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“As We Speak” and Other Unnecessary Phrases/Clauses

If you ever stop and think about what you just said, you might find humor in some of your utterances. That’s English for you.

as we speak — Usually, only one person is speaking; the other listens. So, we should say either “as I speak” or “as we converse.” Better yet, how about “right now?”

bad is good/good is bad/less is more, etc. — If a=b and b=c then a=c doesn’t work with words.

bottom line — Putting aside the financial definition, when we draw more than one line, the lowest one on the paper is the bottom line. It has nothing to do with the most simple, basic or fundamental thing(s) you discuss as you speak.

hammer out an agreement — Last I checked, a hammer doesn’t make words, unless it’s hammering enough nails arranged to resemble words. If you hammer on the paper, you’ll make noise, on that we can agree.

laid to rest — You’re already dead, so you’re not resting.

slept like a baby — My daughter didn’t sleep much for the first five months of her life. Then when she slept, the tiniest noise would wake her up. My mother told me I was the same way. Who wants to sleep like a baby now?

smooth as a baby’s bottomNot only is this a cliché, a baby’s bottom isn’t smooth; it’s got two bumps with an opening between them, just like everybody else.

sparked controversy — I’ve never seen a match or spark plug’s spark cause controversy. Similarly, I’ve never seen a person’s words cause literal sparks.

stop and think — We’re always thinking when we’re awake. There’s no need to stop.

Until next time! Use the right words!


January 22, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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