Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Infuriating cliches. A rant

I suppose we all use them, otherwise they wouldn't be, well, cliches. But there are two in particular which drive me mad:

1. Every parent's worst nightmare
In today's Times, there is this headline. And the nightmare? Brace, yourselves folks. Apparently every parent's worst nightmare is that their child should bite another and not apologise. Hands up all those whose child has never bitten anyone? (Okay,  you at the back; your kids are obviously perfect). And that's a nightmare (witih no apology, of course)? What's wrong with these people? Don't they realise that children are born with three weapons: food (refusal of), potty training (ditto), and teeth. Mine used all three to good effect (often without apology), rendering me powerless. They have grown up to be good, useful, funny people, wiith nice friends and good jobs (get back to yours, B) and we are all still speaking to each other. The bite marks have all healed.

2. There's nothing worse than...
This expression is used indescriminately. Apparently there's nothing worse than being late for work...going shopping and finding you've forgotten your purse...missing the bus etc etc. You know the kind of thing. But there is always something worse; from falling through ice to rescue your dog (why do people do this?) to being boiled in oil. (Anyone undergoing the second of these is entitled to say there's nothing worse than their situation, but they probably won't have time.)

Are there any cliches that annoy you?

26 comments:

  1. I have two linguistic 'nightmares' (but not clichés). Saying 'goes' instead of 'says'. And throwing the word 'like' into places where it doesn't belong; e.g. 'He was so like in my face'. Grrrrr.

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    1. AMEN to both of those, CM. Awful (and sadly, ubiquitous).

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  2. With all due respect and to be perfectly honest this is not a full blown rant.

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    1. You don't want a full blown rant form me, Adrian. Trust me.

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    2. I do. There are few things better than a rant.

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  3. Those are annoying. Bet the paper claiming the biting this is a parent's worst nightmare had details of far worse things for them to contend with.

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    1. Like Syria, for example. You're right, Patsy.

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  4. Love your rants! My hates are when people say "to be honest", "correct me if I'm wrong" and when you hear on the news "a shedload" surely meaning the lorry has shed its load.

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    1. Oh, yes! And "some of my best friends are writers/postmen/undertakers etc, but..."

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  5. "I don't mean to be nasty but... " Oh yes you do. my lovely, quiet, shy toddler (many years ago) left her teeth marks in another girl's cheek when she pushed in front of her at the slide. She's now 22 and making her way up in the world of finance... so watch out any guys (or girls) who try to get ahead of her!

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    1. Up the slide, up in the world of finance...she doesn't seem to have changed much, Wendy...?

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    2. Not with her teeth anyway.

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  6. Well those two....and parents in general nowadays annoy me, from those with their kid on a leash to the ones who let their 5-yr old decide to be a vegetarian, to all the video screens in vehicles so these model parents can keep the little angels "quiet".

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    1. I love the idea of a kid on a leash, Yvonne. I hope it was tied round the neck?

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  7. 'To be honest' is up there too, although I probably use that myself t times! When my daughter was small, she was bitten by the little boy down the road (they were playing in my house) but the first I knew of it was when the little boy's mother marched him back up to us later that day. To complain that my daughter had cut his hair - she had taken off a very small amount with plastic scissors (at least I think they were plastic - might be selective memory). Then we heard about the bite. Must say neither child seemed the least bit concerned.

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    1. Rosemary, I once bit a son myself, and a friend of mine bit her daughter's nose!

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  8. To be honest, my worst nightmare is 'At the end of the day' I could ' literally '(another hate) bite someone's face off!

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    1. Oh yes! And "basically" used indescriminately at the beginnings of sentences.

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  9. Oh, how true! This made me nod in agreement, and laugh, at the same time! I'm very aware, though, that I sometimes find those very same irritating little phrases other people use - and I don't even know it until it's pointed out to me! 'To be fair' is one of them! Why would I not want to be fair? Why do we say that - or half the casual phrases we use?! Subconsciously copying other people, unfortunately!

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    1. Yes. And I'm getting a bit fed up with "absolutely" when all people mean is "yes".
      Btw where have you been, Sheila??

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    2. I dislike btw. What is wrong with 'by the way'?

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  10. I meant to say I sometimes USE them - not find them. See? I can't even get my own phrases right!

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  11. The way Waitrose does its packaging these days offers great examples of cliche words. I suppose they are quite useful, though not in the way they seem to think. When I have calmed down after reading that some food I was going to buy is "Creamy" "Buttery" or "Indulgent" I remember that I shouldn't be buying stuff like that and virtuously put it back on the shelf. I just try not to read the packets of the ones which are "warming" "spicy" and "comforting". (Oh, yes, "comforting" is another one I shouldn't be buying....)

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  12. A lot of people (at least in German) start every question with "I would like to ask...", which always makes me want to shout at them "Why don't you, then?"

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  13. How about 'dressed to kill'? How does one dress to kill?

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