One of the first phrases I noticed annoying me is, “I could care less.” If the person saying it really could care less about a subject, then I wouldn’t have a problem with them saying so. However, they usually mean they don’t care at all, in which case they should say, “I couldn’t care less.” I know a lot of people who are guilty of misusing the term. It’s one of the lesser offenses and I usually just brush it off.
While I worked for the newspaper, ad reps would bring us artwork and ad copy to build advertisements. They used the word ‘verbage’ in place of ad copy. I would always say, there are more than just verbs here. Nouns, adjectives and adverbs are also included.But that’s beside the point. You see, verbage is a slang term meaning garbage. It’s a variation of verbiage which according to dictionary.com means: overabundance or superfluity of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness; verbosity. It can also refer to the manner or style of expressing something in words; wording. It’ hard to explain why this bothered me so much. Maybe it was because although the client gave us the words to use, it was the creative services department that put it all together and gave it style. As I no longer work for the newspaper, I don’t encounter this word often. When it does crop up, I have flashbacks. Disconcerting.How many times have you heard someone say, ‘Have a good one’? I can’t tell you how often this has been said to me as I leave a store. I’d call this lazy talk if it weren’t for the fact that they are using two words in place of one. I’m assuming the people that use this phrase mean, have a good day or have a good afternoon or have a good night. So, I ask you, how hard is it to say, ‘Have a good day’? I’m always tempted to say ‘A good what?’ in response to ‘have a good one.’ Maybe someday I will. Until then, I’ll keep a lid on it and wallow in my irritation.
Speaking in acronyms is ridiculous and if you do so in my presence, I’ll call you on it. Just ask my cousin. The technological age has ushered in a new language, and it’s appropriate when you are tweeting or texting. But if you are standing two feet from me do not say LOL when you want to laugh. Don’t say OMG when you mean oh my goodness or oh my God. It’s just plain silly.
Maybe if people took a few seconds to think before they spoke some of these accepted phrases wouldn’t be so popular. Except for the case of acronyms, that’s over-thinking, in my opinion.