9 Phrases I Seriously Love to Use
My junior year English teacher used to always admonish me to “write about what you know.” I, in turn, took that to mean that I should embellish my life to make it far more interesting than the 16 years of time I had spent on earth had allowed.
With that advice in mind, I wrote a story about boat crash survivors washing ashore on a deserted island and falling in love. I probably don’t need to mention that I failed that assignment.
The one thing I remember from the margin comments on that exceedingly red inked F paper was the phrase “excellent voice.” It would take me years into college and well into my teaching program to figure out that he meant that he liked the way I wrote just not necessarily what I wrote.
Well, then, fine.
So I learned to write about myself. In a way that was authentic and sarcastic and had nothing to do with island romance narratives (as my 44 years of life have still not allowed me to experience a ship disaster on the shores of any island with some randomly available man…I’m not sure if I should be thankful or patient).
And I write the way I speak. With the pauses. And the inflections. And the run on diatribes about something kinda specifically related to the topic at hand but maybe better suited for a time when I can explain myself without so much enthusiasm or side storied discussions that lead me to rail on about things that are no longer specifically related to the topic at hand.
Yeah. Like that.
More often than not, I shut up from what has become a monologue-esque speech to a person saying, “You seriously need to write this shit down.”
And since I’ve taken to accepting that advice as fact, I figure that I should provide some sort of glossary of the phrases I overuse, misuse, or use in a way in which no one else would even want to.
shut up: an exclamation of shock or surprise. Usually followed up with the phrase “not that shut up” as most sane people don’t say shut up when they are shocked or surprised.
wait, what?: another exclamation of incredulity; may also be used when a story drones on for too long, and I’ve just then realized that I missed the part to which I was supposed to respond.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!: an expression of warning or distaste. The perfect catty commentary of “my kid/best friend would never do that”.
hangonhangonhangon: the repetition in gunshot blast form of the phrase “hang on”; used mainly in instances in which someone has asked for help at precisely the same moment I have just started to do something else. Or my phone rings after I have just given up on the idea that my daughter is going to respond to my text and my hands are immersed in dish water. Happens almost every time.
Dude!: a texting phrase; can carry multiple connotations like no way or he’s stupid or you’re stupid or shut up (yes, that shut up) or you are never going to believe this. I’ve sometimes said this out loud, and I know the second it leaves my mouth that I sound like a middle aged Al Bundy-esque former surfer. I’m okay with that.
Have you lost your evah-lovin hold on reality?: not a question. Always used the instant a kid crosses that very narrow line that divides entertaining me with your ridiculousness and irritating me with your immaturity. Must be said with crazy-mom eyes to be fully effective.
You’re awesome!: a declaration of thank you. I don’t know why I can’t just say thank you and leave the person I should be thanking with some impression that I have evolved somewhat since 1993. Also sometimes used when I have just entered that moment as a customer when I want to tell the person how to do their job because clearly they cannot, and I’ve said something meant to sound sarcastic but it wasn’t, and they finally did what they were supposed to do or what I wanted them to do; it is used in place of thank you in this instance because I reserve thank you for people that know how to do a simple job. Thanks.
Pop a squat: a phrase I incorrectly gleaned from Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” and my dad. I couldn’t understand half of what my dad was saying most of the time as he spoke with a really thick and most often alcohol-slowed southern accent. I heard my dad say pop; Julia says cop. It means sit down now, y’all.
seriously: may be used as a declaration, an exclamation, or a question; can also be spoken to indicate agreement when one is talking about one’s clearly unbalanced relatives, spouse/boyfriend, or boss. A phrase of unity in the face of idiocy.
I’m not even kidding. I’m totally like this in real life beyond the blog in real conversations.
I’m a bit too far gone to make excuses for my behavior at this point.