March 27, 2011

You have no idea . . .

In my family, many remarks are preceded by this phrase. As my mother offers a platter of food, she says:

"You have no idea how delicious this is!"

But it's not restricted to her. The whole family does this.

"How was the party?"
"You have no idea the fun we had!"

You'd think the phrase always introduced something positive. Unh-uh.

"You have no idea what happened to me last night! Help me into that chair." 

Like some people, the phrase swings both ways.

Now, this might be amusing if it only affected others. But the awful truth is that we end up saying the things we hear. And yes, the confession: I hear these words come out of my mouth at times. It makes me hang my head in shame. But what can you do? Some phrases are like a virus. They latch onto your soul and claw their way into your thoughts. You have no idea how this upsets me.

I'm not sure when my family started saying this. Maybe I've been hearing it from birth but I suspect this is a recent viral invasion. Is this perhaps a countrywide epidemic, a virus the citizenry picked up while watching TV? Do people in your area say it too? A lot?

Maybe it's like that dreadful Uplift Virus that took over the country in the late 90s, making everyone end their sentences on a high, questioning note -- guaranteed to make the person sound like an imbecile. We're finally recovering from that, and now this.

Let's make the topic larger. Is there some idiotic phrase that has worked its way into your language because you hear it so often? Are you infected with a language virus? Lordy, I hope not!

1 comment:

cm said...

I've hated "it is what it is" since the moment I heard it. I never thought I'd use it but I'll admit I did once or twice.