Thursday, 11 July 2013

There's Nothing Worse

I've always had a fascination with sayings and expressions because, to be honest, most of them are bloody ridiculous.

More Truth Than You Can Shake A Stick At.

One of my favourite expressions is 'More [insert word] than you can shake a stick at'.  Now I've experimented with this and I haven't yet found anything that is in such large quantities that you couldn't shake a stick at it.  More importantly, why would you want to shake a stick at something to gauge it's size?  Surely counting them or using a standard form of measurement would suffice in determining volume.

And this is made even more ridiculous when used in an attempt to quantify the unquantifiable.  'Fun' for example.  There is no unit of measure for fun, nor will there ever be, and it certainly isn't possible to shake a stick at it.

'Fun' is comparable however.  Playing a game of Twister is much more fun than a swift kick in the soft and danglies for example, and giving birth is much less fun - so I have been informed - than the conception (although this may vary from one relationship to another).  So to make the statement "We had more fun than you can shake a stick at" is wrong on so many levels. Oh, and nobody has ever stated how big the stick should be either.

The Swinging Pussycat Club

Another classic is "Not enough room to swing a cat".  Obviously this must have derived from an extremely sadistic animal hater but when considered logically it misses some fundamental points.  For example, how is this form of measurement calibrated, what are the standards employed and what methods should be used?

Now I know that you can achieve a pretty tight turning circle with a cat so these things need more consideration, as follows:-

To start with, is a standard sized cat required and within what level of tolerance? (e.g. 4kg+\- 10%)

Do you hold the cat by its head, its tail or its feet?

Do you employ a full arm swing from the shoulder or a small pivot from the elbow?

What is the standard length of arm needed to conduct the swing - do you employ a child or
Lennox Lewis? (reach of 84")

Does there need to be complete clearance of walls and ceiling or does a slight brush of the whiskers count as making the room adequate size?

There are other questions too, recently raised on BBCs excellent programme QI, which add weight to my concerns.

So I implore you, if you need to know the exact dimensions of your room, a standard tape measure will be perfectly adequate until such time as these questions are answered.

Old Is Best (apparently)

One saying, "Keep Calm and Carry On", first introduced by the UK government in 1939 as a motivational poster, has recently reared its head as retro chic.  At the time of its inception there was an ever present threat of invasion, rationing was in place and life was pretty grim.  These days we're told to "Keep Calm and Drink Coffee", "Keep Calm and Eat a Banana", "Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake", "Keep Calm and Go Shopping" and I can't help but see the irony in this as all of these activities were virtually impossible in wartime Britain.

There is nothing that gets under my skin more - with the exception of Michael Gove - than a 'witty' "Keep Calm" poster, or mug, or t-shirt, or apron, or iPhone cover, or Blackberry cover, or key ring, or rucksack, or wallpaper, or mouse mat, or cushion, or notebook, or shortbread (that's right people, shortbread), or tea-towel, or coasters, or book mark, or (well you get the point).  If anything, these parodies keep me less than calm. And the thing that really winds me up - I can't think of a suitable "Keep Calm" saying of my own that I could ironically use to counteract this.


And there are other sayings that are just simply pointless.  "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs" is one.  Why would you even attempt to make an omelette without first breaking the egg?  Now I'm no culinary expert but surely that omelet would be pretty hard to swallow and probably result in Gordon F*@king Ramsey calling you "a f*@king useless f*@king moron who has the f*@king audacity to f*@king call himself a f*@king chef." Not worth the risk in my book.

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" is another pointless saying.  I don't know about you but I don't want a bird in my hand, as they carry all sorts of diseases and surely the bush is their natural habitat where they are much more likely to thrive. And if I really wanted two birds I'd nip to the frozen meat cabinets at Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and pick up a couple of frozen chickens.

The Last Place

Talking of pointless, how many times has someone said to you "oh isn't it always the way when you've lost something? It's always in the last place you look".  Of course it is, you plank.  Why would you even consider carrying on with your search once you've found what you're looking for? Can you imagine the conversation?

"Did you find your keys?"

"Yes they were in my penultimate pocket."

But my favourite ridiculous expression of all time has to be "Ooh there's nothing worse is there?". Apparently, and usually according to post menopausal women of a certain age, nothing is worse than the event they are currently describing.

Day 1

Post menopausal woman 1 - "I slipped on the ice and banged my knee".

Post menopausal woman 2 - "Ooh there's nothing worse is there?"

Day 2

Post menopausal woman 1 - "I made a cup of tea this morning and the milk was off"

Post menopausal woman 2 - "Ooh there's nothing worse is there?"

And the biggest killer of all on Day 3

Post menopausal woman 1 - "I gave myself a paper-cut today, look"

Post menopausal woman 2 - "Ooh there's nothing worse is there?"

Now, I'll admit that paper-cuts are not high on my list of things to inflict upon myself but there are plenty of worse things in this world.  I would start another rambling list to back this up but I'll leave it to you, dear reader to come up with your own thoughts on that one.

So remember people, before you use a phrase, give it some thought because - "at the end of the day" gets dark, and the shops shut.

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1 comment:

  1. Excellent and it worked i posted