It’s Wednesday which means time for another Wondering. Last week our question about whether man really landed on the moon and whether we’re alone generated some great interest and some new bloggers placing comments so thank you so much to those who joined in the discussion 🙂
This week is another two-parter but on a theme closer to writing; the use of language. I asked The Write Romantics:
The phrase I hate is definitely “everything happens for a reason”. I’m sure I’ve said it myself so many times and sometimes it feels right and fitting, but sometimes disasters happen, or people we love get sick, and that makes me hate that phrase because there is no rhyme or reason.
As for my favourite, John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”. I love this phrase and it’s so appropriate. We make plans but things do happen to throw us off course.
Jay says …
I can’t stand LOL. How often, I wonder, are people actually laughing out loud when they write that? If they are, then they must spend half their lives in hysterics or maybe I’m just miserable! The worst thing is that my nine year old actually says LOL now sometimes, instead of laughing. I can imagine him going to see a stand up comedian when he grows up and the crowd all sitting there going “Lol, lol, lol!”
I love this proverb from Mother Teresa ‘There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread’. I can’t say it’s a mantra I repeat out loud on a regular basis, but it is something I am trying to live by. People need love and to feel valued as much as they need to have their really basic requirements fulfilled and, conversely, having everything materially is nothing without love. Maybe that’s why I write romance, I am a sucker for a love story and I want everyone to have one.
Deirdre says …
My most hated word – I can hardly bear to write it here – is ‘gobsmacked’. I think it’s the ugliest and most disgusting word and it makes me cringe every time I hear it. The most surprising people throw it into conversation, too, people who wouldn’t dream of saying ‘gob’ instead of mouth, as if they don’t make the connection and stop to think what it means. What worries me is that we’re passing it on to the next generation, to be spouted with even more abandon. There, rant over!
I’m not sure I have a favourite saying, although ‘waste not, want not’ has done its turn, especially at meal times when the children were young. When I worked at the university I could be heard muttering ‘waste not, want not’ as I went round the bins in the offices, fishing out all the perfectly good folders and half-used pads of paper that had been thrown out and putting it all back in the stationery cupboard. People weren’t always happy to be asked to use all this recycled stuff instead of new, which was strange, really, as we were the School of the Environment!
I don’t know if I have a phrase that I really hate people saying, I’m a pretty tolerant person when it comes to anything like that.
My favourite saying is ‘She dreamt she could and she did.’ I love it and find it very inspiring. I’m going to treat myself to a print of those words to frame and put on the wall next to my writing desk.
Alys says …
I hate management speak which is kind of unfortunate because people use it around me all the time. Phrases like ‘blue sky thinking’ or ‘360 review’ or ‘we need to get all our ducks in a row’. My former boss used to say things like ‘we need to take a helicopter down view of this’ which basically meant he wasn’t going to do anything at all about it. If anyone watched WC1 on BBC2 recently (which was the follow up to Twentytwelve) they’ll know exactly what I mean. As to my favourite saying, I’m not sure I really have one. I do know someone who muddles up famous sayings and says things like ‘you can’t teach your granny to suck plums’ or ‘got a hornet in your bonnet’. Conversations with him are never dull!
Rachael says …
The saying that grates on me is ‘you know what I mean’ and the worst thing is that I use it myself, but not quite to extent that some do. I hate to hear myself say it, you know what I mean?
I do like proverbs, from a stich in time to mighty oaks grow from little acorns and I find I use them a lot in speech. One of my favourite ones, is good things come to those who wait. I do though, have to resist putting them in my writing!
Lynne says …
I’m a bit of a rebel here, I don’t particularly dislike any phrase or saying, nor any grammatical mistake. Unfashionable as it is, I reckon anything goes, life’s too short to get upset about small things.
Jaxx says …
I have some weird dislikes in sayings because I have no reason for disliking them. I don’t like, ‘Tuck in’ when someone is inviting you to eat. I got really fed up with the saying ‘To die for” mostly because a woman who really irritated me said it over and over. ‘Twenty four/ seven,’ used to kind of irritate me but I don’t know why. I am aware that I’m probably alienating half the world here and I’m sure I use sayings over and over which are irritating but there you go, it’s what makes us all individuals.
I get annoyed when people are so black and white in what they think they would do if such and such happened to them. I don’t think anyone can really know how they would react to a particular situation until they have actually experienced it, so my favourite proverb is, ‘Don’t judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes.’ The other one I love and I’ve mentioned it before is, ‘It ain’t all over until the fat lady sings.’ I’m not even sure I really know what it means but the imagery makes me smile.
And as for me …
I am so not “down with the kids” because I hate the word “innit”. I also can’t bear management-speak like Alys says, “you know what I mean” like Rachael says and, thanks to Jay, I’ve developed a bit of a dislike for “lol”! I don’t know if it’s management-speak or just a turn of phrase that I’m hearing more and more often at work but I’m finding I have an increasingly strong resentment to the phrase, “in terms of”. If you’ve not come across this one before, I’m thinking people who say, “In terms of holidays, where do you like to go?” Why not just ask, “Where do you like to go on holiday?” Much simpler and less capacity for making people squirm!
As for a favourite saying, sorry Helen R, but I like “everything happens for a reason” but I agree there are appropriate and highly inappropriate applications of it. I don’t think anyone would be justified in ever using that phrase in relation to tragedies like the recent shooting-down of Flight MH17. However, I find it useful when thinking about restructures at work, relationship break-downs, not getting a job you want and, a close one to us writers, getting a rejection from an agent or a publisher. Whenever something upsetting like this has happened to me, I’ve usually found a reason for it, even if that reason has been many years down the line. I could have learned something or my journey could have gone down a different (better) path.
And, just because this is my Wondering, I’m going to be greedy and throw another one in. It’s a phrase a good friend of mine (hi Jackie) uses: Sit by the river long enough and you’ll see the body of your enemy floating by. Perhaps it doesn’t conjure up the lovely image of a happy fat lady singing but it does fit with one of my favourite ideas; karma!
Next week we’re doing some sweet-talking. And when I say sweet, I mean pudding or dessert or whatever you like to call it. My mouth’s watering already!
What words/phrases/sayings/proverbs do you love or hate? We’d love to hear from you.
Jessica (formerly The Write Romantic known as Julie!) xx