hen I first started hearing "Thank you for sharing" and, more frequently, seeing it in print, I thought it had to be a joke, except that people seemed to be using it seriously or, even worse, to be using it in that postmodern, hedging one's bets way that says the user so lacks confidence in what he or she has to say that he wants to be taken seriously and be thought to be poking fun at himself at the same time. I say never trust any expression that misuses a transitive verb intransitively, and you'll rarely go wrong.
So I was especially pleased to see the following sentiment placed in the mouth of a character in John Lawton
's novella Bentinck's Agent
"‘You have anything else you want to share with me?’
"`Share? Share! Oh you fucking hippies. Yes, I’ll “share”’ (both hands went up to frame the word in speech marks)...'"
I like that because it's funny, because it vents spleen at an insipid expression, and because it explains its own disdain ("Oh you fucking hippies.") I look forward to similar scorn for the even worse "reaching out," which lacks even the redeeming touch of self-mockery that "Thank you for sharing" is said once to have had.
What expressions drive you nuts? Why?
John Lawton will be part of my "World War II and Sons" panel at Bouchercon 2013 in Albany, N.Y., on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 4:00 p.m
© Peter Rozovsky 2013
Labels: Bouchercon, Bouchercon 2013, conventions, miscellaneous, things that drive me nuts