5 Everyday Phrases That Have Lost Their Meaning

5 Everyday Phrases That Have Lost Their Meaning

OMG, ILY! BRB! OMW, K?
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You always hear that words have meaning and power. But how many times have you been told that someone loves you, or been told that someone’s outside only to be alone with no ride and a handful of useless flowers? How many empty sayings or promises have you heard?

There are any different instances in which what you’re hearing or reading isn’t exactly what someone means. In an age where all we look for is the approval of others, conversely, we look to make sure that we’ve approved of something as well. We want to see our names on lists and our comments under pictures. That’s why there are “likes” on Instagram and god forbid someone doesn’t know that we enjoy the landscape picture that looks just slightly different than their last landscape picture. The more we use these words, the harder it is for us to convince everyone that it means the same thing.

Here are just 5 words and phrases that have lost their power over us.

1. Here/I’m here/I’m outside

Let me set the scene for you, as I’m sure you’ve experienced many times before. You’re getting ready to go to a party/concert/dinner/friend’s house, and you’re anxious to leave. You don’t want to be late, and you feel like having fun and not driving later. Your friend who you’re attending withsaid event with said they’d pick you up. You have to be there in about 15 minutes and your friend texts you and says, “Yo, I’m outside.” Sweet, you finally get to get the night started. You make sure your door is locked and you walk outside to see… an empty driveway.

Okay, maybe they’re around the corner…. 5 minutes around the corner… Maybe they died…

Admit it, you’ve done this at least once before. But why? What benefit does this afford you to text someone other than to annoy them once you’re actually outside their house 15 minutes later. Maybe they were stressed about leaving and rushed outside? It also lets your friend know the degree to which you value their time. How hard is it to just wait and text someone when you’re actually outside of their house? Or better yet, why not avoid the confusion entirely and actually knock on their door when you’re there to pick them up? Unless you feel like being cruel and ding dong ditching them, it’s a full proof way to make sure your friend knows that you’re actually outside.

2. That’s so awesome!

Here’s the Webster definition of awesome; extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear. Is getting Chik-Fil-A for lunch really awesome? I mean, I understand the significance of getting an A on a midterm. But does that really inspire apprehension or fear? The list of mundane and ordinary items or tasks goes on and on. It really makes me consider how "awesome" your life can really be if getting Girl Scout Cookies is the most awesome part of your day. Not taking anything away from Girl Scout Cookies (Samoas over everything), but I think we can afford to dial it back here a little bit.

Also, think about everything you’ve described as awesome. Tacos, pizza, and puppies have all received that lovely moniker recently. But how can you call tacos awesome and then immediately go to the Grand Canyon and call that awesome? You’re really comparing the two? I mean, you’ve already used awesome on tacos and who knows what else before this incredibly awe-inspiring event, what can you really say about it now? Sounds like a slight vocab quiz is in order. And yes, I understand some things are truly great in the moment, but I think we can collectively adjust this level of thinking and save the awesomeness for things worthy of the word.

3. Literally, blah, blah, blah

Oh, my goodness gracious, if we all had a dollar for every time we’ve used this. I mean literally, we do it like a thousand times a day. See what I did there? And I wasn’t even trying to be literal, which somehow has become the common use of a word that is supposed to mean what ACTUALLY happened. But did you LITERALLY have a heart attack when you almost dropped your phone and your headphones saved it? Did you LITERALLY want to die when your food came out faster than you expected it at your favorite restaurant? Did your mother text you LITERALLY a thousand times while you were in a movie? More than likely, not. Of course, when something is incredibly exciting or happy or depressing, we want to convey our feelings and emotions as accurately as possible. Whether that’s actually something we can do is still to be decided.

This term has lost so much of its original meaning that if you look up its definition there are now two. The first one is the original; exactly, in a literal manner or sense. Pretty straightforward, right? Well that’s until you get to the curveball that is the second definition; used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true. I’m going to pause here so you can read that again.

Okay, we’ve used the word literally in the exact opposite way for so long that it’s actually a part of the definition of the word! Literally, the word literally means literally and also the opposite of literally. I’m annoyed that I live on a planet in which that sentence makes sense.

4. I'm dead/I died

So first of all, no. This isn’t Night of the Living Dead, nor did I suddenly stumble into the magical world of Zombieland. Whether it’s through laughter or cuteness or some other overwhelming emotion you’re feeling, I’m almost positive it’s not enough to kill you. Plus, how can that even be a positive reaction to something?

Friend: Did you like that part in the movie?

You: Oh I died, it was so good.

Really? That good huh? Well while you’re busy perfecting immortality, please tell me about the afterlife. Although, I’m sure it can’t be much different than when you died roughly fifteen minutes ago and lived to tell about it. Why dying? Why is that the way to convey how strongly something impacted you? There are so many other ways to describe how something made you feel or how you reacted to something that don’t involve your lack of a heartbeat. Those puppies can still be cute and your favorite artist can still tweet at you, just make sure you’re still breathing so you can brag about it.

