Stupid phrases that must die!

“That is sooooo gay!”

“Cut the mustard” gets on my nerves, just because the correct word, “muster”, is falling out of use. You can’t cut mustard, you fucking morons! Listen to yourselves!

[Opus] You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t teach an old dog to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke. [/Opus]

“Cut the muster?” Seriously, dude - you go around teaching people to say that? I’m picturing you yelling, “It’s ‘cut the muster,’ fucking moron! How do you cut mustard? Fuck! Riddle me that one, pal!” You must be so psychotic when you go off on your muster-cutting rant that no one has ever told you you’re out of your mind. And also incorrect. :slight_smile: AFAIK you cut the mustard, pass muster, and pass the mustard, and that’s it.

My stupid-phrase peeve is people saying “Whatever!” when you’re arguing with them. So dismissive and annoying, and it seems to happen far too often.

I think some of these can be saved if we just go ahead and combine them.

For example:

“You can’t eat your cake and have it on your plate, too.”
Ah, maybe not.

In threads like this, there’s one saying that always pops up immediately, but I haven’t seen it anywhere in here yet. So I guess this thread is the exception that proves the rule.

I worked for a guy (who I really disliked, now I know why.) His favorite saying was “If you can’t cut the mustard, don’t serve the hot dog.”


There are old pilots and bold pilots, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Greetings from the most easy-going, I-don’t-give-a-shit, non-grammar-wonk, speak-however-you-like guy on the boards.
That said let me just sit here and fume over this:



Five fucking syllables when one will do.

“Is the system fixed yet?”
“Not at this point in time.”

“Can we cross reference these records?”
“We haven’t coded that function, at this point in time.”

Holy shit, four or five extra syllables does not make your IQ go up.

Cecil on The exception that proves the rule (scroll to the bottom half). It is proper to use in some instances, particularly certain legal ones. Of course, as Miller is no doubt pointing out, 99% of the time people use it incorrectly; for that reason I put it in the same category as “begging the question.”

To continue the semi-hijack, there’s a particular love for mixed metaphors at my office. My favorite is “I don’t want to open up that whole ball of wax.” :smiley:

That’s a whole new kettle of worms.

These phrases really get my goat.

Remember - don’t mix your metaphors before they’re hatched

Hi Opal!

Notice that in his second paragraph he gives as an example the phrase “the proof is in the pudding.”

Much as I hate to cast doubt on a perfectly good peeve, I have heard an entirely rational etymology for “cut the mustard” which speaks to the simpler, nobler, purer times when we were all children of the soil and squeezy yellow bottles were an aberration in Satan’s hindbrain. Mustard, you see, is a life form that passes through several stages, and while we city dwellers see it only the last and most glorious,of these, our horny handed rural, folk-wisdom generating ancestors were more familiar with the “green” or “plant” stage. Symbiotically assisting the plant to enter its next phase, these simple homely folk would set about it with scythes, shears, cleavers, kitchen knives and other bladed objects which came to hand. For the mustard plant will grow to six feet (outside eggshells) and it’s stalk is particularly tough and fibrous. Our bucolic, apple-cheeked forefathers would find that only a particularly sharp blade would be capable of cutting a twisted bunch of these stalks (for who would harvest a mustard field stalk by individual stalk?) and thus would judge edged tools on their ability to “cut the mustard”.

I feel like kind of a shmuck for saying this, but maybe your blood pressure won’t be as volatile in future.

I disagree. “I could care less” is clearly sarcasm. Take both statements. “I couldn’t care less” and “I could care less.” Say them out loud. Notice a big difference in tone? The first sentence falls, and the emphasis in on “couldn’t.” It has the tone of a literal sentence. If you said “I could care less” as a little sentence, you would note a similar tonal pattern, with the main stress falling on “could.” However, in the way it’s normally said, it sounds like “I could CARE LESS.”

And me and matt_mcl aren’t the only ones suggesting that sarcasm is at work here. Linguists such as Steven Pinker of MIT also posit this view.

I used to have a friend who would INSIST that the proper phrase was “get my goad”. We of course used “goat” from then on specifically to rile him up, but no one ever displayed evidence one way or the other for the phrase. Anyone know?

Must fight ignorance!

Brownie points may be redeemed for sexual favors at the end of the current round.

I think it was a joke on a SNL.