What it says on the tin July 21, 2014 8:06 AM   Subscribe

I don't like the "does what it says on the tin" phrase, such as employed by this recent post. Mostly, I just feel like it's overused. There have, however, been posts where I didn't understand what they were about and the description that it "does what it says on the tin" did not help. I think we can come up with better descriptions. For example, in this post, maybe a pull-quote of a helpful tip or something.

Also, I looked it up and this phrase originated in an ad. I'm, like, allergic to ads. Or maybe they're against my religious beliefs. Something like that.

Also, it's Monday and I'm apparently grouchy for no good reason?
posted by Galaxor Nebulon to MetaFilter-Related at 8:06 AM (258 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This previous MetaTalk post does what it says on the tin.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:22 AM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


And this one.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:22 AM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


This previous MetaTalk post does what it says on the tin.

haha, was just about to say "yeah, those annoy me, too" and "surely there has already been a metatalk on this."

Imagine my surprise when I click through and see IT WAS ME.

The metatalk is coming from inside the house.
posted by phunniemee at 8:24 AM on July 21, 2014 [78 favorites]


And EIP also agrees with you.
posted by zamboni at 8:24 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, it's Monday and I'm apparently grouchy for no good reason?

It can't hurt to ask.

But as you can see, two previous requests haven't stopped the phrase from appearing in Mefi posts.
posted by zarq at 8:32 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Imagine my surprise when I click through and see IT WAS ME.

Wait until you get an idea for a post for the Blue, start preparing one and then check for doubles... only to find out that not only has what you're working on been posted previously, but you were the one who did so.

They say the mind is the first thing to go....
posted by zarq at 8:36 AM on July 21, 2014 [17 favorites]


Mostly, I just feel like it's overused.

What a fabulous reason for everyone to stop doing what they want to do and accommodate your whims instead!
posted by toomuchpete at 8:43 AM on July 21, 2014 [46 favorites]


I'm, like, allergic to ads. Or maybe they're against my religious beliefs. Something like that.
Neither, nor grouchy, more twee. *hugs*
posted by unliteral at 8:45 AM on July 21, 2014


Also, it's Monday and I'm apparently grouchy for no good reason?

Seems like its being Monday is a good reason.
posted by Jahaza at 8:50 AM on July 21, 2014


What if these posts are harboring secret botulism?
I did not see the tin, did you see the tin?
Did you check the tin for bulges?
There's just no way to know.
Safety first, guys.
posted by phunniemee at 8:50 AM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


What a fabulous reason for everyone to stop doing what they want to do and accommodate your whims instead!

I don't have a strong opinion on "does what is says on the tin" one way or the other (though I'd lean slightly towards keeping it in use judiciously, as my totally uninformed opinion is that it generally gets its point across) ... nonetheless, this seems like a reasonable request made in a space where such requests are meant to be posted. Perhaps we can dial back the unfriendliness a bit?
posted by DingoMutt at 8:51 AM on July 21, 2014 [29 favorites]


While I empathize with feeling annoyed by phrasing (though not this one in particular), it's been my experience here on MeFi and with language in general that requests to prescriptively alter language rarely if ever achieve the desired change.
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:58 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Imma let you finish but "special snowflake details inside" is the most annoying Metafilter phrase of all time.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:58 AM on July 21, 2014 [83 favorites]


Somewhat relatedly, are there still people who zero out titles, so these things are totally impenetrable to them, or have those people succumbed?
posted by Etrigan at 8:58 AM on July 21, 2014


Also, if anyone is looking for a smile this morning, those previous metas were pretty amusing.
posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on July 21, 2014


Do you have examples of people using this in places where the meaning isn't clear? The one post you linked is clearly not an example of that and otherwise, this seems like asking people to change their posting style for no reason other than that you don't like a particular turn of phrase, which is really not a good reason.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:01 AM on July 21, 2014


Admiral Haddock: Imma let you finish but "special snowflake details inside" is the most annoying Metafilter phrase of all time.

It's a toss up between that and "grar" or "fighty". Well anything that has a "y" added on that end that shouldn't, really.
posted by gman at 9:03 AM on July 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Tins aren't made with tin anymore.
posted by ODiV at 9:04 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


"special snowflake details inside" is the most annoying Metafilter phrase of all time

The most annoying Metafilter phrase of all time is the "Countdown to {something} in 3.. 2.. 1..." thing. It's the one phrase that makes me want to rant incoherently for a bit and then punch the person who said it several times. And if you're the kind of right-minded individual I think you are, you'll surely agree.
posted by pipeski at 9:04 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Somewhat relatedly, are there still people who zero out titles, so these things are totally impenetrable to them, or have those people succumbed?

I've succumbed. I was using a Chrome script to hide them, and then Chrome disabled scripts that hadn't come through the Chrome store, and I got used to the titles before I got motivated enough to do anything to fix it.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:05 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like "hoppitamoppita"

There's something muppetly onomatopoeic about it.
posted by zarq at 9:06 AM on July 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


Also, it's Monday and I'm apparently grouchy for no good reason?

Rub one out, that'll relax you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:07 AM on July 21, 2014


I'm okay with the tin as long as you post whatever was in the title in the post too because I don't use titles on the front page, like any right thinking person.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:08 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Tins aren't made with tin anymore.

what
posted by zarq at 9:08 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


What do you think is going to happen here? What do you want to happen here? Do you have some sort of fantasy that "the community" will read your complaint, have a group facepalm, say "My God, he's right! It's an awful, awful, inexcusable phrase, not a wry little nod to an awful, awful inexcusable ad, and certainly not just a handy shorthand for 'really, not much else to say about this' "? And then, ever after, the community will march forth, never again using this terrible phrase that annoys you so much? Is that your expectation? If not, why are you bothering? Just to let everyone know that there's this phrase that you don't like, even though others clearly do? If so, mission accomplished, sir!
posted by Decani at 9:09 AM on July 21, 2014 [16 favorites]


Wait until you get an idea for a post for the Blue, start preparing one and then check for doubles... only to find out that not only has what you're working on been posted previously, but you were the one who did so.
It has happened.
posted by unliteral at 9:09 AM on July 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


*In my defense, can any of YOU remember what you were doing last July? I thought not.
posted by jonson at 8:20 PM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite +] [!]


HA! :D
posted by zarq at 9:12 AM on July 21, 2014


What do you think is going to happen here?

It's pretty clear he wants to ask the community to consider making more descriptive posts because he perceives that they are higher quality.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:14 AM on July 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


Somewhat relatedly, are there still people who zero out titles, so these things are totally impenetrable to them, or have those people succumbed?

I hide titles, so I just skip the posts that don't make sense without them.
posted by lalex at 9:20 AM on July 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


And while you're at it, please stop using the letter "J". It really bugs me. I don't know why.
posted by briank at 9:20 AM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ooh ooh is this where I can complain about how using 'previouslier' and its variations are a surefire way to get me to skip over a post?
posted by item at 9:22 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's not just overused. It's like not posting any description at all, and a post with no description should be deleted.
posted by pracowity at 9:22 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


And then, ever after, the community will march forth, never again using this terrible phrase that annoys you so much?

We've had many discussions about language and specific words or phrases in MetaTalk over the years. They're usually pretty civil. Some conversations have more successfully discouraged use than others.

There's no harm in us talking about this particular term. There's no real down side. No one will be told, 'you can never, ever say this again.' And by contrast if the OP hears, 'That's just you' then that's a valuable perspective to gain, too.
posted by zarq at 9:22 AM on July 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Somewhat relatedly, are there still people who zero out titles, so these things are totally impenetrable to them, or have those people succumbed?

Yes, me.
posted by threeants at 9:24 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Did we just witness a complaint so over-the-top it made Decani's response look reasonable?
posted by ominous_paws at 9:27 AM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


No, no we did not.
posted by phunniemee at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


I still have titles zeroed out. Mostly I find impenetrable post text amusing, and I have pathological levels of bored, so I hover.
posted by you must supply a verb at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


to ask the community to consider making more descriptive posts because he perceives that they are higher quality.

Which is a claim that can be decoupled from an expression of grouchy discontent with a particular phrase.

The question of descriptiveness in post language is an interesting one to consider. Personally I enjoy the different levels of descriptiveness currently at play. It seems as though variables including the subject of a post and how the poster wants to introduce it to their audience will generally produce descriptiveness that occurs along a spectrum from detailed to mystery meat.
posted by audi alteram partem at 9:35 AM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


eliminate ALL the hackneyed phrases!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:36 AM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's not just overused. It's like not posting any description at all, and a post with no description should be deleted.

