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

Point Zero – Chapter 2


Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 2: Recovery and Things get Animated.

The cabin was dusty but in better condition and better stocked than most houses. “It’s the only place I could think of,” Jane said apologetically as we all writhed on the ground in pain. She’d managed to teleport us all from wherever we had been to her Aunt’s cottage in a remote southern Quebec community.

Being teleported is one of the worst pains I’ve ever felt, worse than breaking a bone, being electrocuted, and being shot all combined.

When the pain started to recede, I panicked, “Where’s Frank? You left Frank behind. We have to go back.” Jane had the good taste to look abashed or ashamed, it was hard to tell. Everything was so bright with the lights on.

It was Mel that put her hand on my shoulder and said, “He was dead. He was cold and dead. Jane barely got us in time. It’s not fair to ask her to bring a corpse.” 

I knew Mel was right but between the residual pain in my body and the migrain I was getting from the lights, I didn’t want to hear it. “We left him. What kind of friends are we that we just left him?”

James started shaking and gasping for air. “I need water.” We all forgot what was happening and scrambled. Mel grabbed a glass of water for him, Jane went to the bathroom to fill the tub, and I grabbed a towel and wet it. 

We sat around the tub eating a couple of frozen pizzas that Jane had found in the freezer. They were probably the best thing I’d ever tasted. 

It was the tub that helped. It was less of a bathtub and more of a jet tub pretending to be a pool. Both James and Mel fit in the tub. Mel was just over six feet tall and she could have her legs and boobs in it at the same time.

“I’m semi-aquatic…” James said and rolled his eyes as Mel called him her platypus. “Sam here is some sort of lightning person, Jane can teleport, but what about you, Mel?”

“I have the power of puns! Bow before my linguistic lashing.” Mel said dramatically. “I don’t feel any different… Maybe I didn’t get anything. What you guys need are superhero names.” We all groaned and she continued, “James, you’re Platy-Power.”

“I have gills and webs… no duck bill or tail.”

“It’ll be part of your costume. Sam you’re the Electric Knight. ‘Cause of the shield. Jane you’re the Tele-Porter.”

Our groans turned into yawns and I fell asleep to Jane saying, “No, absolutely not.”

As I slept, I dreamt of green, emerald green, the colour was tinged in fear. I woke up thinking I heard something. I looked around, James was still in the tub, Jane was curled up on a sleeping bag next to it. There was a sleeping bag at my feet. I unrolled it and lay back down.

The cottage had four rooms, but we’d all decided to sleep in the same room for comfort.

I heard noises again. Where was Mel? I wondered. So despite being tired and in pain, I got up and walked toward the living room. Mel was sitting at the dining room table with a pencil and a pad of paper, drawing something. 

Movement and moaning caught my attention from the open-concept living room. I felt the electricity build up inside me, it felt like stretching before a sport. I raised my hand thinking to shoot a bolt of lightning but then remembered Mel’s superhero name for me. Instead I concentrated on forming a sword out of the electricity in my left hand and a shield in my right.

I moved towards Mel to get me between her and whatever was making the noise. Mel looked up at me confused. “What are you doing?”

I gestured towards the living room and her eyes went wide. She must have been so much into what she was drawing that she hadn’t heard. I glanced quickly at her drawing. It was the two main characters from the TV show Good Omens in a very sexy embrace.

I walked towards the sounds, they were behind a big sectional. At first I had thought zombies, then wild animals, I hadn’t expected two men going at it. It was a perfect copy, but in motion, of Mel’s drawing. 

“Mel, I think you did this.”

Mel gasped, “Sexy.”

“Mel.”

“Sorry. I wonder if I can touch them?” She leaned forward and poked a butt cheek. The man didn’t react. “Feels so real.”

“Mel!”

“I’ve never really been into self inserts, but…”

“Mel, can you dismiss them?”

Looking like she was imitating a toddler who was told to concentrate, she squished up her face and one of the men turned to us and said in a perfect Scottish accent, “Would you like to join?”

I blushed and elbowed Mel, who also blushed and did a whipping motion with her hand, like she was washing something away. The two men disappeared. 

“I think we found your power.”

“I hope I can control what I animate… Oh that’s good; I’m The Animator!”

I remembered I was standing there with a sword and shield built of electricity and willed them away. Looking at Mel with as much fatigue as I could, I said, “Mel, go to bed.”

It had been a long day for us, but for the rest of the world it had been a long week.

Read Chapter 3


While you wait for the next chapter, check out previous serial stories:


Blush: Non-binary Representation in Media

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am completely obsessed with Amazon Prime’s miniseries Good Omens. The book it is based on is written by Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett.

And it is incredible.

The miniseries, I mean.

The book is pretty good, but the miniseries is something special.

And part of why it is special makes it worthy of being a Blush post: the non-binary representation of the angels and demons. (No, I’m not referencing the Dan Brown book.)

Good Omens angels l-r Uriel, Sandalphon, Michael, Gabriel, and Aziraphale. Image from architecturaldigest.com (some interesting stuff about the set production through that link).

The Geekiary writes about it here, and it is definitely worth being a Recommendation Wednesday.

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.