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BS: Meaningless phrases

John O'L 10 Aug 02 - 05:38 PM
Firecat 10 Aug 02 - 05:18 PM
vindelis 10 Aug 02 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,sorefingers 10 Aug 02 - 11:46 AM
Little Hawk 10 Aug 02 - 08:08 AM
DancingMom 09 Aug 02 - 10:50 PM
Gray D 09 Aug 02 - 07:19 PM
Firecat 09 Aug 02 - 01:44 PM
John O'L 08 Aug 02 - 11:50 PM
John O'L 08 Aug 02 - 11:46 PM
Little Hawk 08 Aug 02 - 10:43 AM
Mr Happy 08 Aug 02 - 03:30 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 02 - 03:09 AM
Bert 08 Aug 02 - 01:55 AM
Little Hawk 07 Aug 02 - 06:31 PM
Ebbie 07 Aug 02 - 05:26 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Aug 02 - 05:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Aug 02 - 05:15 PM
Deda 07 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM
Little Hawk 07 Aug 02 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 02 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Uncle DaveO 07 Aug 02 - 01:38 PM
Mr Happy 07 Aug 02 - 12:49 PM
Little Hawk 07 Aug 02 - 12:14 PM
NoMattch 07 Aug 02 - 11:28 AM
Ebbie 07 Aug 02 - 10:22 AM
Little Hawk 06 Aug 02 - 02:25 PM
Deda 06 Aug 02 - 02:05 PM
Amos 06 Aug 02 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Colmbanus 06 Aug 02 - 12:05 PM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Aug 02 - 11:37 AM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Aug 02 - 11:34 AM
Deda 06 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM
Deda 06 Aug 02 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Fred 06 Aug 02 - 09:59 AM
Little Hawk 06 Aug 02 - 09:23 AM
kendall 06 Aug 02 - 06:50 AM
Ebbie 05 Aug 02 - 10:07 PM
SINSULL 05 Aug 02 - 08:38 PM
Micca 05 Aug 02 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,(Miss) Edith Etiquette 05 Aug 02 - 02:25 PM
GUEST 05 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM
Little Hawk 05 Aug 02 - 10:33 AM
Little Hawk 05 Aug 02 - 10:28 AM
Little Hawk 05 Aug 02 - 10:24 AM
Ringer 05 Aug 02 - 09:10 AM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Aug 02 - 08:50 AM
Schantieman 05 Aug 02 - 05:52 AM
Mr Happy 05 Aug 02 - 05:06 AM
bflat 04 Aug 02 - 09:02 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: John O'L
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 05:38 PM

vindelis
"fairly unique" maybe, but certainly not the most unique.
Glenn


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Firecat
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 05:18 PM

I was watching Ella and the Mothers, and the solicitor in that said "First things first." Obviously first things come first, otherwise they wouldn't be first things!


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: vindelis
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 11:51 AM

I hear what you say. (I should hope so). The retort to this used to be "And I note your concern".
These days the 'in phrase' seems to be 'I see where you're coming from' - I wasn't aware that I was moving. Of course they are both 'fairly unique' UGH!


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 11:46 AM

Hey Bert did you ever hear this one "Hows yer minge"

First time I heard it I fell over laughing not then knowing what it was nor did I care, it sounds so funny in that cockney accent!


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 08:08 AM

I say "be that as it may". It's a great phrase. Almost as great as "or a reasonable facsimile thereof". To characterize it as meaningless is unconscionable! I am...to quote every person ever quoted on the news after a death or sudden tragedy..."shocked and saddened". :-)

Get a life, eh?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: DancingMom
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 10:50 PM

I know a guy that says, "Be that as it may."


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Gray D
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:19 PM

Get a life? Sorry, just couldn't resist it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Firecat
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 01:44 PM

Well, at the college I go/went to They said "You can't carry on a subject if you fail the AS Level". So imagine my reaction when I discovered that THAT was a meaningless phrase because they let one person who'd failed carry on!!! No fair!


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: John O'L
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 11:50 PM

That didn't come out right. The passage missing says
"You wait in a doctors waiting room for an hour and pay him $40 so he can tell you there's a bug going around."
How does he know?