How is this true? The "what it says on the tin" is generally a reference to the post title or page title and is indicating that it is, in and of itself, sufficiently descriptive. In the example post, had the poster literally just posted it as "Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy" what would have been missing from that that would have made it deletable?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:37 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


No, just no.
and
This.
and
Full stop.

Are the ones that drive me crazy. I bet some kind mefite who knows their way around greasemonkey could write a script that deletes the six words preceeding "tin". Maybe even replace it with "this is a place for mining". Or anything said by the tin woodsman in the Wizard of Oz. Or a quote from Pushing Tin. The possibilities are fun.

And if the whole internet misplaced "nope" little would be lost.
posted by vapidave at 9:40 AM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


How is this true? The "what it says on the tin" is generally a reference to the post title or page title and is indicating that it is, in and of itself, sufficiently descriptive.

Looking back at the post, I think it's more, "If it speaks for itself let it, cause the phrase is getting annoying. Otherwise, be more descriptive if you need to be."
posted by Drinky Die at 9:41 AM on July 21, 2014


I'm collecting all of these and will make an awesome post at 5:54pm EST today.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:44 AM on July 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


And if the whole internet misplaced "nope" little would be lost

I beg to differ.
posted by zarq at 9:46 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


By the way, I think the FPP in question was edited by a mod to be clearer. I'm pretty sure it originally just said "does what it says on the tin" because I remember it being impenetrable and passing over it.
posted by threeants at 9:46 AM on July 21, 2014


are there still people who zero out titles

Yes, absolutely.

I also don't like the tin.

And I really hate "Fixed That For You" even more than how the kids say "No Problem" instead of "You're Welcome."
posted by Rash at 9:48 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


And if the whole internet misplaced "nope" little would be lost

I beg to differ.


I just imagine every one of them being said in the style of Lana Kane.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:51 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm going to start using "does what is says in the title of this post" just to mess with people who hide titles.
posted by terrapin at 9:53 AM on July 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


I have a cliché under my mattress.
posted by y2karl at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2014


eliminate ALL the hackneyed phrases!

but how will people communicate if we did that.

we'll be back to grunting and using clubs made of bone for punctuation.
posted by winna at 10:03 AM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


pracowity: "It's like not posting any description at all, and a post with no description should be deleted."

Respectfully disagree. Lots of posts just feature a pull quote or the headline of the linked piece, and they are perfectly acceptable.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:04 AM on July 21, 2014


This phrase isn't one of my pet peeves except that it misses an opportunity to tell me more about a site, so I might end up skipping something great.

Relatedly, if you have a lawn - I mean a real lawn, not a metaphorical get-off-my lawn - do check out that site. It is a pretty great site.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:09 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


we'll be back to grunting and using clubs made of bone for punctuation.

I'm already there with the grunting... no, wait, perhaps I shouldn't be telling you this...
posted by marienbad at 10:11 AM on July 21, 2014


What's interesting is how many of us now use "what it says on the tin" as a fixed phrase, though we'd never say "tin" (instead of "can"/"box"/"package") or refer to a "tinned" product in any other circumstance.
posted by RogerB at 10:13 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


DWISOTT

Apparently has been used here 4 times before, dating back to late 2009.
posted by jamjam at 10:14 AM on July 21, 2014


pracowity: It's not just overused. It's like not posting any description at all, and a post with no description should be deleted.

There's a long and storied tradition of "Mystery Meat" posts on MeFi. You certainly don't see them as much as you used to, but I think they have their place.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:14 AM on July 21, 2014


ODiV: Tins aren't made with tin anymore.

Well, as of 2007, "tin plate is the common material used for metal cans," though there are tin-free options for coating steel (Google books). Also, there are examples of the term "tin" being used instead of the actual metal, such as tin vs aluminum foil. Fun fact: since 1958, beer has been packaged in aluminum cans; before that, it was tin-coated steel or bottles.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:15 AM on July 21, 2014


Somebody needs to update Politics and the English Language for the internet era.

lolotics?
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:15 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have titles ensmallened to about half the size of the rest of the text so I can ignore them if I want to but they're still there if I need clarification.

i too hate the snowflakes and the tin, i hiss angrily every time i see them
posted by elizardbits at 10:18 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


God, can I not just post my long held misconceptions without being corrected anymore?

What is the Internet coming to? Next you'll tell me it's not even made from tubes.
posted by ODiV at 10:18 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


but how will people communicate if we did that.

we'll be back to grunting and using clubs made of bone for punctuation.


I for one would consider this to be an improvement
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:19 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


This phrase isn't one of my pet peeves except that it misses an opportunity to tell me more about a site, so I might end up skipping something great.

Except that the phrase isn't content-free. It's point is to say "no further descriptive elaboration is required: if you are thinking 'organic lawn-care for the cheap and lazy' is maybe the name of a band or a euphemistic title for an article on unlicensed pubic-hair groomers or what have you, cease your wondering: it is simply an article on organic lawn-care for the cheap and lazy."

"Does what it says on the tin" is actually the exact opposite, functionally, of "mystery meat" posts. It's a meta-message saying "once you have read the description, you will know exactly what you'll get once you click on the link."
posted by yoink at 10:19 AM on July 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


It only irks me in the way Americans co-opting British phrasings to look cute or worldly or something irks me. No worries! Cheers!
posted by bleep at 10:20 AM on July 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


> I'm collecting all of these and will make an awesome post at 5:54pm EST today

For your list: Should I stay or should I go?
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:25 AM on July 21, 2014


It only irks me in the way Americans co-opting British phrasings to look cute or worldly or something irks me.

Mind the gap in explanatory framing for this post!
Bob's your uncle and I asked him and he approves of this post!
posted by phunniemee at 10:27 AM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't like it since it's often a pretentious faux-brit affectation. If you're American, it's not a tin, it's a can.
posted by jonmc at 10:42 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


No worries is a pretty useful phrase. Although it's a bit of a puzzler why you'd say it was British - it's as Australian as Foster's and dingoes eating babies.
posted by winna at 10:43 AM on July 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Somewhat relatedly, are there still people who zero out titles, so these things are totally impenetrable to them, or have those people succumbed?

I am still here. It puts a bit of thought-provoking mystery into my day when I read AskMes that -- lacking title and before I read the [more inside] -- seem to be questions like, "Or are there other options?" or "I read it in the mid-eighties. Any help?" or that sort of thing.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:45 AM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's kind of implying that I was worrying, when more than likely I wasn't. Don't tell me what to do!
And fine, "Commonwealth phrasings", but it's the same spirit.
posted by bleep at 10:46 AM on July 21, 2014


Ah! That makes sense.

I'm always worrying, so I tend to assume everyone else has a tidily-organized worry list in their heads.

Today's list includes but is not limited to why the eggs I bought last week peeled so easily and what happens when you overdose on Tums.
posted by winna at 10:53 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: i too hate the snowflakes and the tin, i hiss angrily every time i see them

I do the same when people purposely don't use capitalization or punctuation.
posted by gman at 10:54 AM on July 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


The Big Red Nope Button is my favorite gif ever, so I say keep "nope" around just because of that.

I'm pretty tolerant of other people's language tics, but for some reason

This.

bothers me. And if you start your comment with "Meh" I immediately stop reading. Luckily it's mostly died out on MeFi.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:57 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Uh, how about if I start my comment with uh?
posted by ODiV at 11:04 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


You're Jeff Goldblum?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:04 AM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


sorry gman, i wll let my physical therapist know that the loss of feeling in my left arm is inconveniencing you on the internet, it's gonna be my first priority from now on, okay?
posted by elizardbits at 11:17 AM on July 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


"Parse" gives me a rash. I learned it here but I could happily have lived my whole life without it.

I didn't know "does exactly what it says on the tin" was a thing outside the UK, so it pleases me that it's used here.

yes im easily amused so what

sorry gman
posted by billiebee at 11:18 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


The thing about trash is that it does what it says on the bin.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:18 AM on July 21, 2014


winna: "why the eggs I bought last week peeled so easily "

The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs
posted by zamboni at 11:19 AM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hey now, the Airing of Grievances is only allowed after the traditional Festivus meal and we haven't eaten yet, nor seen the Feats of Strength.

Also, it ain't Festivus.
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


love too get mad at other peoples tic's online
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:34 AM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Two trendy words I'd like to see less often are unpack and curate. (Unless it's in the context of the vicar having just received a new tea set in the post.)
posted by pracowity at 11:34 AM on July 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


Was something in the gman / elizardbits exchange deleted that would have made it make sense?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:36 AM on July 21, 2014


Gman, knock it off. This isn't the place for you to air whatever your latest personal grievance is. If you want to talk about yourself, start your own thread.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:37 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's a shift key on the right side of the keyboard too.
posted by item at 11:37 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


A whole bunch of comments were just deleted, yes.
posted by zarq at 11:37 AM on July 21, 2014


hell i do that for comedic effect
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:37 AM on July 21, 2014


Important safety tip: when replying to a pretty awful comment, wait a while first to see if it stays up.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2014


There's a shift key on the right side of the keyboard too.

