CXXI – English is Weird

Has anyone ever stopped to notice how weird the English language is? We speak it every day in the US, and no one really even stops to think about how little sense some of the things we say make. Every day, we use sayings and expressions. Most of them are fine, but some of them are either oxymorons, or they’re just plain dumb.

           Wake up dead

This one describes someone who went to bed at night, but never awakened in the morning, having died during the night. My question is: how the fuck do you “wake up dead”? You’re dead, you can’t wake up. It’s physically and physiologically impossible. If you woke up, you’re not dead. It’s one huge nonsensical oxymoron.

Wake up dead?
How the hell you gonna wake up if you’re dead?

            Legally drunk

In actuality, this is a person who has consumed too much alcohol and is over the legal limit for blood alcohol content. This person could be arrested for DUI if driving. However, if he’s legally drunk, why is he being arrested? If being drunk is legal, what’s the problem?!

            In your own words

Many times in a courtroom, the attorney will ask the witness to “describe the events in your own words”. Umm, how about “fleegle quat flim blando granah floody wapple”. That could mean anything. So far as I can tell, I use the same words everyone else who speaks English uses. If I used my own words, no one would understand me, just like the nonsensical phrase I just wrote.

own words
But I use the same English words as everyone else…

            Undisputed champion

This is a term used a lot, in wrestling and boxing. “The undisputed welterweight champion will be determined by this match”. Wait a minute…if the champion is undisputed, why is there all the fighting? We know who’s the champ, end of story.

undisputed champion?

             Found missing

Huh🤨? If someone is missing, I highly doubt they’ve been found. If they’re found, they’re not missing anymore. I believe it’s meant to say that it has been discovered that someone has disappeared. What’s up with this oxymoron crap again?

            Preheat the oven

Oftentimes, you’ll see on a cake mix or something else to be baked, the instructions will read “preheat the oven to 350°”. What the hell does that mean? Heat it up before heating it? An oven can only be heated or unheated. There is no in-between. I have seen packages that simply say “heat the oven to 350°”. That makes more sense. I can do that.

            The whole nonsense of “pre”-whatever

Many words using the prefix “pre-” are useless and the prefix is absolutely superfluous. Pre-plan? Don’t you mean just “plan”? When you plan something, you’re getting an idea for the future. Pre-recorded? Um, you can’t very well record something after it already happened. You record something to be played later. Pre-board the airplane? How the fuck do you get on a plane before you get on? How about we simply “board” the plane? Why add unnecessary extra syllables?

            Get on the plane

Why do we say we’re going to get on the plane? Seems like a risky way to travel, if you ask me. I think I’d rather travel inside the plane. I’ll get in the plane, along with the other sane people. It’s a whole lot less windy inside the plane. I think being outside the plane traveling 350mph might be dangerous🤷‍♂️.

            Non-stop flight

Speaking of air travel, why is it that a flight with no layovers is called a “non-stop flight”? Are we going to be banished to the sky forever? Won’t the plane run out of fuel at some point? No, I insist that my flight stop at some point. Hopefully, it stops safely at an airport. It’s those unexpected stops in a field or into a building that just kinda fucks up my plans for the weekend.

nonstop flight


Of course, what flight would be complete without the terminal? That’s kind of a bad choice of words for where you catch the plane. It’s a bit disconcerting to eat something (way overpriced) at the “terminal snack bar”. Is this $10 club sandwich or $15 Big Mac combo going to kill me, or just my pocketbook🤔?

hella expensive food
Which will kill me first? Unhealthy airport food or the sticker shock from the prices?

            Greatest thing since sliced bread

There’s been nothing great since 1928, huh? The Hoover Dam? All these technological innovations? The Red Sox breaking the Curse of the Bambino? The Cubs finally winning the World Series in 2016? Sliced bread is it, huh? One can’t take a loaf of bread and a knife and slice it themselves? I’ll also have you know that Betty White is six years older than the invention of sliced bread (can you believe she turns 100 in January 2022?). So, it would seem to me that sliced bread might be the best thing since Betty White, if you’re gonna use this weird phrase.

Betty White vs sliced bread
’Nuff said

            Government of/by/for the people

This one’s gonna ruffle some feathers. I really don’t care. The Constitution says that we have a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”. Maybe it was years ago, but it sure as hell ain’t for the people now. The only thing politicians want is their own power, the peasants (us) be damned. Government is supposed to fear the populace, not the other way around. The Declaration of Independence states that should a government become destructive and corrupt, it can be abolished and started over again. The exact excerpt is this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.–That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…” Perhaps it’s time to do just that, to get rid of all these corrupt, rich, old white people who’ve been in their positions for literally decades. If you look at the “senior” politicians, House and Senate, they’re almost exclusively Caucasian, in their 70s or later, and each one worth millions of dollars.

govt corruption
Looks like the time might be getting close…

There are numerous others I could include, but I think this is enough for now. I might do another one sometime. It’s not like I haven’t done a “part 2” or “more of this” post. What is not a contradiction-in-terms is that I wish everyone who reads this a peaceful, prosperous week, in spite of any mask mandates or lockdowns that might be happening. Make your best attempt at following legal mandates, wear your freaking masks when you absolutely have to. Be nice to your restaurant servers, don’t assault employees doing their jobs, be safe and be well.

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