Category Archives: what people say

New Year’s Resolutions For Other People 2017

cwuntzgwiaafogfThis is an annual thing that’s a cross between complaining and wanting everyone to be slightly or significantly better human beings. Some of them are duplicates from last January because, it has become obvious, many people are not paying attention.

  1. To the people who share cars with me. Stop leaving this kind of thing in the car: the keys (we live in BRIDGEPORT now, ok?); coffee cups where my coffee cup wants to go but can’t because yours was left there; any all foodstuffs and the bags they came in; no gas.
  2.  To cashiers. Stop saying “following guest” when you mean “next guest.” It’s not fancier, if that’s what you’re thinking.
  3. To waiters: Stop saying “no problem” when you mean “you’re welcome.” It should be clear to both of us that pouring me a glass of water is not a problem.
  4. To adult children who come to visit, taking all the phone chargers when they leave. Stop doing that.
  5. To celebrity “news” writers. Stop using these words (italics mine):
  • Kendall Jenner slayed in her mesh mini. Also stop with the Kardashians entirely. We have tired of them.
  • We’re obsessed with Hiddleswift. Also stop mashing up celebrity couple names.
  •  Body After Baby. They have trainers, nutritionists and nannies. Also this fatshames women who carry weight after childbirth, which is, actually, normal.

5. To Donald Trump. Stop tweeting. There are so very many things you can’t change about yourself but here’s one you can.

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6. Manspreaders on MetroNorth. Because you’re taking up my portion of the seat I’ve paid dearly for and also because every year I must complain about MetroNorth.

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Have a Blessed Day

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Have a blessed day is the way they say goodbye in the South. Thank you, I said. You’re welcome, baby, she said.

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wordy

Just heard this word describing someone.

Wordy: hyper-articulate, a moderator of the proceedings, and a wall of sound who often offers text and subtext in a self-referential and nearly always self-reverential way. Now that was wordy!

That someone was actually a character on a Netflix series and the heroine chides him for talking too much (they’re in bed at the time). The smarty-pants characters in “well-written” television series are wordy in this way—Olivia Pope and her gladiators; the law students learning “How to Get Away With Murder.” I say “well-written” because these shows are characterized as such but I think “over written” is closer to the mark.

When I am nervous I often get wordy, and then I say to myself “stop talking Diane” and then I shut right up. Awkward and wordy, a bad combination.

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A Girl’s Guide to Office Brocabulary

men at work

men at work

“Adorable” is the word Jennifer Lawrence uses to describe how women in business strive to sound. Wise beyond her years, the actress shared a story on Lenny Letter about how she was chided for speaking plainly to a male colleague. Her essay, a few weeks ago, kicked off a conversation about how “Woman in a Meeting” is a language all its own. Examples from The Washington Post, all of which I am guilty of: “This may be all wrong but…” and “Maybe? I don’t know? How does the room feel?”

Lawrence’s story:

I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-bullshit way …

Read more, right this way —>

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An Open Letter to Moms on Facebook With Above-Average Kids

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Dear Moms on Facebook With Above-Average Kids (hereafter referred to as MOF-WAACs),

Your children are unique in their accomplishments. They exceed in a wide range of sports: soccer, basketball, field hockey and then soccer again, but of the “travel team” variety. They are given baffling-to-me-and-perhaps-other-people-who-don’t-live-in-your-town awards like “regional,” “all-city” and “division champ” (I say choose one geographical designation and go with it, but I don’t live in your town.) They always get A’s, and you, as a MOF-WAAC, have never failed to photograph their report cards and upload them to Facebook with the hashtag #soproud. In fact, from their post-natal APGAR score (perfect 10s, scanned and uploaded) to their college diplomas (magna cum laude, ditto), they’ve done nothing but made you #soproud. One noteworthy example (and I’m not making this up): Your toddler photographed mid-defecation, straddling a low plastic toilet with the caption “First poop in a big-girl potty!” And the hashtag #poophappens. On this point I couldn’t agree more: Poop does happen. But ask yourselves, MOF-WAACs, do we need photos of it online?

Read more at: http://tuenight.com/2015/10/soproud-moms-on-facebook-we-need-to-talk/

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Asked and answered

This is what press secretaries say when reporters repeat questions — usually because the press secretary has declined comment. I would like to say this when family members with failing memories pepper me with the same questions usually about logistics, what my children are doing and the status of a divorce affecting a sibling. But I won’t.

where I get my information about press secretaries

where I get my information about press secretaries

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let’s have no more

Football metaphors in the workplace, OK guys?

Moving the chains (a good thing I found out)

Blocking and tackling

Calling an audible

Huddles (yew, no, we’re co-workers)

Third and goal; first and ten; fourth and ballgame, etc.

I don’t really know what you’re talking about, for starters. Also: seriously?

First and goal

First down and goal to go

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sprezzatura

Here is a word to live by, if only I could. Loosely it translates to the art of doing something hard and complicated with a gracious ease, better explained by this NY Times article:

Italians, who are extraordinarily good at elevating simple tastes and textures into the realm of the extraordinary, will go to great efforts to make the whole process look effortless. Five hundred years ago, the humanist author Baldassare Castiglione labeled such studied nonchalance “sprezzatura,” from the verb meaning “to undervalue.”

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grab lunch

Stupid thing, really, but why when people want to make a get-together seem super casual — not a date! not even a plan to share a meal! — they speak of “grabbing?”

“Want to grab a drink some time?”

“We should grab lunch some time!”

Such an unconvincing offering, like a cold, limp handshake.

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Relax

Ever notice that this is only ever said in a hostile way and unfailingly serves to make the listener less relaxed?

Worse still: why don’t you just relax?

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