9 inane phrases people need to stop using on social media

I’m a big fan of Twitter, and I mostly tolerate Facebook, but lately I’ve been increasingly annoyed by some of the utterly inane words and phrases I’ve seen people using, presumably because they think it makes them look funny, or because they think it makes their boring status update marginally more socially acceptable because it’s phrased in a way that they think is cool. The words and phrases in the list I’ve compiled below are the ones currently irking the hell out of me on social media.

NB: before you say it, yes, I know that language evolves. And before you say it, yes, I know that oft-spouted fact about Shakespeare having made up all those new words. There’s nothing wrong with language evolving, except when it makes you look a total moron. As all these ones do.

1. “Dear [insert name of inanimate object here], blah blah blah blah blah, love me”

Example: “Dear Rain. It was really nice of you to come out and spoil my walk this afternoon and get me soaked. Regards, me.”

It isn’t funny or cute to write like this, it’s just idiotic. Can the rain actually hear you addressing your little letter to it? Is it going to make a blind bit of difference to the situation? And do your friends and followers even care that the rain came out to spoil your walk? No. No. And no. So just shut up.

2. “Oh hai”

Example: “Oh hai, brand new shiny iPad”

I understand that you’re pleased you’ve got a new iPad. I would be too. But why not just say “I’m so happy with my brand new shiny iPad?” Did that really need “Oh hai”? As if the iPad can hear you talking to it? And “hai” isn’t even a word. Variations include “Oh hello” or “Why hello”.

3. “[insert massive show-off object/holiday/whatever]? Don’t mind if I do”

Example: “An all-expenses-paid trip to Barbados by private jet? Don’t mind if I do”

This roundabout way of showing off has crept into the English language thanks to Facebook. People feel the need to show off on social media about what a great time they’re having, or how brilliant their life is, but it’s not very socially acceptable, so they’ve found a method of showing off in a way that, on the face of it, doesn’t look like overt showing off, just a harmless rhetorical question. People who use this phrase aren’t fooling anybody though – we all know that they’re just bragging, and it’s almost worse for the fact that they’ve tried to disguise it. Variations include replacing “Don’t mind if I do” with “As you do”, or “Oh, go on then”.

4. “YOLO”

Example: “Quick selfie #yolo”

Otherwise known as “carpe diem”, but for those who have no intellect, YOLO (“you only live once”) seems to have sprung up fairly recently and appears to be used mostly by daft teenagers who can’t get over how amusing they are. And in the example above – an actual example taken from a quick scan of the “YOLO” hashtag – the fact that one only lives once is NOT an excuse for your habitual vanity.

5. “So”

Example: “So today I was walking down the street and I saw someone walking their cat.”

I know that “So” is a perfectly innocuous word. But as the example above illustrates, for some reason EVERYONE has started beginning ALL their sentences with it. The example I’ve given is just one of pretty much every single other sentence that would work perfectly well without the “So” at the beginning, but this infuriating habit is now everywhere. I really don’t understand how these things start.

6. “I am in you”

Example: “Brighton, I am in you!”

I don’t think you need me to spell out how wrong this phrase sounds. But even leaving aside rude connotations of the phrase “in you”, and the fact that you’re once again addressing something that isn’t a person and therefore can’t hear you, this unfortunate phrase just makes you look an idiotic crowd-follower. You’re only using this phrase because everybody else does. Why don’t you say “Just arrived in Brighton” and accompany this fairly boring fact with something interesting that’s happened along the way?

7. “Totes”, and every single other ludicrous word shortening

Example: “It’s totes amazing”

It’s not “totes”, it’s “totally”. It’s not “ridic”, it’s “ridiculous”. If you’re pushed for characters, just find a shorter word for the same thing. And don’t even get me started on people who actually use these words in their real-life speech.

8. “Amazeballs”

Example: “OMG the new Breaking Bad was totes amazeballs”

I don’t know where this word originated, but there are no words for how horrible it is.

9. “Oh em gee”

Example: “Oh em gee have you heard about so and so?”

“OMG” is an abbreviation of “Oh My God”. That’s fine. BUT IT’S NOT AN ABBREVIATION ANYMORE IF YOU ACTUALLY WRITE IT OUT PHONETICALLY. It’s the same number of letters, you absolute imbecile. As for people who actually say it out loud in real-life speech, the less said about them, the better.

I’ll probably lose a load of followers for this post, but I don’t care. If you have any words or phrases you think should have been on this list, leave a comment below and I’ll add it if I agree with you.

