These days, grievance is a growth industry. For many people, being offended is the default setting on their lifestyle menu: they go there first and ask questions later. This is a pain in the ass to the rest of us because the Eagerly Offended constantly demand centre stage, they won’t shut up and there’s no reasoning with those nimrods. They want to be outraged. So, since it’s practically impossible to beat ‘em, I’ve decided to join ‘em and be offended too – by clichés.
English is a beautiful language, and I’m shocked and appalled that people who wouldn’t recognize a simile if it bit them on the bum think it’s acceptable to toss around hackneyed phrases as if they were confetti at a gender reveal party. There are millions of people all over the world who love and admire the English language, and the indiscriminate use of stale, worn-out and unimaginative vocabulary is very distressing and hurtful to them. This is the 21st century — not the Age of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, for God’s sake! We need to stand together to put an end to this linguistic appropriation and perhaps, moving forward, we can create a world free of lackluster analogies for our children to enjoy. Here are just a few egregious examples to get the ball rolling.
I slept like a baby.
Talk to any sleep-deprived new parent and they will tell you that babies do not sleep well, at all. They’re constantly waking up at all hours to either demand food or let you know, in no uncertain terms, they’ve turned it into something icky.
The expression should be – I slept like a single person who learned about birth control in middle school and, over the years, has become really, really good at it.
It was funny as Hell.
By definition, Hell is not the least bit humourous.
The expression should be – It was as funny as the look on the loud-mouthed atheist’s face when Satan explained the Rules of Eternal Damnation.
Happy as a clam.
I have a strange feeling that happiness is not derived from getting dumped into a pot of boiling water and literally being cooked alive.
The expression should be – Happy as a fat person with a bowl full of empty clam shells.
They treated him like a dog.
Oh — they gave him free food, provided shelter, made sure he had clean water and exercise, paid for his schooling, personal grooming and health care?
The expression should be – They treated him like a human.
You’re only as old as you feel.
This only works on those particular days when you feel younger than you really are. On all the other days, you’re pretty much screwed.
The expression should be – Everybody knows we’re all getting older; quit trying to do a chronological comb-over.
Money isn’t everything.
Of course not. There are all kinds of other things — like poverty, hunger, homelessness and deprivation.
The expression should be – Money isn’t everything, but it certainly is ahead of whatever’s in second place.