Words & Phrases You Never Want To Hear Again

Floyd1

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And has anyone noticed how the phrase ` to be honest` is now randomly appended onto sentences in situations where the honesty of the speaker is neither here nor there?

So the correct use of this phrase would be in something like:

`I'm a bit of a binge drinker, to be honest`.

Here the speaker has admitted something that he/she is not particularly proud of - hence the reference to honesty. And yet now one hears exchanges such as the following:

`So, what you get up to at the weekend?`

`Oh, just went shopping, to be honest`
Now, okay, it may be that the speaker feels a bit of mild unease about not having gone skydiving or something on his/her weekend, but even so, we all go shopping from time to time on our weekends so there is hardly any shameful soul-baring going on here. The speaker could have just said:
`Oh, you know, nothing exciting I'm afraid. Just went shopping`.

But I'm hearing strnger constructions than that:
`I agree with you, to be honest` (When I have just said something that is not really controversial and nobody else is in earshot anyway). Or:

`It's pretty cold out there, to be honest` And so on.

Does the phrase just have a nice rhythm to it - or is something darker going on? Have we become so insecure in our dealings with our fellow man that every other utterance has to have an air of apology about it?

Anyway, rant over, to be honest.
''It's pretty cold out there, to be honest'' is definitely a strange one. You make a good point about feeling shame or guilt about not doing something more 'productive', and that's possibly why that is often said in those cases - (although I've always maintained that staring into space instead of climbing everest or whitewater rafting is a far superior pastime).
 

Lizard King

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"know what i'm saying",{which can be annoying in it's self,if someone says it every five sentences and there is no difficulty in understanding what they are saying}being replaced with"you feel me?".Which is "straight out of the hood".
 

Ogdred Weary

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"Substance abuse". Can we please come up with something more precise? Substance abuse could mean using the wrong adhesive on your floor tiles! Of course "drug abuse" doesn't work, since no one thinks of cigarettes, booze, or coffee as drugs.
"Substance abuse" could be keeping a pot of glue in inhumane conditions.
 

maximus otter

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"Substance abuse". Can we please come up with something more precise? Substance abuse could mean using the wrong adhesive on your floor tiles! Of course "drug abuse" doesn't work, since no one thinks of cigarettes, booze, or coffee as drugs.
Oh yes. Far fewer PC euphemisms, please.

l’m sure l once heard a crack-addicted serial killer referred to as having “substance abuse issues and poor impulse control”.

maximus otter
 

Naughty_Felid

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"Substance abuse". Can we please come up with something more precise? Substance abuse could mean using the wrong adhesive on your floor tiles! Of course "drug abuse" doesn't work, since no one thinks of cigarettes, booze, or coffee as drugs.
Professionals do class them as drugs of abuse and they are always considered when coming up with a formulation.

There are whole services dedicated to people addicted to "booze."

There are whole services dedicated to nicotine addiction.

The reason "substance abuse" is used is there are many classes of drugs. Opioids, Benzodiazepines, Methamphetamines, Alcohol, etc. Yet most health teams are split into two groups those that deal with alcohol addiction and those that deal with opioid addiction.

Then there are other substance abuse drugs such as the hallucinogens.

People also use adhesives to get high too.

People who are addicted to certain substances usually don't take one type of substance they will take several - hence the umbrella term "substance abuse".
 
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ChasFink

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Let me be clear: I am well aware of all that Naughty_Felid mentions above. My beef is with the amazing lack of specificity in the words "substance" and "abuse". They're drugs, even if (like some glues) they aren't intended to be drugs. "Drug abuse" would get the point across if so many people didn't have a limited view of what drugs are. But when you remove the word "drug" and add the word "substance" you broaden the sense of "abuse" from "ingesting inappropriately" to "using in any way not considered normal". Painting your car without a proper primer? Abusing the substance car paint. Using orange marmalade as shaving cream? Abusing the substance orange marmalade. But these aren't what people mean by substance abuse. If we can't say drug abuse then we need a better and more specific term.

And don't get me started on the term "affimative action".
 
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