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Blog: 10 Terms I'd Like To See Vanish...

(originally written 5/6/11)

“Thank you for calling (business name).” (odd business greeting)


Hey, we’re not calling as a favor to you. Most likely we’re calling to complain because you’re overcharging us, or because your service sucks. Are you really grateful when you’re being lectured about gross incompetence? The only business that should be thanking us in advance for calling is the phone sex business—they get $ just by answering!



“Conversate.” (misspoken word)


This is not a word. I repeat—not a word. I don’t care if Biggie used it in his songs or not. It’s converse. You don’t conversate with people any more than you explanate things to them. GET IT RIGHT. 



“How are you?” (as a forced greeting)


Yeah, guy in suit with stack of pamphlets: you drove all the way to my apartment just because you were concerned about me. Is it that hard to just get to the point? I’ve stopped eating at Taco Bell since they passed the statewide “Pretend you care” edict. I got tired of keeping up the act:


CASHIER: Hi, how are you?
ME: Not good. I just found out I’m being evicted, not to mention the fact that my lover is pressuring me to have butt sex.
CASHIER: Oh, I’m sorry. Can I take your order?



“At the tone, please leave your message. When you’re finished, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options.” (unnecessary voicemail instructions)


First off, in the year 2011, who does not know how to leave a phone message? Is there really somebody so stupid that when they hear the beep, they don’t know what to do next? “Leave a message? Leave a message when? I’m so confused!”
As far as being given permission to hang up, have you ever seen anyone leave a message and keep the phone to their ear afterward?



“I could care less.” (misspoken phrase)


It’s “I couldn’t care less”, which clearly states you care so little about something already it is impossible to care any less about it. “I could care less” doesn’t even make sense. It’s like saying “You could sink any lower”.



“We treat you like family.” (false sales slogan)


Uh, my family wouldn’t demand $2,000 as down payment on a car. They’d give me a car. Nor would my family need to run a credit check before selling me a living room set. Furthermore, in the unlikely event my family did make me pay for a car or living room set, they wouldn’t send goons to reclaim it if my payments were behind. And when was the last time a salesman invited you to Thanksgiving dinner? Thought so.



“Houston, we have a problem.” (banal movie quote)


It’s old. It’s waaaay past tired. It wasn’t all that funny or clever when it was fresh. The movie was 15+ years ago and the event was four decades ago. Unless you are talking to Whitney Houston (or for you old-school Warrior fans, Byron Houston), no mas!



“Awesome!” (misused adjective)


There are plenty of times when busting out “awesome” is appropriate, such as describing ones’ self, or another person, or an event. However, “awesome” is not appropriate when being seated by a hostess. Or being given directions to the nearest bus stop.  Or when being put on hold. (What is so awesome about being told to wait a minute while I get Mark for you?)



“The football”. (overly-descriptive sports term)


You hear it all the time with NFL players/coaches. “We have to run the football.” “We have to protect the football.” “They are a good football team.” Why can’t it just be “ball” like in all other sports? Does Derek Jeter ever say, “We’ve been hitting the baseball well”? No. Does Tiger Woods ever say, “If I want to win, I have to putt the golf ball well”? 



“Cup of Joe”. (abused slang)


I don’t always drink coffee, but when I do, I prefer Dos Starbucks. 
Most of them require names to call when their order is ready (so glad Valley Fair’s doesn’t).
When I’ve played along, at least four exchanges over the last few years have gone like this:


CASHIER: “And your name, sir?”
ME: “Joe.”
CASHIER: “Joe? A cup of Joe for Joe.”

One even added, when my order was ready: “Here’s your cup of Joe, Joe!” You can understand why that saying made this list.

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