Marist College notes “Whatever” loses ground but still ranks
The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion recently released its annual list of most annoying words or phrases used in casual conversation.
In the opinion of SRAZ, 2017 was a bonus year in terms of inanities. A few of our favorite misuses of the English language and general dopey words and phrases are listed below. We invite our readers to add their personal (un)favorites to our list. Make it a fun Saturday. Oops, there we go. Fun is a noun not an adjective. Or is it?
Topping our list is the now ubiquitous, touchy-feely “reached out,“ replacing contacted, called or asked. It has become a staple in news reports written by ASU Cronkite Journalism School student reporters now toiling for the Arizona Republic as its staff continues to dwindle through more layoffs. Example: “The investigator reached out” to (the crime victim}.
Speaking of crimes, how does one “go missing”? What happened to “disappeared”? Go or went missing sounds as if a missing person had a plan, compete with a map, when in fact they may have been kidnapped or otherwise a victim of criminal activity — all too often the case. Go missing falls into the same new English language learner category as, “Throw Mama from the train, a kiss.”
Another strange word usage is the word “so,” now frequently used in beginning a response to a question. As an example, “How did you meet you wife?” is answered with, “So, we were sitting across from each other in Starbucks.” What was your first job might well be answered with, “So, I worked behind the counter at McDonalds.”
Another routine bungling of language is the misuse of the pronoun “myself” when the speaker intends to say me and isn’t sure whether the correct usage is “me” or “I.” Myself is always reflective on the speaker, as in “I went to the store by myself.” “Myself” didn’t go to the store.
“Contact Joe or myself,” is wrong. “Contact Joe or me” is correct.
Overly descriptive teen favorites “amazing” and “awesome,” now co-opted by their parents and grandparents head the dopey list. The response to, “I’ll see you at noon,” is “awesome!” Suddenly, most grandparents have “amazing” grandchildren. What the dimpled darlings do to amaze is up to dispute. Remember when kids were simply cute or said the “darndest things“?
Give us your best shot adding to the Marist list. This could be funner than you thought.