I wish I could remember which journalist years ago explained his major pet peeve. I’d probably punch him in the nose. Why? His explanation has stuck to me like superglue and my eardrums rub raw every time I hear the phrase. And I hear it dozens of times a day.
His major pet peeve irked whenever he heard a guest reply, “Thanks for having me,” for appearing on the host’s program. The journalist said hearing those words conjured up all sorts of vivid, illicit images of the manner in which the host “had” the guest! And, I wonder, when? Before the show? Where? In the Green Room…or a quickie in the broom closet? I might add, “Thanks for having me on your show” is even worse. I’m tempted to switch channels on hearing that one. Is that a wink-wink way of hinting at live sex? Don’t think I’d care to watch. I’d hate to see anyone’s…shortcomings exposed.
My inquisitive mind wanders to wondering if the guest might be the son or daughter of the interviewer. Who was the interviewer’s mate? Was it a long labor? C-section? Natural delivery? By the time I finish my speculations, the interview has passed and I’ve lost all but the lasting impression that I infer from… “Thanks for having me.”
I suggest any of the following replies to your host:
“Thanks for inviting me.”
“Nice to be here.”
Or just a gracious “You’re welcome.”
(And you needn’t thank me.)
That being said, That being said… ranks in the top ten on my list of pet peeves. I yell at the offender, “Of course, you idiot, we heard you say it!” Find another segue! Excluding politicians, you’re on radio or TV because you are fairly educated, reasonably intelligent, and somewhat adept at promoting your point of view, yes? Vary your routine. “However,” is nice. “But, we must remember,” is pretty good. “Also, let’s consider,” is a possibility. Don’t go near “On the other hand.” That’s another of my pet peeves. It’s excusable if you have only one other point to make, as you have only one other hand. I hope.
“Look.” I cringe at that one. It implies that having been asked a question, the interviewer is too stupid or inept to follow the answer. It’s insulting. Look, make me happy. Just drop it, and make your point.
“Listen.” That, too, insults your conversation partner. It assumes that having made a point, your host is about to reach up and switch off his hearing aid before you can reply. Listen, take a deep breath and just go into your rebuttal.
Okay, my curmudgeonly comments are complete is for now, but, yes, I’ll be back! In closing, let me say thanks for having…an open mind. (Whew! That was a close one.)
D on D Blog JULY 2016 AS OF YET…
…I have no explanation for as of yet. I see no yet on my watch, or any clock. Does it serve well as a time reference? Can we say: “The cake will be done as of yet.” “The train will arrive as of yet on Friday.” “We are open as of yet to five o’clock.” Nor do I see yet on my calendar. Sunday through Saturday, yes. As of yet? No. January through December, yes. As of yet? No. Can’t somebody outlaw this one? (As of yet, no!) Maybe we’d have better luck outlawing the journalists who utter it.
Then there’s the idiom about the clock. You know, that dirty clock that belongs to John. “He’s going to clean John’s clock.” Am I that young, or are these journalists that old? Clean a clock? Don’t we just throw them out and buy another from China, so we can throw that one out and keep the Chinese economy perking? What I mean guys, is be creative. Bring it up to date. How about, “He’ll erase John’s hard drive,” or “He’ll wipe out John’s accounts.” Even “He’s going to wash John’s chalkboard” would be less lame than clean his clock. If he wants to clean something, I’ve got a garage I want him to see.
While we’re on the subject, think about “They’ll take him to the cleaner’s.” I’m always tempted to help him by interrupting with, “What if he wants to go to Walgreen’s or Walmart? Be generous. Take him out for the whole day!”
At times, reworking hackneyed idioms and clichés such as you missed the boat requires engaging brain before opening mouth. In my literal-minded third-grade class, during a question-answer session at the end of the day, Miguel badly missed the mark with an obvious guess at an answer to my question. The kind of guess that leaves the class snickering. I smiled and attempted to make light of his gaff.
“Gosh, Miguel,” I said, “you really missed the bus on that one.” Hands flew up eager to share the right answer, and my attention was drawn away from Miguel, who rose and headed for the door. “I gotta go,” he said. This was not unusual. As long as the lavatory privilege was not abused, and not more than one child was out of the room at a time, such announcements were common. What was uncommon was to have the guidance counselor return Miguel to class minutes later.
“Did you tell Miguel it was time to go home?”
“But you said I missed the bus,” Miguel protested.
I sagged under the weight of a long day, tired feet, and a blossoming headache brought on by realizing what might happen when an idiot skews an idiom!
So, choose even your semi-original phrases carefully. Particularly in multicultural situations where American idioms don’t translate well into foreign understanding.
As of yet, I am out of pet peeves, but this an election year, and there’s a lot to dislike out there! Stay tuned for the possible Return of the Curmudgeon!