Thursday, December 17, 2009


Frances Cole Jones, corporate coach and author of The Wow Factor, was writing about YouGov's published list of the "Ten Worst Business Phrases". She decided to make a list of her own. Here's the article:

This princess' favorite in Ms. Jones' list is "past history". Here's the corporate coach's rationale for her choice: "This one drives me wild every time I hear it, "Well, based on past history ..." History is, by definition, something that occurred in the past, so why on earth say "past"?" This princess may have some insight into why this phrase is used. The humans who use it feel it has a distinguishing capability. Since we all know history repeats, it's very important to separate "past history" from "present and future history".

It's interesting how pet peeves occur concerning words, phrases, and their usage . What may be correct and proper usage for one group is anathema for another. One woman's word trash is another man's treasure trove.

For example, this princess personally knows a heterosexual couple who together compiled a list of phrases "we will NEVER use". Two of the phrases were "It's all good" and "I hear you". It's perfectly understandable why they wouldn't as they have no real need for these phrases. Since necessity is the mother of invention, who NEEDS these phrases and WHY did they get invented?

In the case of "It's all good" and "I hear you", it's buddies who need this language, especially those involved in a bromance ( By definition, it's a non-sexual but intimate relationship between two or more men. So how do these men create heterosexually acceptable homointimacy? It's the phrases! They create "the bond". To illustrate this point, here's a hypothetical bromance version of "When Harry Met Sally", aptly titled "When Harry Met Sully". The caveat: the only similarity between the real vs. the hypothetical movie is the title. Here are a couple of sample scenes:

Scene 1: Harry and Sully are on the road in Harry's truck headed to a secret fishing destination.

Harry says, "Dang it Sully, I forgot the live bait. I just tied a new fly though."

Sully replies, "It's all good"

Thus, their friendship is strengthened while their fishing trip is also saved.

Scene 2: Harry and Sully are fishing.

While they quietly cast and reel in a fish or two, Sully pipes up, "Fishin's not too shabby today."

Harry replies, "I hear you".

The male bonding continues.

From these two scenes it's safe to say Harry and Sully are well on their way to a perfectly acceptable bromance while using perfectly acceptable phrases to get them there. Ain't life grand?

Thus, Ms. Cole Jones and discerning heterosexual couples everywhere may realize that the turn of a phrase may have an applicable direction to be turned other than down (pun totally intended). Form follows function in this life, the Universe, and everything.

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