The English language is filled with all sorts of common sayings that we all use all the time. Some people get a little irked if someone declares they’re having “a case of the Mondays.” Other people aren’t exactly fans of “filler” phrases like “at the end of the day” and “at this point in time.” For me, these five annoying phrases really grind my gears. Well, maybe “annoy” is too strong a word; it’s more like “bother.”
40 Is the New 30
Or (some arbitrary age) is the new (about 10 or even 20 years younger than that).
The intent behind this saying is meant to be positive, I suppose. It’s supposed to make the person feel better about getting older, reassuring them that they’ve still got plenty of time to do whatever it is they want to do. I get it. I know I’m getting older and it’s got me thinking about what it all means too.
But telling someone that “40 is the new 30” is both misleading (40 is still 40) and potentially detrimental. It’s partly because of common sayings like this that have led to the man child epidemic. Adulting is hard, but someone’s got to do it. Oh look! It’s Wario World!
It’s My Friday
Friday is still Friday. Just because the last day of your work week happens to be a Wednesday doesn’t miraculously turn it into a Friday. As a society, we need a common vernacular and framework so we can all communicate with one another effectively. It’s not Friday. It’s Wednesday.
It’s Been a Minute
From what I can gather, this turn of phrase can be largely attributed to millennials. I think I’ve even used it myself once or twice, but the more I hear it, the more it bothers me. That’s because it means the literal opposite.
When someone says that it’s “been a minute,” it sounds like a short amount of time has elapsed. What they really mean is that a long time has elapsed. It’s like when someone says that they could care less when they mean they couldn’t care less. That’s just unnecessarily confusing. Get off my lawn.
I Was Eating Ramen to Survive
Some common sayings in English arise from limited experience. For many people, their only “ramen” experience consists of the super cheap instant noodle variety. As a result, “ramen” gets thrown into the bottom of the “cheapest of cheap” eats category, cheaper than even Kraft dinner and day-old bread.
The thing is you don’t need to go to Japan to enjoy some pretty decent ramen. Most ramen places around here charge about $10 to $15 a bowl. What you get is as far removed from dried-and-fried instant noodles as Chef Boyardee is from artisan-made Italian pasta. And I actually like Chef Boyardee sometimes.
If you’re stretching your grocery budget for nourishment, say you’re eating “instant noodles” to survive, not “ramen.”
It Is What It Is
This is also something I’ve personally said (and written) several times before, but I’m trying to stop. It perpetuates a helpless or defeatist attitude when it comes to life, like we are all just victims and there’s nothing you can do about it.
While the circumstances or situation might not be your fault, but how you choose to respond is your responsibility. Accepting responsibility is not the same as accepting fault. If you find a baby abandoned on your doorstep, it’s not your fault. That baby, though, is now your responsibility. A moral imperative compels you to do something.
It is what it is, whether you’re turning 40, eating instant noodles, or ending your work week on a Tuesday. What you choose to do about it is entirely up to you.