5. I love you/that/it so much!

There are a few terms that should be reserved for maybe four or five people in your life, this being one of them. Yet in this day and age, everyone and everything says I love you. And about 99% of it is the most disingenuous, empty worded statement aimed at anyone who’ll feign listening. To bring it home here, we all look for different forms of approval from other people; Both in external approval and acknowledgment of our approval of others. For some reason, we just can’t stand the idea that people might possibly think that we don’t like them. So instead of trying to temper this for every individual we know, we go 0 to 100 real quick and immediately tell whoever will listen that we love them.

Now like I said, roughly 99% of this is not at all genuine. Which then makes the other 1% less powerful. What does it mean to someone whom we actually love more than anything in the world, that we’ve told ten other people we love them today too? And if we’re asked why we love them? Or if we do really LOVE them? What answer can we give?

Honestly, I enjoy the fact that we’re becoming more expressive and outgoing with our emotions. But that can come at a cost; in this case, that cost is genuine FEELING. We all just speak and talk off the cuff and hope something sticks. If we can just put our heart and soul back into our words, we can make these genuine connections with other individuals that we miss out on. All we need to do is mean what we say, and say what we mean, and emotionally we’ll all be in a better place.

Cover Image Credit: The Huffington Post

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Dear Freshman Year Roommate, Thank You For Being Someone I Always Looked Forward To Hanging Out With

From the first moment we met and bonded over our love for bubble tea, I knew our friendship was going to be special.

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When I was applying for college, I was concerned with supplemental essays, SAT scores, scholarship applications and letters of recommendation. I never took a moment to stop and wonder "What happens once I get in?"

Finally, the fateful day arrived where I made my college decision. I bought a sweatshirt from the George Washington University store. My mom decorated my High School locker with our colors. And most importantly, I sighed a breath of relief imagining how refreshing it was going to be to ride out the rest of my senior year without the stress of college deadlines weighing on my shoulders.

Unfortunately, that blissful serenity was cut short when I joined a Facebook group of admitted students, where profiles of smiling teenagers flashed on my screen accompanied with the fateful "I'm looking for a roommate."

A roommate. I obviously knew that I needed a roommate. It was common sense, yet for some reason, I had failed to consider the logistics of finding a roommate until that moment.

See, my mom helped me through my college process, but times were different back then. She described showing up to her college on the first day, not knowing who she had been randomly assigned. There was no Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram to help you communicate with the girls on the other side of the country-- or sometimes even on the other side of the world.

This was a new, unexplored territory where my mother's wealth of knowledge sadly fell short.

Lucky for me, I was accepted into an honors program which restricted the list of girls available to be my roommate to a list of about twenty-five. We created a google document which asked basic questions like "Are you a night owl or earlier riser?"

Even still, I had no idea how to pick someone who I would be compatible to live with for the next year of my life. The stakes felt high, but I was reassured by the fact that I grew up sharing a room with my siblings, learning some important skills about being low-maintenance and tolerant of others' habits.

I read through the list and found someone whose answers sounded similar to mine, figuring we had enough in common to be amicable, if nothing more, throughout the school year. Her name was Riya, and she had a cute Instagram, so I messaged her asking if she wanted to try and room together. She agreed and we put each other down as roommates when applying for housing.

Looking back, that decision was the best one that I made when preparing for GW.

Throughout my freshman year, I have heard horror stories about roommates who fight all the time, steal each other's clothes, refuse to clean or try and micromanage the other's sleep schedule.

All the while, I count my lucky stars that my roommate is not only sane but someone who I genuinely look forward to spending time with. We share ice cream and inside jokes. When the weather was heating up and the university refused to turn on the air conditioning, we even shared our fans.

It comforts me to know that at the end of even the worst days, I can come back to my room and laugh or cry (sometimes both) with her by my side.

I remember once, I was having trouble with another group of friends. I felt alone and isolated. I felt like there was nobody who I could talk to apart from my mom or my best friend from home, who are both supportive and incredible but don't know any of the characters in my life in the same way as someone here at school.

I have a bad habit of struggling to reach out to people when I'm going through something, figuring I am strong enough to handle it on my own.

While that may sometimes be true, thanks to Riya, I didn't have to. I ended up telling her everything. She listened to me rant, understanding how I was hurt, and advising me on the situation.

I felt so much better after our conversation, and the best part was, I didn't have to leave the comfort of my bed for the entire conversation.

Her friendship reminded me of my family, and honestly, she has acted like a sister to me over the past two semesters.

It is so wild reflecting on the year, knowing that next semester we will be going our separate ways, living with respective friends in buildings a couple of blocks away from each other.

However, even when the posters are off the walls and signs reading "Riya" and "Emilie Joe" no longer stick to the outside of our door, I know that the bond we created in room 217 will never leave us.

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