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: John O'L
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 11:46 PM

In an advert for toothpaste I think, a woman in a white lab coat, holding a clipboard saunters across centre stage saying
"I know a lot about formulas..."
Not enough,it seems, to call them "formulae".

Courtesy of Billy Connelly's World Tour of Ireland last night:

"There's a bug going around."
How does he know? The Coast Guard told him:
"What's that off the starboad bow? Looks like a bug. Yep, it's a bug alright. Quick! Ring all the doctors. There's a bug going around."

Glenn


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 10:43 AM

Yeah. Coke has been claiming for years to be "the real thing". Ha!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 03:30 AM

plenty of Meaningless phrases in adverts.

there was one for blade razors in which the slogan was 'this blade is twice as thin as other blades'

did they mean 'half as thin' or 'half as thick'?

any more?


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 03:09 AM

No problem. (For the guy that says it; meaning - that's your problem.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Bert
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 01:55 AM

Re: "How are you", I much prefer the Cockney expression "How's yer belly off for spots?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 06:31 PM

Well, however early it was that it came along it indicates a degree of mental laziness that is pretty lamentable.

If someone tells you they "could care less" they are actually paying you a compliment of sorts, albeit a feeble one. You could respond by smiling and saying "Really? How much less?"

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 05:26 PM

Little Hawk, 'I could care less' came along a great deal earlier than 20 years ago. The first time I ever heard it was a bit more than 40 years ago. From my husband. And no, we were not in the middle of an dispute!


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 05:19 PM

And of course then there is: "How's life treating you?"

My answer:

"Not often enough!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 05:15 PM

"How do you do" is essentially "How ya doin'?" That is, "How are you coming along?" "How is your life proceeding?" "How are you progressing in life?"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Deda
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM

The older, more formal expression was actually even more meaningless -- "How do you do?" What on earth was THAT supposed to mean? How do you do WHAT? I do sing enthusiastically but sometimes flat. I do cook better than I used to. I do type passably well, depending on who's judging.


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:55 PM

Just reply "With consummate ease..." (after all, it is quite easy to be oneself). That'll confuse 'em!

We do need some sort of way to address people though, don't we? What if when people met you they simply stood there and stared silently? Would that be preferable?

How about if they said "Look, I really don't care anything about you or your state of health, but I feel I have to acknowledge your existence somehow, so...how are you?"

It's simple politeness to say things like "How are you", specially if you can do it with a smile and some genuine warmth. Every culture has its own version of politeness. When you hear people arguing against it by saying that it is dishonest and meaningless, consider the possibility that they are becoming so uncomfortable with themselves, and life in general, that they can't be bothered acting decently to anybody else. One often sees this attitude in alienated teenagers... I find it hard to sympathize with them, although I can say I've been there.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:45 PM

test


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST,Uncle DaveO
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:38 PM

My usual response to "How are you" is, "I think I'll survive till supper time."


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Mr Happy
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:49 PM

re some of what's been said above, when people meet you they often say [ask?] 'how are you?'

i think they usually don't want to know how you are, what does this question mean anyway?

usu. q. + response is 'how are you?' - 'ok', 'alright'etc

its a personal quirk, i'll sometimes reply 'as well as can be expected under prevailing circumstances' or 'can't complain, it depresses people' and get either a laugh/smile or odd look.

is it just me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:14 PM

What it mostly amounts to is people imitating other people. Way back about 20 years ago some not too bright fellow started saying "I could care less", not being aware that he was making a mistake in language and should have said that he "couldn't care less". Others heard him, and starting saying it incorrectly too. Now more people are saying it that way than are saying it the right way.

The same thing happened with the phrase "lie down" which has become "lay down" in common usage.

Then there's "a long way" (to Tipperary or wherever). If you hang around with the less educated, you will find that they are sticking an "s" on the end of "way" for some reason. God knows why. They must have heard someone else say it that way.

They also put an "ir" on the front of regardless.

Let's put 'em all together...

"Go tell the dog to lay down!" "I don't want to...it's a long ways over there, besides I could care less whether he lays down or not, coz he ain't my dog irregardless."

