It goes without saying that I am a big fan of the English language and everything it entails, but that love of words and literary devices comes to a crashing halt when certain phrases reach my ears. My brain can only take so much language abuse before I have to put my foot down, both literally and figuratively. The following is a mere sample of the vat of common sayings which not only means something entirely different than the context people have placed them in, but they also don’t make a lick of sense regardless of their verbal or literary usage.
My Top 5 Most Annoyingly Inaccurate Sayings of the English Language
#5: I could care less
Okay, my feud with this phrase has more to do with its context than anything else. Whenever people say ‘I could care less’ as a substitution for ‘I don’t care’, the first thought to occur to me is that they are contradicting themselves. When you say ‘I could care less’, what you are really saying is ‘I do care’. What they should really be saying is ‘I couldn’t care less’, which more accurately captures the extent to which they don’t care for something.
This time, it’s grammatical. I’m not sure who decided to place a suffix on this word, but the proper term is ‘regardless’, meaning ‘despite the present circumstances’. Words like ‘irregardless’ tend to pop up when someone gets this idea in their head that it would be cool to squash two words together and see to what extent it would catch on. That is most likely how this one came about, although no one does know for sure.
#3: And he was like…
If you are going to recite a conversation between yourself and someone else, show some certainty in what both you and the other person said. When people say ‘he was like’, I cannot help but feel their certainty in what the other person said is not as rock solid as they would like me to believe. They would have ‘said’ something, and not have ‘like, said’ something. Like is meant to dictate feelings of attraction or preference, in some cases comparing two or more things in terms of certain attributes. I do wish people would refrain from using it as a mere filler word instead of its intended use.
#2: It hurts like Hell!
There is a very simple reason for my displeasure at hearing this phrase: how can you know something hurts like hell when you’ve never been? Perhaps I am looking at it in too much of a literal manner, but it would make more sense to compare it to a past experience that results in the same level of pain than a place that may or may not exist.
I must leave you at a cliffhanger here, for I have not yet decided on the phrase which forces my level of irritation to peek. I would like to hear what my fellow BookNerds think, though. Let me know in the comments which phrases you would like to see fall into disuse, and I promise that by tomorrow, I shall unveil that ultimate, most annoying saying known to human kind. Until then, happy reading!