Saturday February 7, 2004

Catch a Phrase

[ Today's meme is courtesy of Past, Present, Future Round 51 ]
PAST: Pick a memorable catchprase or classic utterance from your youth. And, of course, share it with the class.

PRESENT: What's a catchphrase that you probably use just a bit too often nowadays?

FUTURE: Give us a bit of something for the ages. Give us a saying, catchphrase or silly bit of verbage that you'd love to see enter the cultural lexicon.

When I was in High School, the Classic (original) Star Trek was in re-runs at 4:30 every afternoon and I was rather, ahem, obsessed. I found myself saying "FAScinating" a lot. Quite a lot. Too much. It was getting to me. I worked diligently to break myself of the habit.

Probably because of that High School experience, I try to watch my speech patterns and excise any phrases I use "a bit too often". That said, I probably overuse "cool" as a generic exclamatory adjective. I need to work harder on finding original responses.

As for the lexicon... the cultural lexicon really doesn't need any help from me. If I could, I'd remove a few phrases, starting with "I'm like..." and "he was all...". Other than that, there are a few phrases I personally have a predilection for; I'd love to see more people use them, if only because at least two of them are meant to engender some thought.

Spouse and self are rather fond of a French phrase, esprit d'escalier, literally "the spirit of the staircase". It describes that witty rejoinder you think of on the way down the stairs and away. The meaning of the phrase incorporates the perfection of the response with the regret at having thought of it too late to utter it.

One of my favorite catchphrases for use at work is "Exactly what are you trying to accomplish?" This isn't meant to be rude, but rather to cause the other persn to think a little more and thus define (and focus) his or her requirements and scope more narrowly.

Third is a phrase my sister used quite a bit on one of her previous visits. This was "...and you're teling me this because...?" I rather liked it. It's pithy and to the point. And it does rather make the other person think "why am I telling you this?"

So, get your thoughts in order. Decide esxactly what it is you wish to accomplish. Understand why you're telling me this. And, if all else fails, perhaps you'll think of the perfect response on your way out. If not, that's cool.

Catch a Phrase ( in category Memes & Prompts , Verbatim ) - posted at Sat, 07 Feb, 22:47 Pacific | «e»