My Spring Cleaning

Colloquialisms, buzzwords and slang. We need them to get our points across and make the most of our busy days. Hey, I understand the need for phrases like “on the spot” or “get your ___ on” or whatever. Yet there are times when the sounds of certain phrases, just drive me nuts. They are patronizing, betray false modesty or insincerity of any kind, or they are so vacuous, overused and lazy that they are like … seriously? Really?  So in the spirit of spring cleaning, I’m digging these these phrases out from the back of my closet, stuffing them in giant plastic bags and hauling them to a pickup point for the municipal incinerator.

Don't let that sweet face fool you ...

Don't let that sweet face fool you ...

“That’s sweet of you” or “you’re so sweet.” No, I’m not sweet. Stop saying that. I’m a grown woman with a mortgage, a toddler, a career and a blog. Calling me sweet hauls me back to 10th grade when no one took me seriously and always tried to get over on me. Think about it: In a pinch, would you rather have a solid, go-to fighter on your side or a sweet little lady? Thank you! Thank you very much.

“That’s disappointing.” Politicians love this one, and I hate it. You know that they—except these Northeast mayors—would rather have a verbal throw down than peddle some nonsense about how a greedy businessman is screwing his citizens out of millions of dollars.

•  Any diatribe ending in the word “drama!”  We need to cut this out right now. Mary J. Blige had every right to use this on her 2002 album “No More Drama,” but when everybody from twittering tweens to horrific looking suburban housewives on a reality TV show  roll their eyes and talk about “all this drama…” I have to go. Please cut it out!

“I think you know that …” People sometimes use this phrase when they want to throw culpability on the other person, especially in situations where they should take some of the blame. Narcissistic bosses, aggravating neighbors and anyone else who just wants to throw you under the bus all the time use this phrase.
“Girlfriend …”  I may be black, but that doesn’t make me your girlfriend. Especially if I’ve known you for 10 minutes, you’re white, you went to an Ivy-league school and have at half dozen tailored suits hanging in your closet. On cherry wood hangers. Try again, sweetheart. See! You don’t like people using that patronizing garbage on you either, do you, toots?
Readers, these phrases have got to go. The fact is that Americans spend way too much time looking through cheap, bubble-gum colored celebrity gossip magazines, and on social networking sites absorbing this nonsense, compounding the fact that they troll these places in the first place looking for gossip. It is one thing if a character on “Friends” or the latest 20-something sitcom talks like that. But when the regular citizen picks up the vernacular of a reality TV freak and keeps it in circulation, well, that’s when I have to unplug.

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