Daydreaming default mode, Part 2

I’ve been thinking about words or turns of phrase that originally intrigued me but now irritate me, like “at the end of the day,” “that said,” “absolutely,” and one more that really captured me but that I’ve now totally forgotten. I stacked these phrases up in my mind as I was driving on what we call around here the Blue Route, because it was so controversial it existed only as a blue line on maps for thirty years. I’ve been wondering if that phrase would return to me if I re-drove that route, because, as I wrote the other day, my memory attaches to places; for example I can remember exactly where I was (in a conference room at the corporation where I worked for twenty years) when I first heard “at the end of the day,” spoken by a quite intimidating Englishwoman from our British affiliate, which probably explains why I found such a well-worn phrase intriguing at first, conjuring up apocalyptic visions of the world crashing down around us while we all sat around that conference room trying to figure out what the essence of what we were talking about was.

“That said” is like putting something in bold type – it emphasizes what the speaker just said, but the problem is that while you’re thinking about this, about what the speaker just said and about why he (it’s almost always a he) had to say “that said,” you forget to listen to what he’s saying next. This is not in person, mind you (another irritating phrase), because people rarely say “that said” in person – you hear it more on TV or on the radio, when people are called upon to pontificate; and so it’s much easier for your attention to wander, from the TV or radio, when the speaker isn’t there to see you musing absently over his turn of phrase.

And speaking of TV or radio: have you noticed how many times people being interviewed say “absolutely”?

And all of this, in case you haven’t noticed, illustrates my normal daydreaming default mode.

It is what it is.*

*Yes, that’s the phrase I forgot, and I didn’t even have to go back to the Blue Route.

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This entry was posted in Cultural stuff, Dreams, consciousness, and weird things like that, My so-called-life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Daydreaming default mode, Part 2

  1. M. Kenny says:

    As a loyal reader, that said, I am now conscious that I have caused you some irritation. At the end of the day, I hope you know I meant no harm. My way of writing, it is what it is*. Absolutely, will try harder not to irritate you.

    *tautophrase:

  2. Don says:

    Yes! I can’t stand “that said” either. And my boss loves to say “moving forward” in his emails to the staff. Uggh. Ever notice how on infomercials they can’t just say “free?” They seem obligated to always precede “free” with “absolutely!”

    Then there’s redundancy. Even though radio traffic reporters have to limit their reports to 30 or 60 seconds, here in NY they always say “an accident is in the process of being cleared.” Why not just say “an accident is being cleared?”

    I always enjoy reading your “blog” and it’s nice to learn we actually think quite alike at times. To dredge up a tired 60s phrase:”Right on!”

    • Don says:

      Oops! I reply to my reply because I misspelled “precede” and couldn’t find a way to edit replies on here. It wasn’t what it was.

      • celebratingtime says:

        For some reason the blog author on WordPress has all the power, so the lowly repliers can’t edit their own posts. But now your “precede” is fixed from on high.

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