'No Worries' and Other Phrases I Hate

"Are you still working on that?" Restaurant lingo that gives me instant acid reflux every time I hear a server utter it. Working on what, my food? What does that mean? Am I molding my pasta into a sculpture? Am I supposed to be using a power drill or a jackhammer to make my pizza into a strip mall? If the plate is empty just ask me if I am finished eating. You might want to mix it up a little and ask if you may take my plate. And make sure you pose those questions when my mouth is too full to respond.

"I Heart" (As in "I Heart New York.") This used to mean, "I love New York." Now, for some unknown reason, we suddenly have to get literal. Idiots, it's supposed to be a symbol for the word "love." Symbols are substitutes for words. Get it? If you come to a Don't Walk sign that has a picture of a walking guy with a red line drawn diagonally across his body, you don't say, "walking guy with red line drawn across his body." You say, "don't walk." And since when is the word "heart" a verb? Who changed it from a noun? Cardiologists?

"Use your words." A favorite among mothers with little kids. Your two year old is having a tantrum, screaming and rolling on the floor, banging his little fists on the ground and you tell the poor kid to express his rage by articulating it verbally. Really? Is that what you want Mom? Instead of having a shit fit, do you really want the kid to say, "I hate your guts you cheap, dimwitted asshole! Buy me a goddamn ice cream cone or I'll gouge your eyes out with a miniature baby spoon."

"To die for." Usually used by women (often in its abbreviated form, "to die."), this ridiculous phrase frequently relates to food, as in, "This reduced pasta ragout infused crème brulee is to die for." I'm the anti-Christ of foodies so I'll take Chef Boyardee ravioli over a pistachio encrusted mussel cupcake any day. Besides, is anybody going to really risk his or her life by running into a burning building or wrestling with an armed mugger to save a bowl of gazpacho? Food is simply not worth dying for unless you're a member of the Donner Party.

"Gone missing." Back in the day, we just said, "Jimmy Hoffa is missing." Why is it suddenly "gone missing?" "Missing" means you're not there so of course you're gone.

"Enjoy your day." To me, it sounds like an order. Enjoy your day or what? The enjoy-your-day police will arrest me for lack of day enjoyment? If I'm in line at the bank and it takes forty minutes to get to the teller, during which I am compelled to listen to the woman in front of me chattering on her cell about someone's hysterectomy, I'm already not enjoying my day. In fact, I am enraged and it's only ten o'clock in the morning. So when I've finished my transaction and the teller gives me a Lithium smile and tells me, in an annoyingly chipper voice, to enjoy my day, the idea of spending fifty years in jail for murder suddenly doesn't sound so bad.

"No worries." We used to say good old American expressions like "no problem," or "no sweat", but now we've adopted this dumb Aussie phrase probably because most Americans think Australia is in Europe. So saying "no worries" instead of "no sweat" makes them feel sophisticated, smart and worldly. The problem is, there is something distinctly worrisome about people who like to think they're smart, sophisticated and worldly because they use an Australian phrase that they think originated in Europe.

"It's all good." This is the kind of phrase that's usually uttered by someone who wants to appear cool after something terrible happens, like their house blowing up. It doesn't mean they think there's something good about their house blowing up, nor does it mean they like to look on the bright side; it just means they don't want anybody to think they really give a shit that all their worldly belongings have been destroyed. There are limits however. It would probably be moronic to say, "it's all good" if you're the only survivor of The Apocalypse.