On occasion, I channel my inner George Carlin and wonder aloud about the idiocy that is the English language. Not just the mundane obvious things like why the “s” on debris is silent, or how in the world lead can be pronounced “leed” or “led,” without the spelling changing, but beyond that and into the even more stupider realm of how we humans use this dumbass language that we created.
Cliché’s and common expressions are one of my favorite targets as it relates to how people say the absolute stupidest things. While some clichés are true, (“it is what it is,” is my favorite cliché of all-time because it is abjectly unarguable), most clichés are claptrap malarkey that aren’t meant as ways for the mindless to have an outlet to soothe or motivate people in their lives without actually providing an inkling of effort or assistance in the process.
One such asinine expression that has been driving me nuts lately is “slow and steady wins the race.” What kind of all-encompassing, provably untrue baloney is this? What kind of race is it? Because if it’s a sprint, like say a 100 yard dash, I promise you that slow and steady will not rule the day, dumbass.
“Good Things come to those who wait,” is another pile of crap that ignores the universal law that good things come to those who reach out and grab them. Sitting on the sidelines and waiting is great way to never be in the game, whether it be career, love, or happiness. Imagine going to a therapist and telling them that you just aren’t happy, only to hear them say “well just do what you’ve been doing and wait…after all, good things come to those who wait…oh, and that will be $165 for the hour, which in therapy world is actually 45 minutes. Thank you!”
Another one of those great mystical sayings that people like to throw around to make themselves feel better is “what goes around comes around.” No it doesn’t. Sometimes it really doesn’t. In fact, more often than people want to admit, truly wonderful human beings who are selfless and have never done a bad thing in their life have the absolute most awful things happen to them and never recover.
Conversely, a lot of miserably rotten human beings who have never done anything good in their lives never suffer any sort of consequences; in America, we call them “politicians.”
While I was contemplating this essay, I started bouncing around online looking for some inspiration and stumbled onto a brilliant premise in an article that if, plagiarism laws weren’t so strict, I would claim as my own idea. Alas, I can’t. I will however take the horribly written and spruce it up just a bit for you as follows:
There is an old adage: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” How people think determines what they will do. So what happens when you or others have “dumb” thoughts?
One of the most common admissions of the highly successful is that they surround themselves with great people. Half of that equation is that they avoid dumb people. Dumb ideas lead to dumb actions, and that results in danger, failure, heart-ache, excuses and worse. It is not hard to come up with the real meanings behind the dumb things people say, most of which are just ways to make themselves feel better about their own shortcomings. Here are a few popular ones with what they actually mean in practice:
- Patience is a virtue actually means I am not in a hurry to do anything.
- It’s the journey, not the destination is supposed to mean something along the same lines as “stop and smell the roses,” but what it actually means is I have no clue where I am going.
- I’m living the dream is a tell-tale sign that the person speaking compares themselves to others that have less as a way of making them feel bigger and better. Another more wretched version of this is often spoken by the loudest idiot in a vacation rental home along the beach when he utters “I wonder what the poor people are doing right now?”
- It takes money to make money, is one of those double-edged sword expressions. Personally, I use it as a motivational tool to remind me that by agreeing to Brandon’s request to spend $10,000 on a new computer system, we’re going to make $10,001. For most people though, it means I lack courage so I brag about being broke.
- I will be happy when … No matter what the speaker says next, it has the exact same meaning: I am not happy and never will be.
- That’s not my job. As a supervisor, manager, boss and business owner in some form since 1989, I can tell you unequivocally that when I hear this, what I actually hear coming from the person’s mouth is I am a follower, not a leader.
- I’m a lover not a fighter. If I may be gender-centric for a moment I will direct this to the ladies; if you ever hear a man say this, immediately translate it as follows: I won’t fight for me, you, or us.
Don’t get me wrong; I know the intentions behind each of these and so many more; but I also know that the road of good intentions is paved with…ah…you thought I was going to end on a cliché, didn’t you? Well I’m this close so why close the barn door after the horse is gone?”