Which would slow down one-handed typing considerably.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


If you're American, it's not a tin, it's a can.

"Does what it says on the can" sounds kind of scatological.
posted by BibiRose at 11:41 AM on July 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


"Does what it says on the tin," is actually from Isadore of Seville's Etymologiae: Quod in vase scriptum facit.

(/not real Latin)
posted by Thing at 11:41 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey! Why you'd mods delete my comment about where all the gold is?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:42 AM on July 21, 2014


Does what it says on the EZ-Open Pouch™
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:42 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs

zamboni, that article is part of why I am confused. I boiled the eggs in question cold start, let them sit in the near-boiling water for ten minutes, then plunged them into tepid water, but the shells peeled off almost entire with one tap. It was a perfect peel. Perhaps it was aliens or Mercury in retrograde.
posted by winna at 11:43 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Does what it says on the can" sounds kind of scatological.

I believe you're thinking of this.
posted by yoink at 11:43 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: Hey! Why you'd mods delete my comment about where all the gold is?!

Because since the recent changes here, shit's been getting deleted in MetaTalk as if the background colour on my screen were green and not grey.
posted by gman at 11:49 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh. The mods must be Canadian now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:53 AM on July 21, 2014


Because since the recent changes here, shit's been getting deleted in MetaTalk as if the background colour on my screen were green and not grey.

I don't know what was in the deleted comments, but this sort of reads like "man the mods took away my venue for unmoderated free-for-alls, where can I say whatever I want to NOW?"
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:53 AM on July 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


If you're American, it's not a tin, it's a can.

True, unless it's an Altoids tin. Which is exactly the mental image I get every single time I hear "Does what it says on the tin."
posted by marsha56 at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey! Why you'd mods delete my comment about where all the gold is?!

I can't tell if you're kidding or not, but none of your comments have been deleted in this thread, Brandon.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2014


I think it's a potentially concerning change of policy, myself.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, sorry mods, I should have flagged instead of responding (I just figured because it was MeTa things were likely to stay up).

That said, because of my rush to respond (twice!) I now have two deleted MetaTalk comments which makes me feel like a dangerous rebel so I've got that going for me, which is nice.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


eliminate ALL the hackneyed phrases!

kill the clichés with fire
posted by threeants at 11:55 AM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


I can't tell if you're kidding or not, but none of your comments have been deleted in this thread, Brandon.

I am almost always kidding in MetaTalk. Seriously.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:57 AM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


True, unless it's an Altoids tin. Which is exactly the mental image I get every single time I hear "Does what it says on the tin."

Yeah, I never hear reclosable metal containers with fitted lids called "cans" in the US. The term is only more common than "tin" because single-use where's-the-opener kind are overwhelmingly more common, but the kind you actually keep are called "tins" here as well, at least as far as I've noticed.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:58 AM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


True, unless it's an Altoids tin. Which is exactly the mental image I get every single time I hear "Does what it says on the tin."

So, last time I was home, mom asks for a mint.
I give her an altoid.
She says, "wow, this mint is really strong!"
"Would you say that it's...curiously strong?" I ask.
Mom gives me a strange look, "yes, yes I suppose I would."
I'm sitting there like this, she's looking at me side-eyed.
Brother walks in from the other room, sees us eating something, asks for one of whatever it is, I give him an altoid.
He says, "wow, this is a strong mint!"
Mom says, "would you say that it's...curiously strong?"
Brother looks at me, I'm still all, brother laughs and says, "oh is this an altoid?"
Brother and I chuckle.
Mom blurts out, "I DON'T GET IT WHY IS THIS FUNNY!??!"

This was at Christmas, and she was the one who put tins of altoids in our stockings.
posted by phunniemee at 12:04 PM on July 21, 2014 [40 favorites]


I think it's a potentially concerning change of policy, myself.

The mods infrequently delete comments that attack other users. I've had at least one deleted in MeTa for that reason, but that was a few years ago.
posted by zarq at 12:07 PM on July 21, 2014


There are only a few types of MetaTalk threads

Those that belong to the moderators
Repeated ones
Those that are trained
Suckling pigs
Mermaids (or Sirens)
Fabulous ones
Strawmen
Those that are included in this classification
Those that tremble as if they were mad
Innumerable ones
Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
Et cetera
Those that have just broken the no new MeTa spree
Those that, at a distance, resemble fights
posted by The Whelk at 12:10 PM on July 21, 2014 [24 favorites]


I think it's a potentially concerning change of policy, myself.

I thought the "don't be an asshole" policy was fairly well established.
posted by billiebee at 12:11 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


kill the clichés with fire

I don't always use formulaic phrases online



but when I do, I use the ones everyone has seen at least 10,000 times
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:11 PM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


billiebee: "I thought the "don't be an asshole" policy was fairly well established."

Yes, I'm aware that MeTa comments could potentially be deleted in the past for serious dickishness, but I feel like the tolerance level has dropped a good bit lately. Understandable, with the staffing changes but I think it can be taken too far.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:14 PM on July 21, 2014


zarq: The mods infrequently delete comments that attack other users. I've had at least one deleted in MeTa for that reason, but that was a few years ago.

I've probably had a dozen deleted this week from MeTa alone. Now, I can be a dick, but no more so this week than any other. I'd love to see a count of deleted MeTa comments in the past month versus the same time last year to compare because maybe I'm imagining things.
posted by gman at 12:17 PM on July 21, 2014


I suppose I just look at these overused phrases a bit more charitably than those who get their panties in a twist over them. i imagine the posters are just trying to use some insider language to gain instant acceptance by those who they deem to be the cool kids, while the cool kids are over here in the corner mocking them for being trite. such is life.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:18 PM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Quick frankly, Metafilter seems to have had enough of dicks and now wants most, if not all, of them cut.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:20 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Time to create a GIF where cats pop out of a can of beans.
posted by Pudhoho at 12:21 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've probably had a dozen deleted this week from MeTa alone. Now, I can be a dick, but no more so this week than any other.

Doctor, it hurts when I do this.
posted by phunniemee at 12:23 PM on July 21, 2014 [21 favorites]


Funny, I was just reading this askme about the bozo filter / hellban / twit bit.

...um, hello? Hellooo-o...
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:24 PM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


i came out to be a dick and i'm honestly feeling so attacked right now
posted by zombieflanders at 12:27 PM on July 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


Sigh.
posted by bq at 12:42 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Harumph.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:43 PM on July 21, 2014


Sorry are you more of an ass man?

Place the comma wherever it suits you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:44 PM on July 21, 2014


Yeah, I never hear reclosable metal containers with fitted lids called "cans" in the US. [...] the kind you actually keep are called "tins" here as well, at least as far as I've noticed.

Really? Maybe it's a regionalism or something; this definitely isn't the case in my NY-derived dialect. The reclosable metal container of mints/gum/whatever for me would probably be a "box" or a "package." I always took it to be a specific consequence of Altoids' British marketing image that people make an exception for their "tins."
posted by RogerB at 12:48 PM on July 21, 2014


I've probably had a dozen deleted this week from MeTa alone. Now, I can be a dick, but no more so this week than any other. I'd love to see a count of deleted MeTa comments in the past month versus the same time last year to compare because maybe I'm imagining things.

Things have changed since last year. The site has less mod coverage, and those who are on duty at any given time are more likely to delete than let something stand that could turn into a nasty argument. They don't have the manpower to deal with those.

Perhaps the bar has been raised. But if so, then it's out of necessity and (I'm guessing) not against you personally.
posted by zarq at 12:53 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


It has nothing to do with Altoids, there is a rich history in the US of products being sold in tins, see, for example, Tobacco Tins.
posted by mlis at 1:10 PM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Really interesting, mlis. That makes me doubt the accuracy of my intuition a bit on this, but I'm tentatively still guessing that it's either/both a Southern regionalism or a word that's aged out of use in some places — I am pretty sure in my dialect those things are called tobacco cans. But maybe I just don't hang out with enough smokers, or perhaps my dialect is the odd one out and the rest of the US talks about tins more than I ever realized.
posted by RogerB at 1:21 PM on July 21, 2014


Another common use of things-that-could-be-called-tins in the U.S. was Band-Aids, and I don't think I ever heard one of those called anything but a "box," in the West, South, Northeast, or Midwest.
posted by Etrigan at 1:27 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


One exception is film cans -- still or motion. They meet every distinction necessary to be called "tins" but I've only ever heard them called "cans" in the U.S. Not so cookie tins, popcorn tins, antique gunpowder tins...
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:29 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I remember the joke being 'do you have Prince Albert in a can?', which seems to agree with RogerB... But also I grew up with 'cookie tins' so I have the sense that reclosable metal things that you put things in are tins.

