The things people literally say
I have just spent the last 9 days I have been on holiday and rather than feel the pressure to go away (“we have time off, we must use productively, we must travel”) we just stayed home. I was a really rewarding and relaxing period of time….and productive.
I say productive, because one of the things that we did was a bit of interior decoration. I guess like many, whilst I decorate I like to listen to the radio, it keeps the paint brush moving and the soul lifted as you realise that you have only done one eighth of the work despite having not slept for three days……
During this particular project we were listening to commercial radio. Which means adverts. The same adverts. Lots of times. There were the good (well a few), the indifferent (the majority) and the bad (mainly for small local businesses) and then there was the one that had me screaming at the radio each time it came on.
The advert that I refer to is actually a public safety announcement, produced by the government to warn on the dangers of speeding. The theme is a “broken heart”. The idea being that when you are speeding and have impact, whilst you have the seatbelt to protect you, your heart will travel through your body and hit your ribcage. Ok, so far? I’m all in favour of sensible driving. But then the killer phrase, “the impact can literally tear your main artery away from your heart”. How else is it going to tear it away???? Figuratively? Metaphorically?
Each time, I got more and more exasperated, more and more on edge to the point where I was starting to anticipate it between songs and the quality of my painting was going to pot. The misuse of the word somehow made even worse by the fact that it is a government ad. It seems that I am not the only person to get fed up by this, and indeed this site shows me to be a total novice.
A quick scout around showed friends had a range of pet peeves (another favourite was “to tell you the truth….” – so you’ve been lying to me before????) all of which got people really hot under the collar. So tell me on this fine Monday morning. What misused word or phrase would you eradicate from the world and why?