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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:19 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Phrases which have lost their meaning

...or maybe were meaningless from the getgo. There are a few phrases I hear that seem like empty noise, and I'm wondering if they have value I'm not getting. "We need closure." As applied to a lengthy court case or unresolved issues, I get it. Applied to a lingering death? Seems cold and impolite. "I'm tired of all trips to the hospital, such a relief Granny's in the ground. Now we can get on with our lives."

"Rape is about power." Heard from Oprah and other talk show mavens for 20some years. Is this true? Because the rapist could beat someone up without unzipping. Why remove sex from the equation, when the victim may forever associate sex with trauma. What value does that statement have for the victim or members of the justice system?

"It's meant to be." Really means "It happened, so deal with it" right? Because I've yet to meet anyone who believes we are entirely without free will. For those who say this in response to life events, what do you mean?

"Friend zone." Some comedians amusing spin on why he can't get laid has turned into a meme used by every guy who ever crushed on a girl who didn't return his feelings. The user never says "She wasn't attracted to me" and moves on; instead he finds ways to blame the woman for his unrequited feelings. Does this phrase serve any real purpose other than finding someone to blame for one's frustration?

Anyone else hear off-repeated words or phrases that seem to have more noise that content? I don't want to be that person who chimes in with something useless just because I feel obligated to speak, or that person who repeats pop culture platitudes on auto pilot. Someone will probably suggest at least one or two hackneyed sayings I'm guilty of regurgitating.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:25 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Queer as a two dollar bill.

(or three dollar)

For one, they printed a $2 bill. Two, even if you heard it as the $3 bill version, queer has alternate meanings to many people.




Lonely as a tick on a dead squirrel.

(yeah, I got nothin...)
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:58 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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My favorite one is "whatever." As far as I can tell, this means: "Yeah, you got me, I'm wrong, but I'm not going to admit it. Instead I'll just pretend that it really doesn't matter and you are a pinhead for even pointing out my mistake."

As in:

"I loved North By Northwest with Tony Curtiss."
"Actually, that was Cary Grant."
"Whatever."
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:14 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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"It is what it is." Okay, so what is it? If it was obvious, I wouldn't of asked. If you don't know, why not just say so? Or is it that you do know, but want to be evasive or dismissive?

Last edited by gms453; 12-08-2012 at 12:18 PM..
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:20 PM
RobDog RobDog is online now
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When being handed change for example...

"There you go"

Where...where do I go? WHERE?
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:25 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Re post #4: "should have," not "should of." Sheeesh.

Last edited by gms453; 12-08-2012 at 12:27 PM..
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:25 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gms453 View Post
"It is what it is." Okay, so what is it? If it was obvious, I wouldn't of asked. If you don't know, why not just say so? Or is it that you do know, but want to be evasive or dismissive?
I think you're missing the meaning. Generally, I take that as meaning: It isn't going to change. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly. Or, if you're talking about an event, and someone is complaining about it, well, it is what it is.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:30 PM
gms453 gms453 is offline
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Disagree, but whatever.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:33 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobDog View Post
When being handed change for example...

"There you go"

Where...where do I go? WHERE?
Remember. No matter where you go, there you are.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:38 PM
Mona Lisa Simpson Mona Lisa Simpson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
Remember. No matter where you go, there you are.
And if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2012, 04:54 PM
panache45 panache45 is online now
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"I know she's in a better place."

"I guess it wasn't his time to go."
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:46 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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"I could care less" would seem to qualify. It was originally "I couldn't care less"; a means of stating an utter lack of interest in whatever was being discussed. People use the newer version in the same figurative sense, but it has the opposite literal meaning.

And, of course, "jiminy jillickers".
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:02 PM
The Dord The Dord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
My favorite one is "whatever." As far as I can tell, this means: "Yeah, you got me, I'm wrong, but I'm not going to admit it. Instead I'll just pretend that it really doesn't matter and you are a pinhead for even pointing out my mistake."

As in:

"I loved North By Northwest with Tony Curtiss."
"Actually, that was Cary Grant."
"Whatever."
Whatever!
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:16 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
"I know she's in a better place."

"I guess it wasn't his time to go."
I've never said either, but cringed through these numerous times. I usually go with "I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry for your loss." What does one say at a funeral that isn't a regurgitated empty platitude?
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:16 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is online now
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"Went over it with a fine tooth comb." You can't even buy a tooth comb anymore- all they sell is brushes.

Last edited by Son of a Rich; 12-08-2012 at 06:17 PM..
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  #16  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:18 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gms453 View Post
Disagree, but whatever.
There's one: "whatever".
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:27 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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"I'm a Buddhist." It's my understanding (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that this statement is immodest and incorrect. The Buddha was a reluctant teacher who never intended to pen a religious or philosophical practice. "I'm a Buddhist" seems to mean "I enjoy sitting quietly and contemplating my navel and I'm not in the military" but only rarely indicates that the speaker follows the teachings of the Buddha.
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:49 PM
cougar58 cougar58 is offline
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she has the prettiest face that I ever came across
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  #19  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:00 PM
Duckster Duckster is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
"Went over it with a fine tooth comb." You can't even buy a tooth comb anymore- all they sell is brushes.
AKA, a lice comb. Historical reference.
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:02 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by cougar58 View Post
she has the prettiest face that I ever came across
A gentleman apologizes and hands her a towel.
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  #21  
Old 12-09-2012, 01:55 AM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
"Went over it with a fine tooth comb." You can't even buy a tooth comb anymore- all they sell is brushes.
Really? I've seen combs for sale in chemists and supermarkets and places like that recently.
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  #22  
Old 12-09-2012, 06:38 AM
minlokwat minlokwat is offline
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“begs the question” is now used to mean “raises the question”.

The original meaning of the expression is a bit more complex.

Also “literally” has a long history of not meaning what it is supposed to mean.
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  #23  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:20 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
Queer as a two dollar bill.

(or three dollar)

For one, they printed a $2 bill.
Since 1862, actually. There was a ten-year hiatus in the 70s but the bill still circulated during that time. The phrase was always "three-dollar bill," since $2 bills were always available.

I'll go with the phrase "vaccinated with a phonograph needle."
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:34 AM
RobDog RobDog is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Since 1862, actually. There was a ten-year hiatus in the 70s but the bill still circulated during that time. The phrase was always "three-dollar bill," since $2 bills were always available.

I'll go with the phrase "vaccinated with a phonograph needle."
FWIW: The English equivalent is "queer (or bent) as a nine-bob note". A "bob" being slang for a shilling. The phrase can be used to mean "odd" or "counterfeit" but is more likely used to mean the subject is homosexual.

So be careful using that one over here. Although to be honest people are less likely to think you are making a homosexual slur, and more likely to think you've stepped out of a 1950s movie.
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:38 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
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I'm just saying.

Draw the curtains? That could mean either opening or closing them.
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