04.23.09 – Thursday


Word: milieu [mil-yoo] n. surroundings, esp. of a social or cultural nature: a snobbish milieu

Birthday: William Shakespeare (1564), James Buchanan (1791), Cow Cow Davenport (1894), Lester B. Pearson (1897), Shirley Temple (1928), Roy Orbison (1936), Lee Majors (1939), Sandra Dee (1942), Hervé Villechaize (1943), Joyce DeWitt (1949), Michael Moore (1954), Jan Hooks (1957), Valerie Bertinelli (1960), George Lopez (1961), Timothy McVeigh (1968), John Cena (1977), Kal Penn (1977), Jaime King (1979)

Occurence: 1985 – In the most unpopular move in soft drink history, The Coca-Cola Company replaces Coca-Cola Classic with New Coke. Three months later, the original is back in stores.

Standpoint: It’s time for this week’s edition of Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s get to it.

  • “figuratively” vs. “literally” – Literally, everyone is abusing the word “literally.” (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) But it’s almost true, I guess. If you’re like me in that you (a) have normal hearing and (b) understand the English language, then you know what I’m talking about. For example, a statement like, “The party was so packed. There were literally 2,000 people in that apartment.” Sure, I understand that there were a lot of people at the party. But unless the host lives in one of the most impressive apartments in the history of indoor dwellings, then I think the numbers are a bit off. To put it lightly. Rather, the word “figuratively” should’ve replaced “literally.” “Figuratively” means “metaphorical” or “not literal.” “Literally” means “in a literal manner” or “word for word.” So all these people saying things like, “Jesus, it’s literally been raining for 20 straight days,” or, “You should’ve seen the dog park. There were literally like 700 dogs down there today,” need to simply substitute the word “figuratively” for “literally.” The problem here? It won’t happen. “Figuratively” just doesn’t roll out of the mouth the same way “literally” does. It doesn’t convey the same feeling or deliver the same kind of impact. So, sorry, folks, I think we’re stuck with this one. Literally.
  • “My Bad” – Once, an employee of mine showed up for work about two hours late on a very important day. First thing he said to me? “Sorry, Josh, my bad.” I just about shot through the roof. “My bad” has become one of those things that people say in lieu of an apology. I think it started with pro athletes who say it frequently after a missed pass or a dropped ball. But showing up two hours late for work? I needed a little more than that because I was already completely certain it was “his bad.” I wasn’t sitting around wondering if the guy was late because of something I might’ve done. I knew that the blame rested squarely on that clown’s shoulders. So, do me a favor. Unless we’re playing flag football and you miss me wide open by a mile in the end zone, don’t bring out “my bad.”
  • “Same Difference” – As with “My Bad,” this falls into the category of “lazy sayings.” One article I read qualified it as a “verbal shrug.” I think that about sums it up – it’s the equivalent of “whatever” nowadays. “Same difference” isn’t so much misused as it’s overused. It really should be “same thing, no difference,” but that’s not how most mean it. Mainly, it’s used in the same way as, “I’m just saying.” It’s just a conversational device for one to end an argument in which they are wrong without having to admit it.

Tune: Last summer, I listened to “Sultan” by What Made Milawaukee Famous about 4 times a day. I like the use of horns. Also, pretty great name for a band.

Gallimaufry: I was working and didn’t get a chance to watch it, but according to everyone who did, this week’s disco episode of “American Idol” was pretty awful. I heard it described as “a trainwreck”…Tonight, the Flyers face elimination in their first-round playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. If the Flyers can’t pull it out, losing to a team with as little heart as the Penguins will be tough enough. But what might be worse is losing to a team with some of the most pathetic fans in sports history. Disgraceful. And we in Philly get a bad name as fans…For the record, I think Perez Hilton is annoying and probably secretly loves all the celebrities he shreds on a daily basis. But, after some deliberation, I think what he did to Carrie Prejean during the Miss USA competition was a pretty strong and calculated move.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 Things You Should Say To Your Waiter If You Want Him To Dislike You.

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3 thoughts on “04.23.09 – Thursday

  1. @Kristie – Thanks, Kristie, glad to be of service. As you can probably tell from what I wrote, I have a real problem with “my bad.”

  2. I loved your take on “my bad”. My mother forbids me to use that saying around her. You know you’re a good writer if something you write makes someone laugh out loud.

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