Ooh, yeah. Also Band-Aid box. I remember all of those.
posted by you must supply a verb at 1:30 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's disconcerting so many of you are engaged in a struggle about a few simple phrases when there is a very real war to be fought on behalf of the Oxford comma.
posted by barchan at 1:35 PM on July 21, 2014 [28 favorites]


Ebay confirms "band aid tin" is more common than "band aid box." It also confirms that "tobacco tin" is overwhelmingly more common than "tobacco can." (I recommend searching on "'tobacco tin' -can" and "'tobacco can' -tin" to compare--to weed out those who list "tobacco tin can" etc.). "Tobacco tin" solus numbers in the thousands while "tobacco can" numbers in the tens.
posted by yoink at 1:39 PM on July 21, 2014


Ebay confirms "band aid tin" is more common than "band aid box."

If you're just searching for "band aid box," though, you're going to get things like this or this, which are cardboard and therefore wouldn't be called "tins."

Though I'll admit that it does appear that some people call them "tins." I have never met any of these people.
posted by Etrigan at 1:46 PM on July 21, 2014


i came out to be a dick and i'm honestly feeling so attacked right now

I FEEL VERY ATTACKED
posted by en forme de poire at 1:48 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you're just searching for "band aid box," though, you're going to get things like this or this, which are cardboard and therefore wouldn't be called "tins."

So you're saying that "band aid tin" is actually even more normative than "band aid box."
posted by yoink at 1:51 PM on July 21, 2014


I do not understand what that means in this context or what your point is. Please explain.
posted by Etrigan at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2014


See, everything is different, but the same...things are more moderner than before...bigger, and yet smaller...it's computers...San Dimas High School football rules!
posted by Chrysostom at 2:02 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I do not understand what that means in this context or what your point is. Please explain.

If "band aid box" turns up a bunch of things that no one would refer to as "tins" (i.e., cardboard boxes) then those are false positives that artificially inflate the number of "hits" for "band aid box" relative to "band aid tin." Thus "band aid tin" is an even more lopsided victor in the "which is the more common term on eBay" stakes than it at first appeared.
posted by yoink at 2:05 PM on July 21, 2014


It's disconcerting so many of you are engaged in a struggle about a few simple phrases when there is a very real war to be fought on behalf of the Oxford comma.

Man, so, ok, I am an editor and I use the Oxford comma all day long and I insert it into other peoples' writing constantly, and yet I remain confused by the very vocal boner everyone seems to have for it. Half of OKCupid lists it among their interests. It weirds me the fuck out. No one seems to fetishize other forms of punctuation in quite the same way.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:07 PM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


No one seems to fetishize other forms of punctuation in quite the same way.

Clearly you've neglected to read my "Harry Potter/Semi-Colon" slashfic ..
posted by dotgirl at 2:09 PM on July 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


an even more lopsided victor

Hey, I knew Lopsided Victor. He was a little slanted and had a tendency to go in circles, but he was a righteous dude. Or maybe lefteous, I get that backwards sometimes.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:09 PM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


That's not the way MeTa works! That's not the way any of this works!
posted by Sophie1 at 2:10 PM on July 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


That's not the way MeTa works! That's not the way any of this works!

*Prints out comment, tapes to wall*
posted by Room 641-A at 2:18 PM on July 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


Half of OKCupid lists it among their interests.

intellectual dog-whistle
posted by edeezy at 2:26 PM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


The phrase should be "contains what is described on the tin." There is no doing in the tin. Only being.
posted by mullacc at 2:27 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Tins are for the fancy cookies. I wish more things did fancy cookies.
posted by maryr at 2:32 PM on July 21, 2014


No one seems to fetishize other forms of punctuation in quite the same way.

I didn't realize it was common. I mention it in my OKCupid profile to try to make it clear to people who are reading my profile that I am going to think more highly of them if they pay at least a little attention to the correctness of what they write. I don't actually care about serial commas all that much, and I don't even necessarily use them consistently in my informal writing, but it is an easy synecdoche for caring about grammar as a whole. I figure anyone who knows what a serial comma is also knows the difference between there, their, and they're.

I don't think it wards off any of the 'hey baby, ur hawt' come ons, because I don't think those people read profiles before writing anyway. There's a lot of grey area on OKCupid about whether a contact message is more like a txt or an email and how it should be treated in terms of grammar and correctness, though, and mentioning grammar in my profile is my way to indicating which I prefer.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:33 PM on July 21, 2014


No one seems to fetishize other forms of punctuation in quite the same way.

As an unapologetic comma clutcher I presume it's because the decline of the Oxford comma is related to everything bad that's ever happened. Finding out someone doesn't use the serial comma is like....finding out someone doesn't read. Or pees on puppies.

Seriously, it's an interesting point and I, too, am confused about the OKCupid thing, unless it serves as kind of a shibboleth? There appear to be some strong feelings about semi-colons as well. Perhaps it's a show-offy way of saying people care about language? Or perhaps it's the written equivalent of very drunk people who talk about blow jobs in loud voices directly under your window at 3 am the night before a big presentation at work, creating a strong desire in you to have a chamber-pot so that you can dump it on them for completely breaking rules of civilization that keep society going and preventing CHAOS and ANARCHY.
posted by barchan at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hmmm, I wonder if it's related to the same emotional part of our brains that gets worked for sports, kind of the language equivalent of the feelings one feels for a heated rivalry between teams, only in this case AP Style vs. Strunk & White.
posted by barchan at 2:55 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm going to start using "does what is says in the title of this post" just to mess with people who hide titles.

Title of the post,
The only hint of the theme,
Please check the URL to find out more.
Request to turn back time
And edit all my wrongs.
Like omission of the title of the post.
posted by maryr at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Oxford comma is important because it helps things make sense. "A, B, and C" makes it clear that you're talking about three distinct things/ideas. "A, B and C," depending on what those things/ideas are, can be misread as talking about A, as well as talking about B and C as a single unit.

It doesn't happen with every instance of items in a series, but when it does happen it completely undermines the writer's imperative to make writing clear to the reader. Therefore, it's best practice to use the Oxford/serial comma consistently, even if that means you end up using it in cases where it doesn't really matter all the much. Because consistency, good.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:17 PM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


(I realize that the above comment sounds utterly humorless. It is. It is true. I am humorless when it comes to the Oxford comma.)
posted by mudpuppie at 3:18 PM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


The Oxford comma is important because it helps things make sense.

Which is why none of us can ever follow anything anybody says in spoken English. If only Victor Borge's visionary system of phonetic punctuation had been more widely adopted.
posted by yoink at 3:25 PM on July 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


I like the Oxford comma!

And I also think using it as some kind of bellwether for determining someone's suitability for dating or friendship is strange. Actually, I don't think it's strange--I think it's exactly what edeezy said above, that it's a type of intellectual dog whistle. There was a post on the blue some months ago talking about cultural dealbreakers, and when the Oxford comma is discussed as a means for deciding whether someone is worth dating or spending time with, to me it fits squarely in that "cultural dealbreakers" discussion.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:26 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Which is why none of us can ever follow anything anybody says in spoken English. If only Victor Borge's visionary system of phonetic punctuation had been more widely adopted.

Spoken English has vocal emphasis that can distinguish between the two cases.

Imean,inEnglishallthewordsruntogetherlikethis,butyoucanstillunderstandwhatisbeingsaid,
sowhydowehavespacesinwrittenEnglishagain?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:29 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Personally more a fan of the Banbury comma.
posted by Namlit at 3:33 PM on July 21, 2014


I prefer the Bunbury comma. Gets me out of trouble.
posted by maryr at 3:34 PM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Oxford Comma is a scandalous booger spat into the very face of our beauteous English language. I never use it, and anyone who does should be deleted from MetaTalk until dead and then shot until banned. Everyone knows that a true gentleperson should instead employ the Cambridge Conjunction, where listing the elements "A, B, C" is done thus: "A and B and C" - removing all ambiguity with maximum style, and with not a single comma required. And I don't want to hear any of you Americans "bigging up" the Harvard Ampersand or the bloody Yale Semicolon. Those are just bloody silly.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:41 PM on July 21, 2014 [18 favorites]


Tins aren't made with tin anymore.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that...
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:46 PM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


As I understand it, classical Latin of Vergil's time, say, was written without spaces using what are now only capital letters.

