6 Dumb Things We Say in Conversation

I love words, which means I definitely love conversation. Unfortunately, being a writer means that you dwell far too deeply on the myriad of things people say to you, around you and through you.

When this happens, you start to think about how ridiculous certain phrases, idioms, sayings and people are.

Such as:

6. At the end of the day…

I’ve yet to understand what’s so magical about the end of the day. The phrase itself implies that concepts and situations are constant, but why does it take so many people an entire day to realize this?

If you really want to nail a point in conversation, but you need a moment to collect your spaghetti-like thoughts, consider breathing, grunting or anything else to fill up the time.

Friend: At the end of the day-

Me: -you’re really annoying.

5. You know what I mean?

One of my best friends is from New Jersey, which means the way he talks is awesome. Unfortunately, this also means that he regularly checks up on me in-between his sentences to make sure my brain isn’t comatose.

This phrase is not inherently dumb, mostly because it can be an efficient way for one person to make sure that the person they’re talking to is keeping up.

Unfortunately, human beings are terrible at keeping phrases from being annoying, and the abuse of this phrase has made it virtually meaningless.

See, when someone says “you know what I mean” several thousand times in one paragraph, they’re basically implying that you have absolutely no attention span and/or you’re a complete idiot. Unless this is really the case, this phrase needs to be toned down about 5000%.

Friend: Then the person said a thing, and everyone was impressed. You know what I mean?

Me: Yeah, but I can also look “impressed” up in the dictionary if you want me to.

4. If you will.

This makes you sound like a pompous…well jerk, if you will.

Not only is the phrase confusing (if I will? When did your sentence become conditional on my future actions?), but it’s just really difficult to say without coming off as snobby.

Friend: This proposal proposes many propositions, if you will.

Me: …will what? Sorry, was that a question?

3. With all due respect…

The problem with this one is that it is always proceeded by something completely disrespectful.

Look, we managed to let the air out of “no offense” thanks to television and standup comedians, but the job is not done. “With all due respect” is just “no offense” being used by politicians and awful people.

Friend: With all due respect, you should just never show your face in public again.

Me: Wow.

2. You only live once.

You don’t say? For the life of me, I’ve never understood why people think this is a convincing argument to get you to do something you don’t want to do.

Friend: Hey do this stupid thing.

Me: No.

Friend: You only live once.

Me: I agree.

1. It is what it is.

Since when did I say it wasn’t? For some reason, people seem to think that this is “comforting” or something.

Me: So, none of my dreams came true.

Friend: Sorry, man. It is what it is.

Me: Yeah, that’s the problem.

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What Early Reviewers Are Actually Saying About “Elysium”

The early reviews for Elysium are already out and being established as the narrative for what we’re supposed to think about this movie (too honest?)

So I took the liberty of gathering soundbites from these reviews and giving you the translations you didn’t even know you wanted. Let’s begin.

And yet for all the accomplished direction, fine performances from the entire cast (though the villains do veer toward one-dimensionality) and the successful landing of a very ambitious story, Blomkamp stumbles in the basic structural work of the screenplay. -Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)

Translation: It gets boring sometimes. 

District 9 writer-director Neill Blomkamp delivers a less dazzling but absorbing and intelligent bit of futurism. -Scott Foundas (Variety)

Translation: It’s not as good as District 9, but you probably won’t care.

The purity afforded Max, in stark contrast to the cartoonish evilness represented by Fichtner, Copley, and Foster, dulls the force of Blomkamp’s inventive set pieces and gadgetry, which are at the heart of his undeniable talents. -Chris Cabin (Slant Magazine)

Translation: The main character is boring unless he’s blowing stuff up.

Frankly, “Elysium” is a bit of a liberal’s wet dream… -William Goss (Film.com)

Translation: Elysium is a bit of a liberal’s wet dream.

All the interest and goodwill built up by the sharply conceived preliminaries is washed away in a succession of scenes that feel crushingly routine and generic, not to mention guided by ideological urges. -Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)

Translation: The ending sucks. 

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

Don’t forget to check out New Professional News, a list of headlines essential for any new professional, updated daily at 8am.