Monday, September 15, 2008

Know what else is annoying?

Because being annoyed is my theme at the moment...

Clichés.

Seems no-one can open their mouth recently (especially on TV) without spouting a whole load of tired old phrases that have been so over-used they've lost all meaning. They might as well have said nothing at all.

Just a few examples: I'm over the moon, it's a dream come true, I'm doing this [i.e. trying to win a competition/sporting event] for my kids/mother who brought us 12 kids up single-handedly, it means the world to me, we'll just see what happens, at the end of the day, I gave it my best, if X happened it would just change my life.

Can't people be just a little bit imaginative??

Michael's often said that if you use a word/phrase (he's referring to swearing in particular, but the point still stands) all the time it loses power. Like if everyone said "fuck" in every sentence it would stop being offensive. I don't 100% agree with him, but in general he's right. New language please.

And while I'm on the subject of 100%...

Evidently when people trot out their clichéd phrases, they also lose the ability to understand basic maths.

I'm so sick of hearing "I'm going to give it 110%!"

Er, excuse me? You mean 110% of your effort/time/strength? I think you're misunderstanding a basic fact here.

100% is EVERYTHING. All of the money in your purse is 100%. Every book in your house would be 100%. And every last drop of effort you possess is, guess what, 100%!

Perhaps people get confused when they hear that, as a made-up example, the price of oil has risen 200%. This just means that the original price has tripled - and all of the new price is still 100%. Because percentages are relative, not absolute.

All this is quite apart from the fact that if you actually managed to put 100% of your total energy into some insignificant sporting event, you'd drop dead - because you'd have used up all your body's reserves (including that stored as muscle and organs). There would be no oxygen or glucose available for your brain (if the brain had mysteriously managed to not be converted into energy, that is).

You often see people on shows like Gladiators (okay, I know, if I watch Gladiators I deserve what I get - but I kinda like it) who are understandably very tired after they've finished whatever the last big challenge is. And they say things like, "Well, I did my best, I couldn't have done any more, I gave everything", but if their baby son was trapped in a burning building and they were the only one that could save them, they'd somehow find a bit more speed, be able to run a little further.

Apparently I'm also a maths Nazi.

Tune in next time, when I rant about how people completely fail to understand probability!

Or maybe I'll post pics of my garden and a recipe or two. Vote now!!

8 comments:

  1. I understand 150%

    Running and ducking . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahahahha! I am SO with you on this one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, fuck is so useful... multifunctional.

    I'm sure I saw a great little video once about all the different ways you could used the word fuck. Like "Jill fucked John" or "We're all completely fucked".

    One of them was something like "It can be almost every word in a sentence. Fuck the fucking fuckers."

    Made me laugh.

    Because fuck is also funny as, well, fuck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh gak, I've got a bug up my butt with this lately myself. Especially with all the political campaigning and hurricanes going on.

    If I had a shot of tequila every time I hear "maverick", "change" and "cone of uncertainty", I'd be stupid and shitfaced 24 hours a day. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  5. Re. the campaigns, this is very telling. (Word clouds of Obama and McCain's acceptance speeches).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anna, it occurred to me this morning what I had done wrong re: stars. Instead of going to the fifth star (if I wanted to give five stars), I was trying to go across the line starting with the first one and clicking on each until I reached the fifth.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh right OC, that must have been what happened then.

    Glad we've got that sorted out!

    ReplyDelete