I wonder whether he ever indulged himself with word play of the 'coworker : cow orker' or 'therapist : the rapist' variety -- or if he didn't did Ovid, at least.

Or does Latin not lend itself to that?
posted by jamjam at 3:50 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bleep: It only irks me in the way Americans co-opting British phrasings to look cute or worldly or something irks me. No worries! Cheers!

You can pry my "chuffed" from my cold dead fingers.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:51 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Would you believe that most of these criticisms had occurred to me last night before I hit the button? I recalled that some people didn't like 'What it says'. I debated internally about whether the omission of a title in some people's preferences might make the post confusing without additional context. And then I thought, eh! Just get it posted! It's fun! No-one will mind! I don't need to spend 15 minutes vacillating over the proper word choice and formatting of a single link post!

Je ne regrette rien.
posted by bq at 3:52 PM on July 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


Bleep: It only irks me in the way Americans co-opting British phrasings to look cute or worldly or something irks me. No worries! Cheers!

Hey now inhave an out on this, I live with a man who was raised by grandparents in a very small rural Yorkshire village so I've picked up all his odd 1940s era phrasings for seemingly random things.

I mean this is a household where the words "Golly greatness!" and "I'll go to the foot of our stairs" are used without irony.
posted by The Whelk at 3:58 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here I was thinking it was "does what it says on the tine," the tine with which I "fork that for you." Remember: Fork Folks Fix Faux Facts.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:08 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


bleep It only irks me in the way Americans co-opting British phrasings to look cute or worldly or something irks me. No worries! Cheers!

"No worries" is Australian. No wuckers, though, mate.
posted by mlis at 4:09 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't be barmy
posted by The Whelk at 4:11 PM on July 21, 2014


You have to admit, this thread has a certain je ne sais quoi.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:15 PM on July 21, 2014


It's okay, I too often don't read the whole thread. CHEERS
posted by bleep at 4:15 PM on July 21, 2014


More of a je ne sais pour quoi.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:20 PM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


You can pry my "chuffed" from my cold dead fingers.

Not even then, because you wouldn't be able to say you were "dead chuffed".
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:32 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Language peeving is my peeve. On its own, it's just annoying. But when it's employed to justify value judgments about other people, whether about their intelligence and education or that their supposed deliberate "affectation" reveals something fake and grasping, it actually makes me want to (in the words of a previous commenter) punch someone.

We rightly police other people's usage when it's aggressive and hurtful to others. But policing usage because it's "annoying", "overused", "ignorant", "an affectation", or "an attempt to be one of the cool kids" is itself aggressive and hurtful to others. What we really know about someone when they deploy some usage is practically nothing. Our ignorance is boundless. The presence or lack of an Oxford comma could be a function of high education. The use of a foreign expression, or of an au courant subcultural quip, could be a deliberate attempt to present a particular social identity or it could be an entirely subconscious, organic appropriation or cultural acclimatization.

Jumping to unfavorable conclusions about someone just because a trivial choice of words rubs you the wrong way is ... is ... stupid. It's petty. It's ungenerous.

And it very much has social justice implications because this peeving sword is very much not wielded impartially. I mean, it's biased even after accounting for the privilege revealed by the unexamined notions embedded in the usage peeve. It's used to cut those who are the most marginal and the wounds caused are more damaging.

For example, in the wider context of spoken dialect, it's no accident that vocal fry and up-talking are stigmatized in young women as being particular to the speech of young women and in that it is thought to reveal some stereotyped traits that are stigmatized as being common to young women ... even though it's found in the speech of men from the same subcultures/demographic. It's used as a tool to particularly criticize young women in a way that leverages the cultural biases against young women. It could be used to criticize young men, to act in support of a diagnosis of the decline in the character of young men. People could find that these traits in the speech in young men really bug the shit out of them. But they don't. It's all about young women. This isn't an accident.

The people who have the least privilege and who are the most marginal in a community are the ones who are most likely to have their language scrutinized and, consequently, are those for whom the stakes for language usage are the highest. If a usage is criticized as being ignorant, well, you can bet that it's their examples which will be the first noticed and the most criticized. If a usage is criticized as trying too hard, as trite, overused, as grasping and non-authentic and all that, well, you can bet that it's their examples which will be first noticed and most criticized. Peeving isn't neutral, it's very far from being free of value judgments, and it's a frequently-used and powerful tool in the defense of privilege.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:42 PM on July 21, 2014 [44 favorites]


Hear hear, Ivan Fyodorovich. Hear hear.

Or, you know: This.
posted by yoink at 5:37 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


the foot of our stairs

Is the "our" the out-of-place Yorkshire-ism? I grew up with "foot of the stairs" in my Southern US home, even though it didn't have any stairs to speak of and we had no reason to converse about such non-existent feet.

Anyways, my pet peeves are few and simple. I agree with the people above about the moral decay caused by the overuse of "nope". I also wish people would express their distaste without the barbaric use of "ugh". Using "just saying" should result in immediate exile and forfeiture of all assets.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:45 PM on July 21, 2014


Also, it ain't Festivus.


IT'S FESTIVUS IN JULY!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:51 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Tins aren't made with tin anymore.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that...





Most zinc bars in Paris aren't actually made out of zinc.


They are made out of tin.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:07 PM on July 21, 2014


BOO Oxford Comma debate!

YAY recipes!
posted by 4ster at 6:37 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not only I am strongly against the serial comma, I am an advocate of rational quoting. Everyone hates me.
posted by spaltavian at 6:52 PM on July 21, 2014


Ivan: I'm guessing I'm taking you too literally, but if I'm criticizing someone for using @username or "This" on MetaFilter chances are they're the more marginalized and least privileged of us and that's (a big part of) why I'm criticizing them?
posted by ODiV at 6:52 PM on July 21, 2014


4ster: "YAY recipes!"

You could store those recipes in a recipe tin storage box!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:56 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ivan Fyodorovich: "
For example, in the wider context of spoken dialect, it's no accident that vocal fry and up-talking are stigmatized in young women as being particular to the speech of young women and in that it is thought to reveal some stereotyped traits that are stigmatized as being common to young women ... even though it's found in the speech of men from the same subcultures/demographic. It's used as a tool to particularly criticize young women in a way that leverages the cultural biases against young women. It could be used to criticize young men, to act in support of a diagnosis of the decline in the character of young men. People could find that these traits in the speech in young men really bug the shit out of them. But they don't. It's all about young women. This isn't an accident.
"

Anecdata: My son has a major vocal fry thing going on, and it bugs the shit out of me.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:11 PM on July 21, 2014


I am a bit late but feel I must exhort us to vote #1 Cambridge Conjunction!
posted by ferret branca at 7:48 PM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I will henceforth write "the description as written on the receptacle is accurate (serving suggestion)".
posted by arcticseal at 7:54 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Chrysostom: "Ivan Fyodorovich: "Anecdata: My son has a major vocal fry thing going on, and it bugs the shit out of me."

Further anecdata -- because it's a voice I tend to only hear when I see TV from the states, I think of it as California frog voice, since it's actors and tech folks in web videos that I hear doing it. Ri-i-i-i-i-i-bbbit.
posted by barnacles at 8:13 PM on July 21, 2014


I will henceforth write "the description as written on the receptacle is accurate (serving suggestion)*

Sold by word-count, not by volume. Contents may settle during shipping.

*enlarged to show texture
posted by Pudhoho at 8:19 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ah, you're just hating 'cos it's not part of your culture. I grew up with the Ronseal Advert which is the source of the phrase. Most of your USain ad phrases are weird and stilted to me. But then, I smoke 'em 'cos my name's on 'em.
posted by scruss at 8:34 PM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think of it as California frog voice

"All I need are some tasty waves, cool buzz, and I'm fine."
posted by Room 641-A at 8:37 PM on July 21, 2014


I have heard several people refer to Dutch accents as sounding like Kermit.
posted by maryr at 8:48 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have heard several people refer to Dutch accents as sounding like Kermit.

Well, it's certainly true that the Dutch will fry anything. Deep fry, that is.
posted by yoink at 9:13 PM on July 21, 2014


The Whelk: "I mean this is a household where the words "Golly greatness!" and "I'll go to the foot of our stairs" are used without irony."

Wait, what is the latter intended to represent? If you're going to the last step in the flight of stairs, rather than the lower floor of the two connected by the staircase, where else could you be going but the foot of the stairs?

(I use "no worries" because one of my best friends in teenhood was a Kiwi expat to Canada and it rubbed off. But I'd use it now because I live in Australia. Living in three countries, two of which are Commonwealth nations - rest assured, if I use a Britishism, it's not Anglophilia but contextual vocabulary confusion.)
posted by gingerest at 9:23 PM on July 21, 2014


It's kind of implying that I was worrying, when more than likely I wasn't. Don't tell me what to do!
And fine, "Commonwealth phrasings", but it's the same spirit.
posted by bleep at 10:46 AM on July 21 [+] [!]


