I was horrified recently to read a piece in a quality newspaper where a man described his wife as being “pissed”. He meant angry and not inebriated. How odd and confusing. When did pissed start meaning angry? I also saw an advert on a bus saying: “Do the Math!” Eek. It’s maths. It always has been and always will be. I felt a cold chill.

It’s not just the Americanism we’ve adopted which drive me crazy (24/7 kills me), it’s the faddy and lazy phrases people over use for a period of time. They’re funny for a minute or so and then are hideously irritating. My rule is: what would Noel say? By that, I mean Noel Coward not Edmonds.

If I met Mr Edmonds he’d say: “Please don’t hurt me.” as I ran at him with my slapping hand raised, for crimes against good taste. If it wouldn’t crop up in a Noel Coward piece it’s probably not funny and not appropriate.

My current hate list is this:
• Putting .com after things e.g. tired.com. It’s not funny or clever.
• Saying “Back in the day.” It makes you sound like a cheesy local radio disc jockey.
• “Wine o’clock” was maybe funny the first time it was said or typed but it isn’t now, honestly.
• “Five items or less” on a checkout. It’s “fewer”, the same as it’s “different from” not “different to/than”
• LOL/PMSL/ROFL. Really? You’re not really doing that at all are you? So please, don’t type it. It’s silly. What ever happened to “tee-hee” or “ha ha ha”.
• Text message speech and abbreviations. I hate this. I can’t stand “ya” for you, especially.
• “Man flu”. Lazy and sexist stereotyping. I had severe flu and everyone kept asking if I had man flu. I had actual flu, thanks and was in bed for a week sweating and suffering. Cheers for belittling it.
• “Epic fail’. It’s over used and tired.

Another thing I hate is when people laugh about red hair and being “ginger”. It was briefly funny to do this in the 90s. It’s not now. It’s just banal, rude and tired. Lots of ginger men and women are stunningly beautiful and one of my more promiscuous exes tells me that, according to his extensive research of men’s undercarriages, red-haired men have larger willies. I suspect that this is yet another myth but it would be nice were it true as payback for all that ginger baiting.

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I know this sounds pedantic and picky and I’m sure I say things incorrectly or overuse phrases that annoy others too but I am the man who won’t sing along to a song if it’s grammatically incorrect. I have to adapt the lyrics to exclude the word “aint” or any of those nasty double negatives. Eurgh.

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So in summary, desist please. Period.

About the author: Chris Bridges
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He's usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.

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