There are many phrases and idioms in Bosnian, Danish and English that annoy me. It happens mostly when I hear them on TV or read them in a magazine or a newspaper. Many will probably not even find them annoying, maybe they are even using them on a daily basis. Nevertheless, here’s my little list:
“Make sure that…”
This one appears a lot on TV. Really irritating! Imagine this situation: A guy wants to throw a second guy from his restaurant and while the second gy is leaving, the first one says to a third guy: “And make sure that he’s not coming back!”. Pa-lease! If someone threw me out of his restaurant, why would I ever want to come back?! Well, maybe only if I want to take a revenge with a AK-47, in which case the third guy probably would not be able to “make sure” of anything.
“When it’s all said and done”
Than why are you still talking?
According to Wikipedia, metrosexual means: an urban male of any sexual orientation (usually heterosexual) who has a strong aesthetic sense and spends a great amount of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. What the fuck does a strong aesthetic sense got to do with the spending of pesos?! Take me for instance. I do not spend 78% of my salary on skin-care products and nails polishing – true. But, I have a strong aesthetic sense about everything around me: the way a street is going, a house is built, a car’s lines, placement of trees etc., but I don’t spend money on metro products as David Becham and Brad Pitt! One of the reasons this word annoys me is, I guess, the construction of the word. Why metro? I am sure there are some vain people in small communities, too. And when I hear the word, first thing I think of is that it is someone who’s having sex in a subway (metro). That is a subjective matter and a matter of language, I know, but nevertheless I do not prefer using the term. Every time I say ‘metrosexual‘ I feel a little stupid. By the way, here’s a word for a person with a strong aesthetic sense for everything – metroactual. That’s me.
“Pis og papir!”
This is Danish, and it literally means “piss and paper!”. It is used when you are angry or disappointed in a moment. Actually, I had a lot to say on this one, but somehow it’s all gone now in shit and stone.
“At feje for egen dør”
To sweep one’s own door. This phrase is used to tell someone that he should first take a look at himself before he criticizes others. This belongs to annoying clichés, and it annoys me immensely. It should be possible to criticize someone without taking a look at your own deeds.
“Undskyld mig, men…”
Many Danes have this very innocent, yet irritating habit of apologizing for almost everything – “I am sorry, but I think it’s an extremely stupid idea!” Why apologizing for something you are about to say? I believe it has to do with Danes’ efforts not to hurt their opponent’s feelings. Some kind of fear of confrontation or clashophobia. 🙂 Forget about it! ‘Be frank, honest and not so gentle’ is my motto regarding discussions.
“Lije kao iz kabla”
This Bosnian idiom can be literally translated as “It pours like from a cable” or more correctly “It’s raining cats and dogs” in English. I never understood it. I remember when I was nine or ten. I was sitting in a classroom and one of my classmates was reading his story to the whole class. At some point he read “… and it was pouring like from a cable”. I remember how the entire class laughed its ass off. It sounds stupid, and it is stupid.
This goes for English, too, because it means “collateral damage”. Idiotic! Why not just write “innocent victims”, because that’s what it is all about? I am sure this is used a lot by military in times of war, I mean, conflict. To me, it is just a euphemism, the ‘beautification’ of truth. I believe the phrase was declared the worst one by German linguists in 1999.
“Mi smo investirali…”
Amra reminded me of this phrase, which means “we have invested in…” and it counts for all languages. I don’t like when one says: “I have invested in this toilet paper.” I don’t like it, because you cannot have any profit out of this purchase, at least not in money. It is possible that I am pretty picky about it, but by investing I understand that you buy something in order to make some (financial) profit, and you don’t do it when you invest time in your children, invest in pizza or toilet paper. If you asked me, I would use this word solely in the financial world, the Wall Street etc.
There are many more words and phrases I find annoying, but these are the ones I could think of right now. It’s quite realistic that more volumes will come in the future.
By the way, it’s only fair to name my favorite phrase at the moment: “Give ’em hell!”