UPDATE

Lots of you got in touch with even more inane phrases you’d like to see the back of, and I remembered a few too.

10. “Sleeps” (as in “10 sleeps til Christmas”. Only acceptable if you’re aged four or under)

11. “.com” (as in “I’m bored.com”. Adding .com to the end of something doesn’t make it any more interesting a sentiment, and it makes you look a fool)

12. “Just sayin'” (adding this to the end of an insult is not an excuse for being rude)

13. “Get your [whatever] on” (as in “get your geek on” – what does that even mean?)

14. “Chez [surname]” (not an acceptable way to describe your house unless you are French)

15. “Le sigh” (why? I just don’t get it)

16. “I’m not being funny, but…” (no, you’re right, you’re not being funny)

17. “BOOM” – is your name Basil Brush? No? Then stop it.

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Wendy and Peter Pan at the RSC

Last night we were taken on an enchanting journey to Neverland courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. If you think you might want to see this show, I would advise you to save reading this review for after you’ve seen it, because it will contain spoilers. However, I will say straightaway that I would definitely recommend you do go and see it, because it’s brilliant!

It was only the second night of the show, and a reduced price preview that we’d booked ages ago with some vouchers I won for a blogging prize in my old job. Before going into the theatre itself we had a wander around. It had changed a lot since I went in my university days, the tower being completely new (and unfortunately not open for a pre-theatre view of Stratford). There was an absolutely magnificent Christmas tree in one of the cafe areas:

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There were quite a few clever jars dotted about with ‘fairies’ projected into them so that they looked as though they were moving around – they certainly got you in the mood for a trip to Neverland.

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The stage at the RST is an Elizabethan style one that juts into the audience, and we had really good seats at the side and near the front.

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When we arrived, the place was swarming with children and yappy teenagers, but when everyone was sitting down it was clear that the adults vastly outnumbered the youngsters. The first thing that surprised me about the performance was that the actors were all adults, which I thought was a good thing as child actors can be a little annoying. The three Darling boys were very entertaining. If you imagine a stereotypical Oxford student, that would be them. Peter Pan was accompanied by about half a dozen ‘shadows’, who were very good – I got the impression they might be a dance troupe, as they were beautifully choreographed.

Wendy, a character aged 13, was played by someone whom we later learned was 27! I thought she was one of the weakest actors – I’m no expert, but she seemed to be overacting and I couldn’t always tell whether the hesitation in her lines was because she was overacting or because she was actually struggling to remember her lines. The two other actresses were somewhat better – a rather brooding Tiger Lily and a very amusing Tinkerbell, who took everyone by surprise by starting off as a tiny light flying around with a little mouse voice and then morphing into a bitchy, plus-size Essex girl character dressed like a pink ballerina with wings. Brilliant!

Captain Hook was excellently portrayed by Guy Henry, whom I thought I recognised from somewhere. I looked him up on IMDB when we got home, and it turned out that he had had a minor role in Harry Potter and he also played Mr Collins in the ITV series Lost in Austen, which I loved. He was rather different in his pirate guise though, and a good villain. His own arch-nemesis, the Crocodile, representing his battle with time, was one of the best aspects of the performance. Dressed in a top hat, long green leather coat and a very long stripy scarf, he looked like a cross between the Mad Hatter, and Morpheus from the Matrix, holding a pocket watch. He was fabulously enigmatic and moved across the stage doing the splits quite a few times and strutting authoritatively the rest of the time.

The Lost Boys were great, particularly Curly, who had a strong Welsh accent.

The set was stunning, with the actors often ‘flying’ on wires and a proper pirate ship moving around the stage during parts of the performance. I was particularly impressed when the whole stage floor lifted up to reveal a second set, representing the house under the ground in which Peter and the Lost Boys lived.

The language had been subtly updated with anachronistic sayings such as “and the way he’s, like…” or “What happened? Captain Hook happened”, which was quite funny I thought. There was definitely enough there to keep adults entertained just as much as children, a bit like a panto but more sophisticated. One little girl in the audience clearly thought she was at a panto, as during one moment when the pirates were sneaking up behind one of the characters she cried, “He’s behind you!”, much to the amusement of the cast and the audience, the latter even applauding her!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, topped off by ice creams in the interval – salted caramel for me and double choc for Lee. Yum!

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Wendy and Peter Pan is on in Stratford until March, so you’ve got loads of time to go and see it!