Before You Use that Idiom…Read This!

Idioms are really beginning to bother me. Whenever I  hear one used it completely interrupts my train of thought. It becomes cause for me to start thinking about the silliness of the idiom and how inaccurate the context it was used in was. I know people think they’re just being creative in how they get their point across, but I was under the impression that the best way to communicate effectively is by being clear and direct.

Life and my attention span are too short for me to deal with idioms. I have to make conscious efforts to engage in active listening. No  matter how hard I try to keep listening to the person who spews out a lousy idiom, once they’ve derailed my train of thought it makes it difficult for me to even care what their point might have been. It completely ruins things for me and I begin questioning the speaker’s intelligence. It’s bad enough Jesus spoke in parables I don’t need average people trying to spice up their discourse. I prefer for people to get straight to the point and just say exactly what they mean. When and why did it become preferable to be indirect?

Anything prefaced with “I’m not going to beat around the bush here” is a LIE! and I hate lies. By saying that phrase they already essentially did beat around the non existent bush instead of just coming out with it (and by “it” I mean their point). I also don’t comprehend why people open with “To be honest with you” do they realize they’re insinuating that their natural inclination other times is to not be honest?

Earlier this week, during a boring webinar on organizational strategic planning I was desperately trying to pay attention and not doze off. The presenter said something about not throwing the baby out with the bath water in the process of establishing your strategic initiatives. I can’t, for the life of me, tell you what he said for the next 5 minutes because I stopped hearing him and began wondering who the heck threw their baby out with the bathwater to inspire this gem? I know it’s an old saying, but why has it become so popular? Why are we benchmarking our actions against an idiot who threw their baby out with the bathwater? I would never EVER throw a baby out with the bathwater so I don’t appreciate being advised to avoid doing so.

Have you ever described how difficult something was by saying “it was no walk in the park”? Why do we assume that walks in the park are easy and/or pleasant? What if you’re walking in a park in snowy, cold weather uphill with a broken ankle. Are you correlating your comparison to THAT walk in the park? No…so just stop it and say what you mean! Say “That was challenging” or “That wasn’t pleasant” the effect is the damn same and far less irritating.

What’s your favorite or least favorite Idiom?

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