The title says it all. We were at my daughter’s college graduation last weekend and the commencement speaker said that was one of the most important phrases he’s ever come across. This is the concerted ability to take in all that’s going on and still keep your sanity firmly planted while watching others around you spin their heads around like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. What a fantastic phrase.
I like to think that I’m a master of this art. This was demonstrated best for me during the earthquake that the great state of Virginia experienced a few years ago. I was working as the head of a fairly major county call center in Northern Virginia when the tectonic plates decided to stretch. You wouldn’t believe all of these ‘serious’ and ‘professional’ emergency officials running around screaming for hand-held battery-operated radios to communicate with and water rationing to start immediately. Um…. there was no damage to the facility or to anything in the area. Everything was completely fine. No need to start hording canned peaches there, guys. Of course THEY would say that they were just being prepared – I would say that they shouldn’t be in those positions if their over-reaction resulted in even MORE panic than the earthquake caused.
Anyway, my point isn’t to laugh at those people in positions of leadership that shouldn’t be there – wait, of COURSE that’s my point. That’s my whole point in life. But the point of this BLOG is to look at phrases, good and bad, that are either at the top or bottom of my list. These may be phrases you hear every day, or just ones that I’ve run across in my daily life that always come back to my conscious as random times.
On to the list…. I’ll alternate good and bad so that you don’t get too comfortable.
GOOD PHRASE – “Country Strong” – perfect description of someone that’s so intimidating that he deserves his own phrase. The image is spot on and tells you exactly what you need to know.
BAD PHRASE – “Bio Break” – this is the geek-term used at my office in a meeting when someone asks to take a 5 or 10 minute break in the middle of a session. It’s cringe-worthy to the ultimate degree. There’s no reason to throw a ‘bio’ in front of it – you need a break. Period.
GOOD PHRASE – “Severe Clear” – a term from my aeronautical days that describes the kind of day that almost hurts to look at the sky. The blue is so piercing and pure that it literally pierces your cranium.
BAD PHRASE – “Must See” – I’ve talked about this one before, but Do. Not. Tell. Me. What. To. See. You don’t need to sensationalize the latest puppy video released on the internet. Let people decide for themselves.
GOOD PHRASE – “Earthshine” – This obviously isn’t a phrase, but just one of those words that evokes good feelings in me. Earthshine is actually the light reflected from the Earth on the moon – but it’s a cool word that makes you stop and think.
BAD PHRASE – “One-Stop Shop” – Again, I’ve gone on and on about this – but if you’re advertising your establishment/website/blog as a one-stop shop, then you had better put EVERYTHING in this world in it or on it. Otherwise, it should be just labeled as an “Just A Lot of Stuff Shop”. And yes, I would have a problem with that phrase as well.
So that’s just a handful of chewable tidbits to savor on until time to wash up for dinner. I’ll leave you with one more phrase that always comes to mind for some reason. One of those things that I read in a book a long time ago and stayed with me all of these many years for no apparent reason. This phrase means really nothing to me or anyone else but any time I feel like I’m wasting my time or seeing someone else waste their time it pops in my head:
This came from one of my favorite books – “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – and the entire quote is:
“The infinite improbability drive is a wonderful new method of crossing interstellar distances in a mere nothingth of a second, without all that tedious mucking about in hyperspace.”
Again – it means nothing. It’s not important – but it’s wedged its little butt in some dark crevice of my brain and comes out at every opportunity presented to it. So thank you, Douglas Adams, for taking over my thoughts. That’s what a good book should do. Interestingly enough, do you know what’s on the COVER of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? In big, bold words:
A perfect circle back, yes? OK – back to mucking about in hyperspace until it’s time to go to bed.