I feel obliged, as an Aussie, to step in and defend 'no worries' here.

It is not an exhortation for the other person not to worry; it actually means 'that doesn't worry [i.e.'bother'] me'. Not telling someone else what to do, at all.

It's basically the Australian version of 'no problem'.

No worries, mate! :D
posted by Salamander at 9:29 PM on July 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


But on the subject of words we never want to hear again - who decided that 'judgy' needed to replace 'judgemental'?

Enough already with 'parse', 'unpack' and 'going forward', too.

As you were.
posted by Salamander at 9:32 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Salamander's right. The most frequent use of "no worries" I've encountered here is as a response to "excuse me" or "thank you".
posted by gingerest at 9:37 PM on July 21, 2014


Does what the words on the side of the tin can say the words do inside the tin can in strict accordance with the words printed against the tin can's outer side.
posted by Chutzler at 9:39 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


'Judgy' replaced 'judgmental' because reasons.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:15 PM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Clearly you've neglected to read my "Harry Potter/Semi-Colon" slashfic ..

I understand a little better now why Vonnegut called semicolons "transvestite hermaphrodites."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:18 PM on July 21, 2014


I just want to say thanks for this. I am loving the language porn, I really am. Just what I needed to cheer me right up again. This whole thread makes me smile.

Also: Umlauts are much sexier than Oxford commas.
posted by misha at 10:26 PM on July 21, 2014


I say "no worries" pretty frequently as an alternative to "no problem" or "it's fine." No idea where I picked it up but I was literally never even aware until this very thread that it was an Australian thing. To listen to some of the people in this thread you would think I had sheets with Kylie Minogue and Courtney Act on them and played the digeridoo at socially inappropriate junctures in some kind of grim attempt at performing an Australian identity.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:46 PM on July 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I also don't think "No problem" is always an acceptable answer to "Thank you" or "Excuse me" unless the person has obviously said something like "Sorry for the trouble" and you're refuting that there was trouble. It's just unnecessarily negative and presumptuous. "You're welcome!" is always appropriate. "No worries" and "cheers" and such are like an invasive species of smarmy falseness.
posted by bleep at 10:49 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not accusing anyone of being smarmy I'm just saying it rings that way in my ears and it's unpleasant. Ok I'm done now.
posted by bleep at 10:50 PM on July 21, 2014


No, just no.
and
This.
and
Full stop.

Are the ones that drive me crazy.


You left out: "Wow. Just ... wow." (Where did that come from, anyway?)

My opinion on "does what it says on the tin" is still negative.
posted by John Cohen at 11:29 PM on July 21, 2014


I also don't think "No problem" is always an acceptable answer to "Thank you" or "Excuse me" unless the person has obviously said something like "Sorry for the trouble" and you're refuting that there was trouble. It's just unnecessarily negative and presumptuous. "You're welcome!" is always appropriate.

But "you're welcome" often comes across as overly stuffy and formal. "No problem" is useful as a casual alternative.
posted by John Cohen at 11:39 PM on July 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ooh, you know what's worse? When you say, "Excuse me," to go around someone who's standing in your way, and they say, "It's okay," or, "Yeah."

YEAH.

(Speaking of being judgmental and over-parsing.)
posted by gingerest at 11:43 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


The reclosable metal container of mints/gum/whatever for me would probably be a "box" or a "package." I always took it to be a specific consequence of Altoids' British marketing image that people make an exception for their "tins."

The scales have fallen from my eyes and now I remember, Altoids is responsible for this largely, because a "tin" of Sucrets lozenges was always called a "box" in my neck of the woods until Altoids came along. On the other hand, Christmas cookies and gifty-things like that are put into large "tins" and always have been, in my 'murka.
posted by aydeejones at 11:47 PM on July 21, 2014


I also don't think "No problem" is always an acceptable answer to "Thank you" or "Excuse me" unless the person has obviously said something like "Sorry for the trouble" and you're refuting that there was trouble. It's just unnecessarily negative and presumptuous. "You're welcome!" is always appropriate. "No worries" and "cheers" and such are like an invasive species of smarmy falseness.
posted by bleep at 10:49 PM on July 21 [1 favorite +] [!]

I think it depends on which country you're in, really.

If there's a transaction taking place, and I'm the customer, I'd generally rather someone replied with 'you're welcome' or said 'thank you' back. In country Australia, however, or amongst older people, 'cheers mate' or 'no worries' is completely normal and polite. Some old guy pumping your petrol out in the middle of nowhere is not going to answer with 'you're welcome'. It's a generational/location-specific thing.

On the other hand, 'no problem' comes across as way more like an 'invasive species of smarmy falseness' than 'no worries/cheers'. Makes me think the young'un uttering it has watched too much American tv (usually true).
posted by Salamander at 11:59 PM on July 21, 2014


en forme de poire - I think I may have to surrender my Australian passport, since I just had to google Courtney Act :D
posted by Salamander at 12:01 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man, all you speakers of slightly different styles of English with all those tiny differences between them, that differ in tiny tiny ways. I'm glad that I can manage any kind of English, I'm not going to worry about what exact style, or where a certain word or expression comes from.

Won't someone please think of the Elsewherians?
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:21 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


isn't that Älswhærians?
posted by Namlit at 12:33 AM on July 22, 2014


Yes, it isn't. Not all of us use those characters, so you can't paint all of us with the same brush. Don't be Elsewherist!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:11 AM on July 22, 2014


Half of OKCupid lists it among their interests. It weirds me the fuck out. No one seems to fetishize other forms of punctuation in quite the same way.

Y'all should check out my new punctuation-based dating site, Interrobang
posted by threeants at 2:17 AM on July 22, 2014 [24 favorites]


Where the colon is king, and the accent's acute!
posted by taz (staff) at 3:01 AM on July 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


I like a tin whose reach exceeds its grasp.
posted by Segundus at 4:38 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Personally more a fan of the Banbury comma.

Ride a cockhorse to Banbury cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse,
With commas on her fingers and colons on her toes,
She will have punctuation wherever she goes.
posted by Thing at 5:07 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I never really thought I cared much about the Oxford comma one way or the other, but the company I'm currently doing projects for officially forbids its use in their materials, and they're zealous in their enforcement of this.

You never know what you had until it's gone. Little bits of my soul flake off every time I write something for these guys.
posted by DingoMutt at 5:46 AM on July 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


If... you have colons on your toes (or your toes in a colon)... you are probably doing it wrong, but, hey, I don't judge (alternatively, I'm not that judgy).
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:26 AM on July 22, 2014


Catching up!

We had a trainer come into our job about 2 months ago to talk to us about communication styles. She said "no problem" and "no worries" were absolutely the wrong way to respond to someone who thanks you -- unless you live in the Northeastern US (where we are) because it's accepted here. I like them because they are less stuffy than "You're welcome." It's really "no problem" for me to pass you the salt, and you caused me "no worries" when you switched the meeting time up a half hour. But "you're welcome" to the wedding gift I brought.

Growing up, the metal boxes that lozenges, band-aids, tea, coffee, potato chips, pretzels and Christmas cookies came in were called tins.

And I'd trade the Oxford comma in a second to revive capitalization.

After the trainer acknowledged the fact that some people don't learn through enforced group activities, she plowed right through and made us solve timed jigsaw puzzles with randomly assigned teams.
posted by kimberussell at 6:30 AM on July 22, 2014


People could find that these traits in the speech in young men really bug the shit out of them. But they don't.

Do we not? I for one can barely listen to any of Nathan Rabin's segment on the Dissolve podcast because of his uptalking.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:07 AM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't mind it all. It actually does what it says on the tin.


I don't like it since it's often a pretentious faux-brit affectation. If you're American, it's not a tin, it's a can.


There are a lot of people on this site who are not American. Furthermore, we don't live in siloed countries anymore. We're an international community and we're going to pick up phrases from all about.

End of.
posted by juiceCake at 7:13 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


END OF LINE.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:21 AM on July 22, 2014


I titled my recent Metafilter post with "Imma let you finish" and now it's driving me crazy. It turns out I hate that phrase and every time I see it, it gets my blood pressure up. Which makes it weird to look at my post. It was a perfect application of the phrase but argh! So annoying.

Sorry everyone.
posted by hydrobatidae at 7:49 AM on July 22, 2014


End of.


The use of incomplete sentences?

