Teeth Grinding Phrases and Adverbs

In 2011, I published my list of annoying aggravating, teeth grinding phrases. Today the list is outdated and naive .

“If you will” topped my list. At the time I said, the term is pretentious. Plowing ahead, awash in arrogance, I went on to proclaim “Beg to differ” is downright spineless. I am ashamed I offered the following suggestion, “Heck, don’t beg. Disagree or have a fist fight, but don’t beg.”

In my view, “awesome” continues to hold first place in aggravating phrases.  Most of the situations to which “awesome” is attributed are not.

That brings me to “my bad”, “totally” and “like.” Mercifully you don’t hear that as often today. No woman over six years of age should utter these words unless she wants to label herself as lacking ability in any endeavor other than chewing gum.

I still don’t understand the phrase “thinking outside the box.”  My thoughts don’t live in a box. Most of the time they are all over the place. It would be more efficient if they were filed away in a box. When asked for a creative solution or a different approach the thought would hop out of the box, ready for action.

I never know what I am supposed to do or say after a warning that someone has “issues”. Most of the time the “issue” alert comes from a smug, superior attitude of someone I don’t like anyway.

How was I supposed to know that In 2019, annoying phrases would blast forth daily from the White House? Who could have imagined that an illiterate hot mess would be our President.

Trump has no problem stating he has all the best words —– adverbs.

Trump’s vocabulary would make my sixth-grade grammar teacher have the vapors. When he says he feels badly, my eyes water and ears hurt. I cringe and hurl expletives at the television.

He’ll get no argument from me. In addition to the burden of impaired feeling, he does a lot of other stuff badly too.

Stephen King, in his book On Writing, says, “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs “

We can only hope.

Tolerance and Diversity Alive and Well at the Supermarket

Home or curbside delivery of groceries has a dark side to it. This service separates us from the one place where commonality unites us and tolerance and acceptance co-exist; the supermarket.

Our neighborhood supermarket is not a small bodega, but part of a large chain. A mini united nations, hijabs, turbans, and saris mix freely with saggers, soccer mom’s activewear, high fashion stilettos, business attire and retired folks sweats.

I’ve been tapped on the shoulder more than once by a shopper who speaks limited English wanting to know where an item is.

The other day, I asked a tall black man if he would grab the horseradish off the top shelf for me. He asked which heat level I wanted and when I replied, “extra hot”, His mom dressed in her African kaftan, clasped her hands to her chin and smiled her approval. I didn’t know if she smiled because she approved of my choice, or because we are both short.

I wandered over to the olive oil section and as I read the ingredients listed on my selection, this very handsome young man sidled over to me and said, “you might as well cook with lighter fluid.” Thoughts of who I could hook him up with raced around in my brain until he introduced his partner, another handsome young man. While giving me a brief rundown on a cooking class they were taking, I wondered, how did they know I was approachable. I am in that demographic group that if one believes pollsters, is intolerant of just about everything.

I concluded it must be the white hair, code for “grandma” everywhere, as babies from all ethnicities wave and smile at me from their mother’s shopping cart.

Not everyone is as tolerant of older people as babies are.

Often, portrayed as stodgy, not with it; comparable to the “use by date” yogurt taking up space in the fridge.  I observed an older couple as they pushed their shopping cart to the exit of the store. Walking side by side, the woman reached over and gave the man a little pinch on his hinny. So much for stodgy; I’m guessing putting their purchases away first when they arrived back home was not a priority.

I’ve seen every ethnicity, combination of diversity and age group at our supermarket interact without any hint of controversy or discord.

It occurred to me the reason why may be because the one thing I have never seen there is a big, red, ugly MAGA cap.

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