Sound and Fury

Signifying nothing

Stupid phrases

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The English language is full of stupid phrases that annoy me. For example “Subject to availability.” What does that mean? How could anything fail to be subject to availability? Surely this isn’t the kind of caveat that is really necessary.

Another one is “due to planned maintenance works.” Why the hell should I care whether the works are planned or not? If I wasn’t aware of them and they disrupt my journey, I take absolutely no consolation from the fact that the works were planned. I recently saw a sign saying “Changing room closed on tuesday due to emergency maintenance works.” Again, I don’t care how much planning is behind the current or near-future inconvenience.

“If you’d just like to…” This annoys me too. “If you’d just like to take a seat here…” or “If you’d just like to put your card there…” First of all, it’s not a proper sentence. And secondly, it is useless verbiage. It’s simply a way for someone to tell you to do something while still sounding polite. I can imagine a mugger going “If you’d just like to hand over your wallet and phone, then I won’t kill you.” Perhaps you wouldn’t feel quite as “mugged” because of that supercillious politeness. And in fact, the mugger at least finished the damn sentence properly!


Written by Seamus

May 24, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Posted in annoying

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