No, my friend, it's just getting started...
posted by mr. digits at 7:49 AM on July 22, 2014


Some tins in my cupboard:

Stock powder
Tomato condensed soup
Chopped Australian vine ripened tomatoes
Sliced beetroot
Corn kernels
Baked beans
Coconut cream

...and not a single one of them says what it does on the tin.
posted by flabdablet at 8:36 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Neither does the tin of pear slices in syrup.

As far as I can tell from observing them for a few minutes, all they do is just sit there. And not one of them - not one! - says that's what it does.
posted by flabdablet at 8:38 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Neither does the tin of pear slices in syrup

How do you know what that pear is getting up to in the syrup? It might be slicin' up a storm, for all you know.
posted by yoink at 9:00 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


In the name of Science! I just dumped those pears and all their syrup into a bowl.

They're just sitting there, not doing anything at all. Should I ask for my money back?
posted by flabdablet at 9:12 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, now you've removed them from the tin. They are no longer a tin of pear slices in syrup and therefore under no obligation to live up to the tin. FREEDOM.
posted by Etrigan at 9:22 AM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Tomato condensed soup

This is as good of a place as any.

There's a Campbell's Tomato Soup Production Facility just outside the town where I live.

A lot of processing tomatoes are grown around here. In fact -- I just looked it up -- the surrounding counties account for 40% of processing tomatoes grown in the US.

Processing tomatoes are different from varieties bred for market. They're sturdier, fleshier, have fewer seeds. Meatier, basically.

It's currently harvesting time. To harvest the tomatoes, a big machine goes through the fields and rips up the plants. It mechanically separates the tomatoes from the vines to the extent possible. On the back of this machine, there's a platform (under an awning!) where a few workers sit, removing the rest of the plant material.

The tomatoes are sent into a tomato truck through a chute. Each truck hauls two trailers, and they mound those tomatoes into the deep, open tubs until they're just short of overflowing. This is one of the reasons processing tomatoes are so sturdy, you see -- each tub holds 25,000 pounds of tomatoes. It would be counterproductive to haul 25,000 pounds of tomatoes if the bottom layers were just going to end up as tomato juice before you unloaded them.

Not only do the tomatoes on the bottom of the pile withstand 25,000 lbs of pressure (I know that's not exactly true of individual tomatoes, but I'm bad at physics and you get my point), but every time the trucks go around a corner or drive on/off the freeway, a certain number of tomatoes will fall off the truck. And reader, those tomatoes do not splatter. They bounce. This time of year, the shoulders of the roads and highways are littered with tomatoes that have fallen off the trucks.

I pass by the Campbell's plant on the way to work. Every morning, there is a line of tomato trucks getting off the highway at that exit, then lumbering down the road to the plant. The proceed to the tomato truck entrance, then to the rear of the plant. There's a hatch at the bottom of the trailers. (You can see it in this picture.) They open that hatch, and the tomatoes roll into the processing plant, where they will immediately be turned into Campbell's Tomato Soup.

Whatever you want to say about the quality of convenience foods, I can tell you that Campbell's Tomato Soup is made from tomatoes that have just been harvested from that field two miles away.**

This has been your lesson on how that can of tomato condensed soup was born.

I am not a shill!
posted by mudpuppie at 9:29 AM on July 22, 2014 [26 favorites]


Free tomatoes!!!
posted by maryr at 9:37 AM on July 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


Grab the snow shovel, I'll hold the sack open.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:32 AM on July 22, 2014


I also don't think "No problem" is always an acceptable answer to "Thank you" or "Excuse me" unless the person has obviously said something like "Sorry for the trouble" and you're refuting that there was trouble. It's just unnecessarily negative and presumptuous. "You're welcome!" is always appropriate. "No worries" and "cheers" and such are like an invasive species of smarmy falseness.

And your argument is that it's less smarmy and fake to say "you're welcome" even if they're not literally "welcome" to do whatever it is they just did, like step on your foot or interrupt you at work? I mean if you're going to go all the way on this close-reading jag, "excuse me" literally implies that there was something for which the person would like to be "excused" or made an allowance. Or we could just accept that these are ritualized phrases whose word-for-word translation doesn't usually capture the spirit in which they are intended.

FWIW, I think more pernicious than "smarmy falseness" is the growing trend for people to claim to be insulted whenever someone is being merely civil and not completely obsequious (see also: restaurant service).
posted by en forme de poire at 10:35 AM on July 22, 2014 [11 favorites]


Speaking of tomatoes, I am going to use this space to air my grievances (Festivus in July, bringing it all back around). I have recently learned, at the PEAK of tomato season in my house where I grow hundreds of pounds of tomatoes, that my husband does not enjoy these homegrown tasty bombs of joy and that he never really has.

Oh, he'll eat pasta sauce and pizza and ketchup all the live long day, but fresh, homegrown tomatoes? Nyet, comrade.

For fucks sake! I don't even know the man I married!!
posted by Sophie1 at 11:45 AM on July 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


Sophie why did you marry an alien from a distant and horrible star.
posted by winna at 11:53 AM on July 22, 2014 [14 favorites]


You ask me, that's deal-breaker territory right there.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:01 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Seriously, I'm thinking I might trade him in, but he does make really good waffles and he has put up with significant amounts of my shit for the last 22 years, so, well.... he's having homemade pasta sauce tonight.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:22 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


"You ask me, that's deal-breaker territory right there."

My ex-wife was a strict vegetarian (later a vegan, I understand) and I have a deep-seated-from-childhood pathological horror of nearly all vegetables.

We got along fine about it; it was like an efficient division of labor. In a pinch, we could nicely divide a single meal between us.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:23 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


This tin does what it says. It's the tin that can.
posted by Segundus at 12:40 PM on July 22, 2014


One must forgive a man much who can make really good waffles.
posted by winna at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, he'll eat pasta sauce and pizza and ketchup all the live long day, but fresh, homegrown tomatoes? Nyet, comrade.

Ye gods, I feel your pain. My daughter hates tomatoes. Hates tomato sauce. Loves ketchup -- her favorite food group.

I finally succumbed to frustration a couple of weeks ago and gently explained to her what ketchup is made of. At great risk. Because if she stops eating ketchup she'll also reject every food she dips it in. Practically every plate of food we put in front of her is accessorized with the damned stuff. So we showed her the ingredient list and cringed while waiting for her response.

She now thinks we're trying to trick her.
posted by zarq at 2:15 PM on July 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


pasta sauce and pizza and ketchup all the live long day, but [not] fresh, homegrown tomatoes
This is me except for ketchup. Cooked tomatoes are so different than raw ones.
posted by soelo at 2:42 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


As much as this thread is amusing, it's also sort of making me wary of commenting in MetaFilter at all for fear of offending someone with how I write or what words I use. English is technically my second language and I first learned how to speak/write it in Illinois and Michigan where I went to school as a kid. Then I moved to the Gulf Coast in MS and was mocked by my classmates because I sounded like "a Yankee," and picked up the Deep South accent and colloquialisms during my four years living there ("Yes, Ma'am" to your female teachers, etc.). Fast forward several years back in Japan where I spoke a ridiculous jumbled mishmash of English/Japanese with fellow "returnees." Then off I went to Toronto for university where, again, I was mocked by Canadians at my Americanness, so I picked up a few Canadianisms there, too, eh? And tried to tone down my American accent. I'm now a confused result of my upbringing, and don't really know what I'm supposed to sound like or what expressions I'm "allowed" to use.

I've also been watching too much Sherlock and Game of Thrones lately and my brain really wants me to start using lovely British expressions, but I'm trying hard not to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are those of us who have weird backgrounds and it'd be great if people tried to not forget that when they feel like jumping on word choices.
posted by misozaki at 4:51 PM on July 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


As much as this thread is amusing, it's also sort of making me wary of commenting in MetaFilter at all for fear of offending someone with how I write or what words I use.

This reminds me that I forgot to say how much I like "Galaxor Nebulon" as a username. GALAXOR NEBULON commands you, puny Earthling! Tremble at his Galactic nebulosity; kneel before his cosmic milk-cloudiness!

More generally, we should have a thread that's all about expressions, turns of phrase, etc that we have seen other mefites use and wish to praise for their originality, pithiness, mot-juste-iness, or whatever.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:41 PM on July 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


for fear of offending someone with how I write or what words I use

Pith: off.
posted by flabdablet at 9:42 PM on July 22, 2014


Ye gods, I feel your pain. My daughter hates tomatoes. Hates tomato sauce. Loves ketchup -- her favorite food group.

According to some quick web-skimming I just did, there's tragic folk in the world for whom uncooked tomatoes trigger their allergies but not cooked ones. (Not necessarily your kid, but it was interesting to look up.)
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:55 PM on July 22, 2014


If it makes you feel any better, Misozaki, I think Metafilter overall has become more forgiving about language use, spelling, etc.

