Sunday, January 24, 2010

phrases that make no sense

Every so often I'll come across an individual who clearly has no idea what he/she is talking about, and emphasizes this by using a Phrase That Makes No Sense.

In order to bring peace and harmony to the world, I have included a small sampling of said phrases in the post that follows. I warn you: these are not all of the Phrases That Make No Sense, and there are more being added every day, but it should give you a taste of what to look for.

If you find that you have used or are using one of these, please, don't despair. Repentance is available to all via cold-turkey abdication1

I could care less


Chris: Hi, I'm afraid I've just busted the engine of my dad's car to the tune of four thousand dollars2, and could use some moral support.
Woman: I could care less.

People. That makes no sense. You're trying to express how little it matters to you. You're trying to shaft someone. Have you ever taken a millisecond to think about what you're saying? You're admitting you CARE to some degree. This is no zing. This phrase just says you are contractually lazy. That is, use the contraction: I couldn't care less.

Appropriate example:

Chris: Hey, I just posted a new article on The Complete Guide to Everything!
Woman: I couldn't care less

I can't complain

Really? Seriously? Are you so bereft of imagination and/or creativity that you can't complain about one single thing? I live a paradisiacal existence in the heart of a romantic foreign city and I complain ALL THE TIME. You can't complain at all? Yes, you can. Hop off your little prideful humblewagon. Stop being so intellectually lazy and find something to be miserable about.3 Sheesh. You're not fooling anybody with your false declarations of perpetual bliss.

With all due respect

Translation: "I think you're the lousiest piece of vile misery who has ever walked the face of this wretched planet."

With all due respect, we all know what you mean when you say it, so just get it out.

It seems to me that maybe, pretty much always means no

Jack. Please. Since you seem so nice, let me say this in the nicest way possible: did you not have a mother? Was it not completely obvious to you the seventieth time she said maybe that she meant no? Did she say you could 'maybe' see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when it came out on video and then never got it for you? Did she say you could 'maybe' have that king-sized Snickers bar and then cruelly feed it to the man-eating scouts that very day?

Furthermore, did you never have an uninterested girlfriend? Did she never say you could 'maybe' hold hands next week? Or that you could 'maybe' kiss her on the veranda?4

It makes zero sense that you consider this phrase some sort of revelation.

You know what your problem is?

You. Speaking to me in that patronizing way. Yes, I know what my problem is. I'm 28, I live alone, I had chocolate milk and cheese pasties5 for Sunday dinner, and now I've got someone who thinks they can somehow enlighten me on one of my problems. I've got them down. Give me a solution.6

Never say never/Anything is possible!

There is a large swath of impossible things. It is impossible, for instance, to transverse London at a rate greater than six meters per hour. It is impossible to have a conference call without it sounding like a short-wave radio broadcast from FDR. I will never experience marriage as a 27 year old. My brother, given his bad eyesight, will never be an astronaut.

If you miss when shooting for the moon, it doesn't mean you land among the stars. It means you're two hundred thousand miles away from earth in a vacuum deathtrap, begging Houston to go wake up Gary Sinise to get you home.

1. That's Phrase That Makes No Sense number one. I made it myself.
2. Do not ever ask me about that day.
3. Not an hour ago I had a woman telling me how much she hoped for rain while camping so that everyone could be miserable. "The more they complain, the happier I am."
4. No thanks, lips will be fine. Sorry. Couldn't help that one. I actually had a few better examples on the girlfriend+maybe scenario, but I'm afraid some exes actually read this...
5. Pasty: the second best thing that starts with a 'p' and rhymes with tasty.
6. Er, in truth, it's sort of a stretch to denote this as a Phrase That Makes No Sense, but I'm much too lazy to think up another category right this second. And there was no other easy way to integrate my great pasty line (see previous footnote).


drfindley said...

Stop me if you've heard this one.

What is the #1 thing that starts with a p and rhymes with tasty?

chris said...

errr, I was going for pastry, but I'm not sure the direction you're thinking (nor am I sure that actually rhymes).

Jess said...

"Appropriate example:

Chris: Hey, I just posted a new article on The Complete Guide to Everything!
Woman: I couldn't care less"

I would never use this phrase, clearly.

"Did she never say you could 'maybe' hold hands next week? Or that you could 'maybe' kiss her on the veranda?"

I "maybe" would tell you the above, minus the "maybe" of course.

Haha, you set yourself up too easily for that response CP.

jeremiah said...

Hey, you shouldn't rub it in when people want to be astronauts and then, on the very day they find out they must wear glasses, their dad tells them astronauts must have 20/20 vision and crushes their one childhood hope and dream. It can leave emotional scars for life.

And, yeah, everyone knows the #1 thing that starts with a p and rhymes with tasty is PASTRY. Mm, pastry...

MommaMcCarthy said...

THANK YOU! i've been trying to correct that horrid #1 phrase for YEARS. Hopefully, now that you have spread the gospel online, I won't be the sole missionary of preventing nonsensicality from people who claim intelligence.

Marie said...

blake and i hate it when someone says "give 110%!"

sorry, not possible.

Unknown said...

With all due respect, this is your weakest posting yet. You know what your problem is? This thing is really just a sounding board for your personal problems, a desperate plea for adulation from the masses to repair your frail self-image, but I could care less about saving you money on therapy bills.

Maybe stick with essays on hand dryers--I can't complain about your pithy insights on bathroom fixtures. They're in your wheelhouse.

So get the quality up, Perry, and maaaaaybee I'll keep you in my blogroll. Heck, anything is possible.