Sunday, July 24, 2011

My 10 Most Celebrated Platitudes

Wikipedia defines a platitude as "a trite, meaningless, biased, or prosaic statement, often presented as if it were significant and original."

Really, that's a bit harsh, isn't it? Okay, a platitude may be a substitute for original thought or placed in a conversation to put an end to it. But I love seeing the humor in language and especially in those who use it to their disadvantage. Besides, some conversations really need to be put out of their misery.

Here are my top ten platitudes:
1) "It is what it is." Like, if it isn't what it wasn't it wouldn't be what it is. My absolute fav. I can amuse myself for hours with this one.
2) "Go with the flow" as opposed to "going against the flow" An assuredly great phrase designed to either keep us from being self abusive or a mantra for diarrhea suffers.
3) "There’s no 'I' in Team." I looked. There isn't. I just looked again. Still free of them. Will let you know when the "I"s invade.
4) "Think outside the box." I have never put a box over my head in order to think so I've never said this to anyone. It's sorta like sensory deprivation, I suppose. Holding one's hands over one's ears and going "Lalala" may be a substitute. That, I've done.
5) "It was meant to be." A fatalist's comfy blanket. I prefer the alternative "Life sucks, then you die and someone wears your clothes" or the more expressive "Sh*t happens."
6) "C'est la vie." This means "That's life" in French. A great conversation stopper and a phrase that makes you look very worldly, especially when said while dressed in a beret and French cuffs, sporting a pencil thin mustache. Better, and more socially acceptable, than swearing in a foreign language.
7) "Work smarter, not harder.” A great thing to say to those who you want to work harder without actually saying it. People wise up to this ruse quickly though. Quickly switch to Flintstones expressions if you see their eyes glazing over.
8) "You’re as young as you feel.” I've never been older than I feel, except when faced with a gorgeous twenty-something-year-old offering me their chair. Then I feel 95.
9) "You are what you eat.” When you look up hamburger in the dictionary, that's not my picture... My dog is definitely a milkbone though.
10) "Semper ubi sub ubi." It's always great to end a conversation with a Latin phrase. And by the time they realize it means 'always wear underwear' you're outta there buying your month's supply of Depends at the drug store.

Next week: Brainwashing, Thought Reform, and Loaded Language; Tactics of religions, cults and political influence over the masses. (Aren't you glad you didn't have to read THAT today?)


  1. You should get an appliance box and sit in it for a while. Great thoughts can come from sitting in the box. The problem with that is that people hardly ever want to sit in the box with you once you're grown up because we don't fit as well as we did when we were little.

    I just read through your recent posts and am still smiling. Good job! It's hard to smile in a heat wave. BTW, I read a while back that smarter employees produce more, but are perceived as doing less than their less intelligent coworkers. Obviously there's nothing to be gained by working smarter. You'll just end up doing more work for everybody.

  2. Thank you so much Linda. I imagine your last comment was meant in jest, as you obviously do the work of three... :o)

  3. If you really want to travel to the linguistic outer reaches, try: "Pensez à l'extérieur de la boîte, tout en portant des sous-vêtements."

    It french for "Think outside the box while wearing underwear". People will be confused for days.

    Alex M. Bustillo
    Google Plus@

  4. Haha. Now if I could get that in Latin please Alex...

  5. I think I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here...