Cleaver!”

    By the way, Dave, we took a vote and we think you’re the awesomest. You have inspsired us to create our own list of . . . . expressions that should NEVER be said aloud at the airport (e.g. “You da bomb!”)

    All the best – Mama Java

  9. Swagata

    I am an Indian student in Salamanca, Spain these days taking a course in Spanish and am sorrounded by students from US and it’s really frustrating hearing them say “Like” in every sentence.

  10. “What’s up?” seems to be in everybody’s arsenal of conversation starters. I hear this series of sentences many times (and sometimes I find myself getting caught up in it too):

    “What’s up?”

    “Not much, how are you?”

    “good and you?” etc….

  11. Pingback: Drop these words. | David Wrote This

  12. Pingback: Thank you in advance for leaving a comment | David Wrote This

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