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Here Are Some of My Least Favorite Phrases

“Life is not a dress rehearsal.”

No shit. Who’s saying it is? I’ve never once thought, “life is kind of a dress rehearsal.”

What’s the analogy here–we’re all just playing dress-up and pretending? No one thinks that. Everyone understands that life is actual, real life. Who are the people out there who think life is a dress rehearsal and need to be told it isn’t? I’ve never met one.

“Life’s hard. Wear a helmet.”

I’ve never understood this one. Again, the allegory is lost on me…is it because hard things can damage your head if they hit it? The hard/helmet thing…is that what’s at work here? Literally or metaphorically, wearing a helmet throughout life does not make sense. Am I dumb for not getting this? Should I have worn my helmet?

“A hot second.”

How long is this, actually? No one’s been able to tell me. How is it different from a normal second? Why is it hot? Please have the bugs work out before introducing your hip phrase into the general population. Beta test or something.

“I’m not gonna lie.”

If you’ve been with me for a while, we’ve walked this ground before. Still, I must remind you: I hate this one.

You know what? Let’s you and me make a deal, world. I will approach you with good faith and trust, and generally assume you are not lying to me about things. This being the case, it is unnecessary to inform me you aren’t lying. I know you aren’t lying; that should be your baseline setting. That should be the norm. No need to tell me that the norm is taking place.

“I’m starving.”

Oh, you haven’t eaten since breakfast? The children in South Sudan will keep you in their prayers.

“I am so in love with this baby.”

At the least, this one puts me at ease, because I was concerned you would be disgusted and appalled by your child upon giving birth. It is comforting to know you’re in love with it.

“Sorry not sorry.”

Usually used to caption a social media post in which you’re doing a fun and/or delicious thing. First: why are you apologizing for not apologizing? That seems circular. Second: why would you be sorry for drinking mimosas at brunch with your friend Jennifer in the first place? Why would we expect an apology for that? We wouldn’t. Do your thing, enjoy yourself, and please, there’s no need to apologize for not apologizing for it.

“With all due respect.”

The funny part about this one is it’s always directly followed by a statement that’s demeaning, condemning, or otherwise disrespectful. It’s like saying Miller Lite has the “most taste” or calling Fox News the “No Spin Zone;” just say something that’s directly contradictory to all the other evidence and hope people believe it. With all due respect, this phrase sucks.

 

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