Monday, June 29, 2009

The stupid way people talk

As a writer, and a customer service rep, I try to pay attention to speech. I pay attention to my own speech to make sure I'm not saying "um" and "okay" and other such things all the time.





I pay attention to other people so I can make better dialogue in my writing. Unfortunately, that means that I sometimes have to suffer through the things they say. And some of those things make my very skin crawl.





"Do what now?" This has to be one of the worst phrases. Especially because people don't use it to clarify the command I gave them. It's usually in response to a question. "So, what's going on?" "Do what now?" Grr.





"Cut if on/off." Cut it off is vaguely appropriate. Vaguely. But cut it on drives me up a wall. Do you even know what you mean?



"Plug it up." "Mash them buttons." *screams* Seriously, do you know what you're doing to the language? I feel like English should just be put out of its misery. Or these speakers should be put out of English's misery.



And that's just the way my customers talk. Some of my co-workers are just as bad.



There's one guy who says "go ahead", "going ahead", and such variations for everything. Even things that are completely incorrect. "Yeah, we can go ahead and do this." "Once I do this you'll be able to go ahead and..." "The sky is blue, so if we go ahead and look, you can see there are clouds up there." And other ridiculous shit. And it's all the time. It's not like an occasional thing. It makes me cringe every time I hear it. It's worse than when people say "um" in the middle of everything.



I'm sometimes amazed at how ignorant and stupid people can sound. Not just that they don't speak eloquently, like the old Civil War letters that always get played on the History channel. I mean down right stupid, like they never learned to talk. I have to struggle not to snap at people when they can't articulate something simple, like telling me what their phone does something when they try to make a call.



As my roomie would put it, "Use your words to express your thoughts and ideas."



Unfortunately, that just doesn't exist with the majority of Americans I have to talk to.

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