Another grossly overused word — maybe I’ve mentioned this one before — is “grab.” People grab something to eat or specifically grab lunch or dinner or breakfast or a snack. People grab a coffee. Sometimes you’ll hear something like “we’re about to have our meeting, will you grab Bob for me?” Of course people also grab things like papers, books, magazines, you name it. At the gym once I heard someone say that they were going to grab a shower. Really? Better than that was hearing someone say that they were going to go outside and grab some sunshine. Enough with the grabbing. I grew up being told grabbing was rude. Stuck with me, I guess.
You know what else irritates me? Pre-planned and forewarned. Unless there is post-planning and being warned after the fact I don’t know what’s wrong with saying something was planned or someone was warned. Come to think of it, I’ve also read and heard “planned in advance” which is far better than if you, say, plan a party after having it.
Speaking of planning, one of my least ever phrases is when you propose a plan and someone replies, “sounds like a plan.” When asking a question does anyone ever respond, “sounds like a question.” When you make an announcement does anyone ever say “sounds like an announcement.” Imagine if after General Eisenhower had laid out the details of the D-Day invasion some idiot colonel had said, “sounds like a plan.” He’d have been courtmartialed.
I just read a famous novel in which a character “thought to himself.” I’ve read many books, fiction and non fiction alike, and numerous articles of different kinds in which someone relates having “thought to myself” or tells of someone having “though to himself” I suppose to “herself “ too. I’m about 100% sure that one can only think to oneself (excepting, of course, those with mental telepathy). How about if instead of writing: I thought to myself that it was a strange thing to say, people write: I thought it was a strange thing to say.
This isn’t a complaint but a question: you’ve heard people say, “he gets on my last nerve” haven’t you? So have I. I wonder if getting on someone’s last nerve is worse than getting on their first one or on one of the middle ones. Also, how do people know which order there nerves come in? Speaking of nerves, you’ve probably heard people say, “you’ve got a lot of nerve saying something like that.” Isn’t having a lot of nerve a good thing? I believe it to be the opposite of being hesitant, nervous, scared. Yet people complain about others having it. Weird.
What’s up with the word up? It is frequently added to words to create a phrasal verb .This is all well and good, but often the addition of an up is redundant. The word throw needs the up to create a term for vomit, throw up. The word look needs the up to create a term for finding something in a library or on-line, look up. To describe a competition that could go either way one has to add up to toss to create toss up. However….The up in meet up is unnecessary. You can simply meet someone you don’t need to meet up with someone. There is no need to link up to things when you can just link them. To clean up one’s room is no different than to clean other than the superfluous use of up. Other examples include: heat up, wait up, eat up, coach up, fill up, hurry up and yes I could go on (and often do). But one more thing: something fairly new is lawyer up. It always sounds like something a yokel would say. “I hear Bud is going to lawyer up.” Sounds better to me just to say that “Bud is going to get a lawyer.” Anyway, whose name is Bud anymore?
Speaking of books….You ever see this on a book jacket quote from a critic or fellow author, “a real page-turner.” Frankly I’ve never read a book that did not require me to turn the pages (never used Kindle, never listened to an audio book). I dare anyone to try reading a paperback or hardcover book without turning pages. So telling me I’ll have to turn the page is no selling point. Another quote frequently used is: "I couldn’t put it down." Here again I’ve never read a book that I couldn’t put down. When I’m exhausted and have to get up the next morning I can put a book down with no problem. Likewise when reading on a bus or subway I easily put books down when I get to my stop. Also, if I’m hungry and am told dinner is being served I again gladly put down a book. In all cases I may not want to put the book down, but I sure as hell can. Then there’s tour de force. Can we stop with that one already? It’s been done to death.
Thus spoke Zarathustra.