Yep, it’s time for another edition of the Curmudgeon Gazette: a list of words and phrases that rankle me. As usual, most of them come from HuffPost, and, as usual, people will tell me that some of these phrases are fine. “Language evolves,” say the Excusers. Great, but I still don’t like these phrases.
On this cold but sunny Chicago afternoon, I have three for you. (Click on screenshots to see article.)
1.) “I’m all about X.” This one really burns my onions (see the subtitle below). First of all, nobody is all about anything—every human is multifaceted and has multiple interests and concerns. The phrase is simply gross exaggeration, and could easily be replaced by phrases (as in the sub-headline below) like, “This month, we focus on. . . ” or some equivalent.
You will never hear this phrase pass my lips.
2.) “All the feels”. I’m pretty sure that I’ve used this one before, but I keep seeing it, and it never ceases to irritate me, as in the HuffPost article below:
The word is “FEELINGS”, chowderheads! And even that is hyperbole. No movie moments give you the totality of human emotions, which run the gamut from despair to horror to complacency, to anxiety, to elation—and many more. Can’t these peabrains just say “13 Emotional Movie Moments”? My “feel” when I read headlines like this one is disgust.
3.) “The thing is. . . is that. . ” Now this one baffles me. Why can you just say “The thing is X” instead of “The thing is. . . is X”? For example, “The thing is, is that he’s been a real jerk to me for a long time” can be replaced by “The thing is that he’s been a real jerk for me for a long time.” Better yet, deep-six “the thing is” part, which adds little, or replace it with “The important thing is.”
Here’s a discussion from the website Language Rules:
From that site:
It may be much more clear to see when sentences are rearranged. One of the above examples [JAC: the grammatically correct sentence”How correct this is is clear to see”] can be arranged as follows:
- How correct this is is clear to see.
- It is clear to see how correct this is.
In this instance, we can immediately tell that “how correct this is” in this case is a complete noun phrase able to stand on its own. When we try to reconstruct an example of an incorrect sentence using “The thing is is…” in exactly the same way, we get this:
- The thing is is that this is incorrect.
- It is that this is incorrect the thing is.
Most folks should be able to tell that the second sentence is totally jacked, which immediately tells us that the first sentence, merely a rearrangement of the words, must be incorrect as well, even though it sounds slightly better.
You know the drill: it’s time to be petulant and put your bête noire phrases below.