The English language is constantly under attack. This is nothing new. We mangle verbs, contractions and prepositions on a daily basis. Most of these grammatical errors are trivial in the greater scheme of things. However, annoying phrases are a different matter. A few new phrases have slithered their way into my Hall of Shame:
Baby bump. This phrase refers to a pregnant woman’s belly. Tabloids like to use this phrase all the time. “Finally, Tania Tinselteeth is showing her baby bump!” Aside from the fact that no one cares, it’s not cute, it is annoying, please stop.
Life hack. Think of the television program MacGyver. This fellow is someone you want to be with if you are ever lost in the woods. He comes up with creative workarounds to save your bacon in times of distress. No matches to start a fire? No problem! Just take your cellphone apart and use the battery to start a fire with wool sock lint. Amazing! Wikipedia defines this phrase as: “Life hack (or life hacking) refers to any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency,” or not. Please resist the urge to use this phrase.
No problem. This has replaced the old reliable “You’re Welcome.” So, I’m sitting in the diner and I ask the waiter if I can have more coffee. He brings the refill and I politely say “thank you.” He responds “no problem.” Why would asking for a coffee refill be a problem? “May I have the check?” Again, “no problem.” The problem is using the phrase “no problem.”
Must See. This phrase has been around for a while and time hasn’t lessened its “nails on a blackboard” charm. “Ooh, that movie is a must see.” Chances are pretty good that this is not true at all, it probably is more like a mustn’t see. It tends to be used to hype the truly banal things in life.