Top Five Phrases You Need to Stop Using

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

There are things that piss me off… Pet Peeves, Office Pet Peeves, Convention Pet Peeves, Freelancer Pet Peeves and Angering statements for a short list.

There are, however, quicker ways to piss me off. The following phrases need to be forgotten to history and absolutely guarantee making me mad.

5. I’m Just Playing Devil’s Advocate

Movie poster for The Devils Advocate 1997

If you’re not Al Pacino or Keanu Reeves, I don’t want to hear it.

This is the preferred phrase for people who know they’re going to piss you off for fun. It’s a tell that they are arguing for the sake of arguing and that they don’t care about your feelings.

Don’t. Just don’t.

4. Do Your Research

Sherlock Holmes from the Sherlock BBC show saying, “I’m not a psychopath, Anderson, I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.

Just like the image above. This phrase is used by people who fundamentally missed the point. Their idea of research is a good emotional Netflix or Youtube propaganda film or some conspiracy site. It’s not just an annoying phrase, but an indication that you’re probably dealing with someone with a huge ego that truly believes the bullshit coming from their mouths.

Don’t say it unless you want me to picture you with a foil hat. (and probably block, unfriend, etc.)

3. Survival of the Fittest

Sign that reads, “Please do not lick the walls” from a background image in Good Omens 2019.

Survival of the fittest is a bullshit name for an incomplete theory that people have taken to mean that it’s okay if people die.

There’a great article from New Scientist that explains the flaw in this. Evolution myths: ‘Survival of the fittest’ justifies ‘everyone for themselves’

Evolution and survival are not streamlined to only the strong. It’s messy and random.

This phrase has been co-opted by business and competitions. More recently by jackasses that are trying to push a Eugenic point of view with regard to Covid-19.

Seeing as most of my friends and family would be considered weak by these people… Just don’t use the phrase.

We Have to Consider Both Sides

Photo of Patton Oswalt with dog. Quote on the side reads:
You’ve gotta respect everyone’s beliefs.” No, you don’t. That’s what gets us in trouble. Look, you have to acknowledge everyone’s beliefs, and then you have to reserve the right to go: “That is fucking stupid. Are you kidding me?”
The Full quote not shown on the image continues:
I acknowledge that you believe that, that’s great, but I’m not going to respect it. I have an uncle that believes he saw Sasquatch. We do not believe him, nor do we respect him!”

There’s so much emphasis on balance and respect when it comes to arguments. Not people, but arguments. There are extremes ON BOTH SIDES, you have to understand BOTH SIDES, BOTH SIDES are entitled to their opinions.

Stop, just stop. Yes, there are arguments that have complex issues where you need to look at both sides. But the moment someone starts to devalue another person’s life, I refuse to listen to both sides.

Giving a Nazi, or an Anti-vaxx person the same podium to speak validates their opinion. By saying, “Their are good people on both sides” you tell the world that it’s okay to hate others and want them dead if you’re nice about it.

The value of human life should not be a political issue.

Calm Down / Don’t Get Emotional

Photo of Captain Picard, Chief Engineer Laforge, and other crew members looking at Data who is lying on a console. Text reads: “Install an emotion chip they said / You’ll act normal they said”

There’s a great theme that runs throughout Star Trek. That of the importance of balancing logic and emotion. We see it with Spock, Data, the Doctor, Odo, T’Pol, Burnham, and Spock again.

Wild unchecked emotion is destructive, unfettered logic is cold and heartless. But it seems that when talking to people about something you’re passionate about, the phrases ‘calm down’ or ‘don’t get emotional’ are the quickest way to dismiss your passion.

When talking about something you love or feel passionate about, you will be emotional and, in my opinion, you shouldn’t be calm.

It’s also a wonderful way to make anyone angry. It’s dismissive and condescending.


What common phrases do you think we should stop using?

Stay Safe,

Éric