If you know me at all by now, you know that the English language is something very near and dear to my heart. You would also know that the tendency toward abbreviating, textspeak and whatever moronic, lazy new thing is out there is likely to cause me much teeth gnashing and rending of clothes. Today I’m going to hone in on a few expressions, commonly heard, which make me a bit bonkers.
First up: I just can’t stand drama.
Now, for my showbiz friends, I’m not referring to drama on the stage, where the participants are purposefully performing, and hopefully being paid for it. I’m referring to lesser dramas, ones set in the workplace, the dinner table, a family wedding, whatever.
What I have found is that often, when I meet a person who says, “I just can’t stand drama,” it is soon discovered that, what the person means is, “I actually thrive on drama, and cause as much of it as I can.” These are the folks who wail for 45 minutes about their uniquely long and arduous commute to work, who always have a worse scenario or ailment to what you’re discussing (“Oh, you have a brain tumor which has to be removed? Well I had FIVE, and they ended up having to remove most of my brain!”), and who purposefully bring up conversations between people just to see what happens (“Weren’t you saying something the other day about people who wear red patent leather shoes?” Enter lurking nearby third party wearing red patent leather shoes).
Second: Now, I’m not/I ain’t gonna lie….
Oh, you’re not? Gee, thanks.
Not a horrible phrase on its own, and it can be rather humorous if used in whatever weekly reality t.v. show is au courant, but pretty sad if the utterer is a standard liar. (If you’re not a standard liar, I’m not referring to you, so please feel free to continue using this expression.)
There’s so much fun in that expression, because the implication is that the person, in all their honor-bound goodness, is choosing this opportunity to tell A Truth, when, quite possibly, they could have just lied about it. Why, we should count ourselves blessed! What follows will certainly be life-changing.
What’s excellent about this expression is that it often contains a nugget of information about the person which probably should have been kept hidden. “I’m not gonna lie, I’ve kicked a few dogs and set my cat on fire, but this guy just went too far.” The other implication is that the person, who has now spoken A Truth, has quite possibly not taken the honorable route in your prior dealings with them.
The good news here is that, the person has lied so many times, at least you know the statement they’re about to say is possibly true.
Or is it?
Third: Who DOES that?
This phrase is used a bit too often. It was funny back in 2016, but annoying now. And, much like its neighbors listed above, is sometimes uttered by someone who may not do that, but has done plenty of other that-s to negate any comraderie you might have felt with them in their story that follows.
A few helpful hints on using this phrase:
- If you have referred to your private parts using a four-letter word, in a staff meeting, you probably have no right to use this phrase.
- If you served 6 days past-its-due date seafood at a party, saying that it would be fine because it was cooked, and 4 of your guests got sick, you probably have no right to use this phrase. Even if you were still proud of the fact that you got such a great deal on the food.
- If you have asked for the leftover flowers at a wake in order to use them for your Serving-All-Seafood Party extravaganza the following weekend, you probably have no right to use this phrase.
If you’re one of those people who peppers your conversation with any or all of the above phrases, and you also happen to be a drama-causing fibber-sort of person, please know that your clever but overused expressions are not fooling me one bit. Who DOES that? I’ll tell you who. Probably YOU.
There. I feel better now.
P.S. I may or may not have fabricated some of the examples provided in this post of mine.
But, I’m not gonna lie, I actually like drama.