Monday, November 17, 2008

My annoying, overly-used phrases and the blame that goes with them:

1. Yo. This one is mostly at work. I have no one to blame for this. Usually I answer the phone in a professional tone with my name. But, if I KNOW who's calling, and they're cool, I say "Yo". Unless my brother calls. Then I answer the phone with a gruff and aggressive "Megatron!" (to which he replies: "Prime!")

2. Dude. I blame J all the way for this. My usage can be traced back to my move to the Boston area and clearly originated with her. I have been struggling with this for two years and I hope that '09 sees its end. The thing is, it's a filler word, and my fear is that I will replace it with something worse. Erg!

3. Erg/Erm. It's a cat noise and I'm blaming A. She started it with her work pals, then told me about it, and I was quite charmed by the open-to-interpretation-ness of the noise-instead-of-word thing that I have embraced it. I mostly use it when I have a mixed-emotion reaction, or as a sympathetic sound in conjunction with head-petting. Sometimes I use it when I just don't want to speak.

4. True Story. I think this came from watching a lot of tv as a child. I haven't regularly watched tv in a couple of years, but I imagine that there are still plenty of "true story" type shows of the same variety that captured my attention then. Now I say it (way too often) when I want to convey agreement or support.

5. Dig. Do you dig it? I dig it. Am I trying to be a throwback to another era of vocabulary? I don't know. But I say this an awful lot.

On a different note, have you ever thought of winter storms (which are on their way, have no doubt) as violent and personal (as in, "they're out to get me!") and of snowflakes as little throwing stars with sharp edges? No? Really? Um, no. Me neither.


Scarlet Lily said...

Ohhh... the word Dude. I say this all the time and I COMPLETELY blame Feather Nester. I ridiculed her mercilessly when she came home from freshman year saying it all the time and in the 12 years since then, she has converted me. Maybe she doesn't even say it anymore, making me even more lame.

die Frau said...

I have a plan: Let's go to our 10 year reunion (OH MY GOD HOW DID THIS HAPPEN) and say "dude" all weekend. Then we'll phase it out. Or cold turkey it. Or something. Whatever, dude.

I now say "Oh, no doubt!" when I agree with someone. I picked it up from T. What's even funnier is that he said some cutesy thing that I sometimes say 9I honestly can't remember what it was) and I silently laughed my ass off.

Jessica said...

Ok, first of all, the blame for "Dude" belongs squarely on the shoulders of another J, now a resident of Florida. SHE got me on the Dude bandwagon. Secondly, I LOVE its use to convey outrage and/or surprise, and I have no desire to give it up cold turkey. We needn't pepper ALL of our phrases with it, I suppose. But I still like it.

feather nester said...

I'm with Jess, "Dude!" conveys a lot of useful meaning and I'm not willing to give it up. I don't care how ridiculous I sound.

Erm, Scarlet, I actually IMed "Dude" to you on FB the other day.

I've also been a big fan of "Y'all" since high school. I still occasionally throw out a "I know, right?!?" A very southern, "Oh, honey!" flew out of my mouth from nowhere the other night, stunning all the locals present (with a silence quickly followed by uncontrolled laughter). And the Ouiser's caught me in a "skeevy" last night.

So, clearly, Yum, it could be worse. You could think you're still 19.

(Oh, and I've also picked up "wouldn't come amiss" from all the Gabaldon Scottish novels I've been reading. As in: "A cookie or two wouldn't come amiss." I'm such a pathetic, linguistic-magnet nerd.)

die Frau said...

"dude" is a good word, Jess. I think I may have to keep it in play for a while because it does work so well.

Check out this link:

It gives the history of the word. I also think there's a beer commercial out there somewhere with people using "Dude" in its various contexts.