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Words and Phrases I Can Live Without

July 16, 2007

Ken Hagler has a cool point about preaching and brevity, and he refers back to a really neat post by copyblogger. I’ve always thought that a sermon should have one simple point, finely honed. A point that is trite or the traditional “three points and a poem” sermon is usually forgotten by the time the Methodists get to Applebee’s.

But I digress. When I read the question, “which words can you live without?” my mind went a whole different direction. Here are some words and phrases I can do without.

  1. “With all due respect.” Nothing remotely respectful has ever followed that phrase.
  2. “My bad.” I always thought that one sounded kind of dumb.
  3. “True that.” See #2.
  4. “Git ‘er dun.” Please stop saying it, and please scrape it off the rear window of your pickup truck.
  5. “Vis-à-vis.” This one is generally used by people trying to sound more intellectual than they really are.
  6. It’s “nuclear,” not “nook-yuh-lur;” it’s Wimbledon, not Wimbleton; the T in “often” is silent; “irregardless” is a double negative and not really a word.
  7. Um-ba-rella ella ella eh eh.

What words and phrases can you live without?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2007 10:02 am

    Around here, there are a bazillion stickers with “Went To Race in a Better Place” referring to Dale Earnhart Sr

    I hate it when people say, “This is a picture of my wife and I”.
    It’s not me, dammit! Take out the word wife and say the sentence. “This is a picture of I”. WRONG The word should be “me” not “I”. This is done by lots and lots of educated people. Don’t know why it gets my panties in a bunch so bad, but it does.

    Come read me! A no-holds blog about mostly redneck life but lots of random stuff.

  2. July 16, 2007 10:31 am

    That one gets me every time too. Half decent grammar really isn’t that hard.

  3. July 16, 2007 11:05 am

    I like your blog. I added you to my blogroll. Hope that is OK.

  4. Layman Erik permalink
    July 16, 2007 11:29 pm

    With all due respect, If I were being honest I could live without people attempting to correct my grammar and usage. I am especially annoyed when my students correct me. My general reaction is to either dig in and justify my usage (e.g. my dictionary says that pronouncing the ‘t’ in ‘often’ is historically the correct pronunciation and is now fully standard.)

    Or to make the *tu quoque* move of pointing out the inevitable grammar errors in the complainer’s speech. It seems to be a near truism that a statement criticizing the grammar or usage of others will itself contain grammar or usage errors.

    On that subject I will state that I know that some people think that you should not end a sentence with a preposition. However that is a rule that I do not agree with. It is a dumb rule based on a confusion of what counts as proper grammar. I am amused when people attempt to correct me.

    In the spirit of this blog-entry I will point out that I have to work very hard not to correct people when they call the last book in the bible ‘Revelations.’

    If no one ever again spoke the (non-standard) word ‘anyways’ I will be happy.

    I wish people would use the word ‘awesome’ more often – and ‘gnarly.’ ‘Gnarly’ is a great word and does not get used nearly enough.

    I know that ‘pleaded’ is the preferred past tense form of ‘plead.’ However I think that it sounds awkward and wish that the news would simply say “Yesterday Bob pled guilty to the crime” The word ‘plead’ should conjugate in the same way as ‘lead’ or ‘read.’

  5. arachnerd permalink
    July 17, 2007 8:01 am

    Perhaps the words recently added to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary; Ginormous, Crunk, Smackdowns & Telenovelas… all words that the english language, such as it is, would be better without.

    And if I never hear the phrase “here’s your sign” again, it would be too soon.

  6. arachnerd permalink
    July 17, 2007 8:30 am

    Oh yeah, and “Courtesy Call”… if you were truly courteous, you wouldn’t call me during dinner!

  7. July 17, 2007 10:38 am


    I seem to recall that nearly ten years ago the Oxford English Dictionary declared that prepositions were OK to end sentences with.

  8. Layman Erik permalink
    July 17, 2007 10:56 am

    Well the O.E.D. is where its at.

  9. Robb McCoy permalink
    August 5, 2007 7:18 am

    Grammar can be a frustrating thing. To me, it is worse when someone writes with improper grammar. Especially when it is in print. It drives me crazy to think of how many people do not know the difference between they’re, their, and there. Even worse is your and you’re.

    But back to phrases I can do without, how about making names plural and putting them in a list like, “I love the Barry Manilows and Barry Gibbs of the world.”

    Also annoying is adding “and what not” to the end of a list like, “I need to go to the store and get a stick of butter, a loaf of bread, a carton of milk and what not.”

    So if anyone anyone made this statement, “Baseball has been ruined by the Barry Bonds, Rafeal Palmeiros, Jose Cansecos and what not.” I might have to punch them in the throat.

  10. August 7, 2007 5:02 pm

    Add to this the introduction “Frankly….”

    And the use of the word “up” as a verb.

  11. August 8, 2007 9:06 am

    John, I have to agree. Anytime someone begins with, “Can I speak frankly?” or “can I be perfectly honest?” that makes me go, “you mean you weren’t before?”

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