So many members, including me, use tablets or phones to post here that typos are common, even with the editing feature. One of my favorite and most prolific posters, The Whelk, has typos in nearly every one of his comments (sorry, Whelk! Did you ever find those barrel back chairs you wanted?).

He is also, I hasten to add, is a fantastic writer whose work I personally respect very much.

Which is all just to say that you really don't need to worry about people snarking so much about this stuff. Even when it does happen, it's usually good-natured, and no one is judging you as a person.
posted by misha at 10:44 AM on July 23, 2014


( I did not.)
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 AM on July 23, 2014


( I did not.)
 ^--- typo
posted by maryr at 11:44 AM on July 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


He's letting that side air out.
posted by zarq at 12:30 PM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Which is all just to say that you really don't need to worry about people snarking so much about this stuff. Even when it does happen, it's usually good-natured, and no one is judging you as a person."

That's manifestly not true, there are a number of comments in this thread where commenters are explicit about how they judge people based upon certain usages. More generally, people are remarkably judgmental of other people based upon their language usage. People flaunt their judgmentalism about language in a way that they are reluctant to do in other contexts.

Last week, after Weird Al's video was being talked about all over the net, I had a really strange experience. I'd heard that he mentions the Oxford Comma in the song but, as I alluded earlier, that didn't tell me whether he opposed or defended it because at different times and places each usage is considered the "correct" usage and the other stigmatized.

So, on googling, I just happened to find someone's piece (not a blog entry, but something on an unfamiliar media site) otherwise applauding Al's ranting against "incorrect" usage but pointing out the "error" of the split infinitive in Al's video. There was a bunch of the usual posturing about loving language and correct grammar and the decline of literacy and therefore some reluctance to criticize Al, as he's fighting the good fight; but, you know, a mistake's a mistake and people should know better so the writer's going to point it out.

No few people immediately commented to correct her correction. The "rule" against the split infinitive isn't found in most of the otherwise strict prescriptivist authorities; it doesn't even have that much credibility. It's closer to folklore than not. The more educated prescriptivists tend to know this and so this isn't a rule they usually claim.

The strange and disconcerting thing about this was that the writer and others responded to these comments with -- I'm not making this up -- defenses along the lines of "you're taking things too seriously" and "you're bullying".

What's interesting to me about it, and in retrospect is quite comprehensible and predictable, is that this exemplifies the typical pattern with defenses of cultural capital.

The pattern is that one defends one's cultural capital by attacking in both directions: downwards and upwards. The downward attacks have the character of what we call "snobbery". It doesn't matter where on the hierarchy someone is, people are quite capable of being snobs to those they consider beneath them.

But the upwardly-directed attacks are different. Where the downwardly-directed attacks are built around an implicit claim that people are somehow deficient in their characters to not have acquired some example of cultural capital, the upwardly-directed attacks imply character defects revealed by the acquisition of ostentatious, fool's gold, actually-worthless examples of cultural capital. This perfectly follows how this works with economic capital and class: from a particular class perspective (middle-class), people who don't have a proper home reveal deficiencies of character, but people who have mansions also reveal deficiencies of character.

So, with cultural capital this happens most obviously with education. From a particular cultural capital class perspective, too little education (no secondary diploma, no college) produces contempt, but too much education (especially anything that smacks of being "intellectual") also produces contempt.

Language peeving is very much about cultural capital and its defense. It is, generally, almost exquisitely middle-class and whatever we might call the associated cultural capital version of "middle-class". (So, um, "middle-class"?) Its diffused apotheosis is probably right around the high-school senior and college freshman instruction on formal English composition. And so this is the normalized perspective of most of it. This defines its snobbery.

Breaking rules that your high school English teacher taught you -- things like never starting sentences with conjunctions, never splitting infinitives, never ending sentences with prepositions, never using (or failing to use) the serial comma, and all the rest -- this is understood to demonstrate ignorance, the decline of literacy, reveal people you wouldn't want to date or to hire, signal a contemptuous disregard for standards. However, someone else who follows rules you don't follow, rules such as using the irrealis were (often referred to as subjunctive) or whom -- well, those people are pretentious assholes. Right? Especially if they have the gall to look down on you for not being a pretentious asshole like they are.

So the funny thing is that from a particular perspective it makes perfect sense to be nitpicky and make character judgments when evaluating other people's usage but, when others do this to oneself, it's being nitpicky and bullying. If you happen to actually know abut the history of the proscription of the split infinitive in English, know how rarely it's been endorsed by prescriptivist authorities, and you correct someone else's attempt to correct someone's split infinitive, then, to them, you're the one being a nitpicking bully.

And to connect this to how I started, the other startling (to me, anyway) feature of how people defend their cultural capital is how unapologetically judgmental of other people they are willing to be. Of how willing they are to connect this to specific value judgments about a person's character. You see this all the time with aesthetics -- it's almost as if many people are perfectly wiling to declare, explicitly, that someone is a bad person because they like (or fail to like) a novel, or musician, or whatever. Similarly, people do this with language and they do it with the same assumptions and reasoning and justifications. If they have a moral ideology (and almost all of us do), then it will be integrated into their critique of other people's cultural capital class and how that class affiliation reveals something wrong with them ... and society in general. Just as is the case with economic capital and class.

People are pretty shitty and judgmental about language usage and, I think, it's usually the case that they're almost utterly unaware of what they're doing, why they're doing it, and what it actually does. It's not a kind or generous way to be and, as I wrote earlier, it's a very widely-used and effective tool for perpetuating social injustice.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:54 PM on July 23, 2014 [11 favorites]


Ha, IvanF, I had started a comment about how vociferously some people will attack others with language rules, but I got hung up on exactly which class it was characteristic of. I was thinking to say "upper middle" and then abandoned the comment.

You've covered everything I had been thinking, so no need for me to comment, although I do regret not getting to use the term "pseudo-intelligentsia", which seemed appropriate to the situation.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:18 PM on July 23, 2014


I loathe the word "slurp" and it's on the front page right now. Hold me.

(I do not, even by a wild stretch of hyperbole, hold the writer in contempt. It is the perfect word for its noodly context. It just happens to make me queasy.)
posted by gingerest at 6:19 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


"It just happens to make me queasy."

Ah, that's not peeving, it's word aversion, which is very different! And interesting!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:23 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well then. I guess we're good to go.
posted by mule98J at 6:49 PM on July 23, 2014


none of these front page things compare to the the cards-against-humanity level of tiredness of the "eponysterical" thing...
posted by rr at 7:45 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


You know, if one were to interpret "rr" as a very brief growl...
posted by mr. digits at 9:04 AM on July 24, 2014 [11 favorites]


I loathe the word "slurp" and it's on the front page right now

Moist annoying.
posted by flabdablet at 4:50 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


I high school, one of my good friends decided her nickname for me would be "Moist" because it vaguely sounds like my name, so she would occasionally greet me with "Moist!" I'd completely forgotten about for 30 years.

A few weeks ago some of us from HS got together, and this was the first time I was seeing that friend in 30 years. I walked into the restaurant, and from across the room I hear someone yell, "MOIST!" And now I get texts that say Hey Moist!

It's such a gross word, but that makes it even funnier.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:16 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Moist is also a sidekick in Dr. Horrible, IIRC.
posted by maryr at 9:24 AM on July 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, it's become a general language peeve thread? I'll share one of mine.

You're crying, or welling up, or experiencing emotion. That's perfectly fine. So there's no need to say anything about how dusty your room has gotten or any of the other cutesy ways of describing it. No allergies, no something in your eye, I know it's an old joke but for some reason the dusty room part of it has worn very thin over time.

Tears aren't a sign of weakness. Own them.
posted by gadge emeritus at 11:26 AM on July 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


You have to admit, this thread has a certain je ne sais quoi.

Many years ago, me to coworker: "What does je ne sais quoi mean?"

Coworker: "I don't know what."

Me: "Oh, I thought you spoke French."
posted by not that girl at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm not crying, I've just been cutting onions. I'm making a lasagna... for one.
posted by maryr at 11:49 AM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


gadge emeritus: Tears aren't a sign of weakness. Own them.

Hmm, I've always thought that "joke" was more a self-deprecating knock about not being in touch with your own emotions. Like, if water is leaking from my eyes it must be dusty in here, because you have been moved to tears so unexpectedly you don't realize it, or something. I can see it as a macho thing, now that you mention it.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:33 AM on July 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hmm, I've always thought that "joke" was more a self-deprecating knock

That's how I feel about the "special snowflake" complaints, too. I don't think people (here, at least) actually think they are special when they use the term, especially on the Green.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:05 AM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


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