Do you hear a word or a phrase and think “I should remember that, it might come in handy.” Me too! But I have the attention span of a gnat, so unless I scribble down the bons mots they vanish. My work surface gets littered with little pieces of paper, and eventually I’ll do some curation and add the words and phrases to a document on my computer. (The document is called Channel Blurring because that was the first phrase I saved back in 2004 or so).
Now, just like Facebook, I’m giving you access of my private file. For the first time you get a glimpse at what attracts my attention in the word department (“shiny object” was one of the phrases that caught my eye).
- I have harvested a lot of colourful quotes (clichés?) from journalists talking on radio or TV:
The saga continues
A tour of the sausage factory
The corn is off the cob
A lot to process
I’m still processing
Blind people with guns
I’m sorry you asked that
Deficiency of character
Too smart for the room
Not playing in the big leagues
Shouting into the jungle
A message in a bottle
Smash and grab
Smuggle the good guys into the fortress
Bait and switch
Who can feed the raw meat?
If you keep using the same ingredients, you’re making the same cake
- As a sign of the times, I’ve taken note of a number of comments about anger and how to deal with it:
Pace the rage
If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention
Mutual mistrust and fear
Give up the hope for a better past
- I’m fond of contemporary culture programs, like Spark on CBC radio. Over time some concepts I’ve noted have become commonplace while other remain obscure (at least to me).
Proof of concept
Training to the test
Dose response effect
Be your own shaman
Keeping it weird
Using the secret sauce
- There are words I come upon that I don’t know and some of those get looked up. For example I’m never sure I have “redux” quite right (brought back, revived). Some other examples:
Febrile – feverish
Asperity – harshness of tone or manner
Avuncular – like a uncle
Verklempt – person who is too emotional to speak
Zaftig – pleasingly plump
- I don’t text, so shorthand like TFW (that feeling when) will immediately send me to Google. In my file are less useful acronyms:
USP – unique selling proposition
UGC – user generated content
CS – customer service
- I’m a giant fan-a-rama of suffixes (suffix-a-mania), so these caught my attention:
Snow-mazing (after a big storm)
Have a Kim-bolism (am I the only person who enjoyed Kimmy Schmidt?)
Shag-a-thon (a Bridget Jones concept)
- Here are a group of phrases that can be injected into conversations, almost at will:
What could go wrong?
Who thinks that’s going to happen!
This is lame.
Everything is so annoying.
Who saw that coming?
How’s that working for you?
Wait, is that still a problem?
I’m not entirely joking.
Some of this you couldn’t make up.
Did I say that out loud?
Sure, OK, that makes sense.
I’ll loop back in with you.
Take the crash position.
Cling to the wreckage.
Come to papa.
I’m going to steal your dog.
I laughed, I cried.
- Around 1970 Time Magazine published three columns of jargon words called a Baffle-Gab Generator. All you had to do was chose a random word from each column to make some contemporary, sounding gibberish. Just for you I’ve produced an up to date generator from my collection of words. Fill your boots.