Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Four Turns of Phrase That Annoy Me Probably Beyond All Reason

  1. "Creator's Creation." E.g., "Disney's Hercules," and currently, "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride." This is annoying:

    • partly because it's aggressively possessive (Hercules belongs to Disney now? I thought he was an ancient myth who belonged to the whole world. Oh, but this is Disney's Hercules, so they reserve the right to screw up the story as they see fit)
    • partly because it sometimes sounds silly (a movie about Tim Burton's dead bride?)
    • but mostly because if they say it, it's usually not true, e.g., "Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime," which isn't by Arthur C. Clarke. There is an important exception for movies such as "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" or "Bram Stoker's Dracula." That actually makes sense because there was already a movie which was a corruption of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and the makers of the movie "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" are trying to claim that their movie will adhere more to Mary Shelley. That's okay by me. But the problem re-emerges with the novelization of the movie "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," by someone other than Mary Shelley.

  2. "To me, X is true," or "For me, X is true." How can X just be true to you? Do you live in your own private universe? If things are true they're true for everybody. Okay, so you probably just left out some words in the middle, like "it seems that..."
  3. "Put simply, X." Oh, I really hate this, because I hate being told I'm stupid. I don't mind it when people say, "Simply X," or "Basically X." In fact I say those things all the time. When I say "simply X," I'm saying that X really is simple or basic. When I say "put simply, X," I'm saying that X is really complicated, but I will pretend that it is simple for your sake, because you are an idiot.
  4. "Trust me, X is true." This one is not as annoying as the others. Still, I can't imagine anything that would make me trust someone less than the fact that they instructed me to trust them.


At 5:06 AM, September 07, 2005, Blogger Kathryn said...

Listening to Radio 4 this morning, I realised that I really hate certain words such as 'disconnect' and 'ask' being used as nouns, e.g. 'There's a disconnect between X and Y' and 'That's a big ask'. It drives me bananas.

At 5:23 AM, September 07, 2005, Blogger Neil said...

I agree with you about the movie titles. There is a a lot of hubis involved when someone calls their movie by their own name.

At 8:26 AM, September 07, 2005, Blogger Richard Mason said...

The common thread in my four peeves is the aggrandizement or condescension of the speaker. This is my movie, the greatest thing about it is that it's by me. To me, everything in this movie is true, and who cares about you? Put simply, I've dumbed it down a bit for you. Just trust me and don't argue, this movie is great.


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