Sad, isn't it?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: NoMattch
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:28 AM

Worse yet is when people get phrases wrong, making them meaningless,like:

"I could care less"

instead of:

"I couldn't care less"

...and 97% of the time that the word "ironic" is used. "isn't it ironic?" - Absolutely not!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 10:22 AM

When my folks moved from Oregon to Virginia I was 13 and acutely conscious of the differences between the wild and wooly Westerners and the more domesticated and genteel Virginians. They never responded with a cheery 'You bet!'. My mother did. Oh, how I cringed.

:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 02:25 PM

"You bet." I do that too.

It's easier than saying "Well, it's certainly gracious of you to indicate your gratitude for the services I have just rendered on your behalf, and I wish to acknowledge your thanks in a totally satisfactory and reciprocal manner, which entails me thanking you...for having just thanked me. If I do that, however, I will expect you to thank me again...for thanking you for thanking me."

And so on...

I find that if you pull this routine on people too often, they usually stop thanking you altogether and may even get physically violent or verbally abusive.

It's a better bet to simply say: "You bet!"

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Deda
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 02:05 PM

It occurs to me that when people thank me for anything, my usual response is, "You bet." I have no clue at all what I mean by that (bet what? bet on what?), now that I think of it, but by now it's probably too ingrained a habit to break.


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:44 PM

Half marathons for those who are half-fast?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST,Colmbanus
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 12:05 PM

How 'bout fresh frozen, light yet filling or new and improved.

Since when have we been running half marathons? Do we plan to throw half javelins and do half a pole vault


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:37 AM

GUEST (Miss) Edith Etiquette:

About the "Thanks"--"No problem" problem you cite, it's sort of like the Spanish "Gracias"--"De Nada" locution, meaning more or less "Thanks"--"For nothing".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:34 AM

Deda, "The baby is getting increasingly bigger" would mean that its growth is increasing geometrically rather than linearly. It's probably not true, but it DOES have a meaning.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Deda
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:21 AM

"Increasingly" is also increasingly misused. I've seen thing like, "Glaciers are getting increasingly smaller", or "We take vacations increasingly less often." Those are oxymorons. I've also seen it as a ridiculous redundancy, as in "the baby grows increasingly bigger". As opposed to????


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Deda
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:16 AM

From answering machines, "I'm not here right now..." Well, when and where are you, then? And you'd better arrive in the here and now as soon as you can, because here and now are all there is.

OTOH, what they really mean is too cumbersome to say, along the lines of "I won't be here when you call, which is now for you as you hear this but later for me as I'm saying this, because if I were to be here you wouldn't be hearing this message, which you evidently are..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 09:59 AM

well, many people seem to be quite annoyed by conventional phrases. I've always found them useful for those occasions when one is obliged to say something, but has nothing to say. I've never taken offense at the Mcphrase Have a nice day. But once after going through a long line at the drive-through the cashier said "sorry about your weight". I've put on a few pounds, but really it's none of their business, is it? So I said "fuck you, I mean really, just fuck off!" and sped away.

Nobody notices if you say "six and a half of one and a dozen of the other." Art and writing critiques are a particular breeding-ground for pat phrases, because there is usually very little desire on anyone's part to say anything helpful or useful to anyone. Does anyone have any experience with this? What do people say to you after hearing your stuff? A painter friend of mine always used to get "this area seems unresolved" about her big abstract paintings. But she discovered that she could claim any area was a head--here's the eyes, the bridge of the nose, etc. and that seemed to fix the problem.

Or, to dis anything, no matter what, you can say "I'd like to see this larger" thereby implying that it is okay, but the wrong size. I eventually couldn't abide that one, when it was used against a young student doing a good series of paintings. So when another student said he wanted to see these larger, I said he should stand a little closer to them.

I once went out to a bar with some friends, I got up and danced, and when I came back to the table, a guy said "good job." I was having a good time till then, but suddenly was completely embarrassed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 09:23 AM

Ummm...what did you say, Kendall??? What if we can say something nice, then what?

Here's a meaningless phrase for you: "I could care less!" (Usually uttered by fools who mean to say that they couldn't care less...)

Here's another: "Get lost!" (not to be taken literally)

Here are some more: "Fuck you!" (definitely not to be taken literally) "Fuck off!" (same deal...) Most abusive expressions actually make almost no sense at all, despite remaining very popular.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: kendall
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 06:50 AM

What goes around, comes around, is an ancient saying. A variation, "A dog that will bring a bone will carry one away." The first means, How you treat others is how you will be treated. The second refers to gossip. If someone comes to you with gossip, they will go away with more. Another variation; If you can't say something nice about a person, let's hear it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 10:07 PM

"I would like to thank..." Why not just do it?

"I 'dialed' the number and it was busy." Huh? How long has it been since you dialed a number?

But to people who are offended by 'Have a nice day'- are you also offended by - and wouldn't dream of using - 'Goodbye'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: SINSULL
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 08:38 PM

Micca luv, it sounds to me like your friend has no couth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Micca
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:57 PM

A friend, after a very bad day at the office, visited one of those "fast food" places(with the Golden arches) and when the usual anodyne phrase was offered growled back" Do Not presume to tell ME what kind of day to have" and stalked out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST,(Miss) Edith Etiquette
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:25 PM

Well, since you asked…
ME: (after having a request fulfilled) "Thank you." THEM: "No problem."
Leaving me to wonder if my request would normally be considered a problem but JUST THIS ONCE an exception was made.
No problem does not acknowledge the expression of gratitude. My poor Thank you hangs in the air waiting to be completed by a You're welcome or an It was my pleasure or - dare I say - It was nothing; I was only too glad to...
(Miss) Edith Etiquette, just keepin' it real (civilized)


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM

"Everything happens for a reason..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 10:33 AM

Wha's happenin', man?

I'm cool...

Git down!

Chill out...

I am The Man!!!

etc...check out old Shaft movies for the lowdown on all these kind of phrases.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 10:28 AM

Ah, good, it did. Whew!

How are you, Alan? :-) Don't let the bedbugs bite! Hot enough for you? Are we keeping you up? etc....

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 10:24 AM

At this point in time (if not in space) I feel it incumbent upon me to say a few words to clear the air. The well known commentator, Catspaw49, popularly known as Spaw, has uttered vile calumnies and preposterous accusations alleging the purported meaninglessness of my and Amos' postings on this forum.

It should be abundantly clear that the aforsaid Spaw is merely simmering in a pot of his own devising. That is to say, he is rankled, he is perturbed, he is frankly devastated by the fact that his favourite creations, Paw, Cletus, and the Reg boys have been totally upstaged by the greatest entertainment icon of our times...need I mention his name? Well, his initials are W.S., and you all know who he is. His greatness precludes further mention, as it is indeed larger than this forum, and boldy goes where none have gone before.

Spaw has no kirk or cranny left in which to seek refuge from his humiliation, so he seeks petty revenge by casting aspersions on the literary merits of myself and Amos.

I suspect he has also by some insidious means caused several of my recent postings, over which I slaved at a hot keyboard, to vanish into hyerspace! Either that, or something is seriously wrong with "shorty". At any rate, I hope this one shows up.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Ringer
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 09:10 AM

"Half of one percent". We don't say half of one hour or of one mile -- what's so different about percentages? I think I could work out what "half a percent" meant.

Oh, and while we're (or I am, at least) on the subject, if the headline says "Inflation drops by 1%" has it dropped from 5% to 4% or from 5% to 4.95%?


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 08:50 AM

Callers who introduce themselves then briskly say "how are you" before starting to ask for what they want. So I always interrupt saying "Fine thankyou & how are you?" which always pulls them up short.

Years ago I knew a woman whose greeting was (take a deep breath) "Hello, how are you, I'm fine, thankyou" all in one very rapid breath.

Sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Schantieman
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 05:52 AM

...and then there are (as someone intimated a good number of posts ago) all those opposites that aren't opposites of anything.

When was the last time you complimented someone on looking hevelled?

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: Mr Happy
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 05:06 AM

i'm frequently exceedingly irritated by adverts portraying music groups/ albums as being 'highly acclaimed'

by who?

also car makers ads will say 'car of the year'- only in their own opinion!

doctors/dentists/scientists recommend....

well if they're employed by the ad makers, they'll say anything.

'real dry blackthorn cider-with added sugar & sweeteners' yukk!


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Subject: RE: BS: Meaningless phrases
From: bflat
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 09:02 PM

"I should think." Well, yeah, you should before you open your mouth. It is too wishy-washy.

Ellen


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