The F Word

Cat Caddy | The F Word

I have a thing about swearing.

When I was little, swearing was such a common occurrence that I grew up thinking the words Jesus Christ, said together, were synonymous with goddamn. It took me years to learn that was actually just his name. Sure, as a kid, I wasn’t allowed to swear, but it’s safe to say I grew up very comfortable with the concept.

So I have to say, it really bugs me when people try to swear without swearing.

Now, I’m not saying I think everyone should go around saying, “You cock-drinking fuck son of a bitch!” But if you find yourself saying things like, “This gosh-dang thing is giving me a heck of a time!” maybe you shouldn’t be swearing.

Seriously. If you can’t say it without offending yourself, why pretend to say it? Why say shoot instead of shit when they mean the same thing? Why say darn when what you really mean is damn? And for the love of god, why was the word hecka even invented? Is hella really that strong of a word?

I can’t help it. I think adults who use soft-expletives outside of situations that require polite language are being kind of immature. Again, it’s not that I’m pro-swearing (fuck yes I am!). I’m just anti-pretend swearing. It sounds fucking stupid to listen to someone try to rearrange their sentences to show how golly-gosh-frustrated they are, as if they might offend their own delicate sensibilities or a five year old might suddenly materialize in front of them. Please.

If you want to argue that swearing is unimaginative and creative types can find better ways to express themselves, why don’t you get creative then? How about using entirely new words as expletives instead of taking a pre-existing one and just changing one letter? Sure, duck is harmless sounding. But everyone knows you really mean

FUCK.

Sipping Lattes

Cat Caddy | Sipping Lattes

Here’s another phrase I hate: sipping lattes. I should start off by saying that I hate any word that’s meant to emulate the sound of water doing anything, from “babbling” to that “sppppth” sound you supposedly make when you’re drinking a latte. I drink a lot of coffee and spend a lot of time in coffee shops, so this phrase really makes me cringe. In addition to being totally annoying, it also has an air of pretentiousness. The people who are the type to sip lattes are the same people you’d expect to be doing any number of things we should also feel impressed by. If we were pseudo-intellectuals.

The phrase speaks not to the general coffee drinking public (given that nearly everyone drinks coffee, tea, or some variant), but to a newly created demographic: the snazzy business woman with “innovative new ideas,” the soon-to-graduate business major, the corporate type with a laptop reading the morning paper, the Etsy seller. You get certain types of people who like to flock to coffee shops, granted. I’m not complaining about coffee shop crowds in general, but the bullshit suave sounding phrase they use to identify us: those who sip lattes. I hate the word sip. It’s awful. And the notion that everyone goes to a coffee shop to “sip lattes” instead of chug coffee or drink tea lends itself to exactly the kind of demographic I’m referring to. Whatever happened to the word “drink”? Isn’t that what we’re doing? Isn’t that good enough? But no, I guess they’re right. That four dollar beverage goes better with an equally expensive-sounding onomatopoeia.

And while I’m on the topic, I have something to confess. TEDTalks bug the shit out of me. Yeah, yeah, I know, there goes my philosophy degree right in the toilet now that I’ve openly admitted it. (Yes, I have one of those, why else do you think I’m here?) But I had to say it. The whole thing is just a festering pot of smart-cred. Want to sound deep, intelligent, and thoughtful even if you’re not? Mention that you listen to TEDTalks!

It’s not the talks themselves. I’ve listened to a few, and yeah, sure, they’re interesting. There are a lot of topics and a variety of insights, and overall it’s a cool idea. What I can’t stand is the language they use to describe it. Brain food. Inspiring, motivating. Smart talks for smart people. Curiosity stirring. Ugh! Stop it already!

I can’t help but recoil whenever it’s brought up. These are the same people who figure that claiming they love Shakespeare makes them a good writer or a deep thinker. It’s just this idea that there are certain things you have to do to appear smart, or cultured, or interesting. It’s all bullshit. I’m not saying people can’t genuinely enjoy yoga, Shakespeare, TEDTalks, whatever. But can we all stop pretending to do stuff that makes us look smart? Can we stop sipping our lattes and just drink them like the hairy mammals we really are?

Damn!

(And yes, I did color the accompanying image with coffee. Well, it was coffee at some point.)

Apostrophes

Cat Caddy | Apostrophes

Every time I see a misused apostrophe, I take it as an affront. A personal insult. You did this to me, and now I have to make you pay. I’LL MAKE YOU PAY I’LL—

So in the interest of my continued sanity, I thought I’d create a helpful guide for everyone who is still confused over the matter. We all know that apostrophes belong in contractions and possessives and DO NOT BELONG IN PLURALS STOP PUTTING THEM IN PLURAL WORDS PEOPLE THEY DO NOT BELONG THERE DAMN IT! But sometimes it can be an easy mistake and we might forget which word an apostrophe belongs in. So here’s what I do.

Whenever I see a word with an apostrophe, I just read it full-out. So it’s becomes it is, John’s becomes [object] belonging to John, Mommy’s becomes [object] belonging to Mommy. These are all either contractions or possessive nouns and so the use of an apostrophe is appropriate.

It’s raining becomes it is raining. Its pain and agony becomes the pain and agony that it possesses. (And there’s no apostrophe in that possessive case because the apostrophe has already been designated for the contraction of it is, so this case is admittedly a confusing exception to the rule.) So what does banana’s and mango’s for sale become? What does it’s shoe become?

Banana is and mango is for sale. The shoe belonging to it is. That doesn’t making any fucking sense!

Hello mommy’s! Hello mommy is! See what I mean?

Whenever I’m writing a word I do this to make sure I’m using apostrophes correctly. Doing this exercise makes it really annoying to read the punctuation butchery you see all over the internet and out in public. Especially on professionally printed signs. You mean to tell me you went through the whole process of writing, designing, laying out, and manufacturing and NO ONE pointed out this error?! Not to mention the money wasted printing out an apostrophe you didn’t need. Money that could have been better spent hiring an editor.

Also, here’s a special note to mothers writing on the internet:

Mommy = One mother.
Mommy’s = [Object] belonging to one mother.
Mommies = Multiple mothers.
Mommies’ = [Object] belonging to multiple mothers.

So don’t say mommy’s when you mean mommies. Don’t say mommie’s or mommies’ when you mean mommies. And don’t ever say mommys.

Some people get a little overexcited. They s’tart adding apos’trophe’s whenever they s’ee an S, becaus’e it help’s people to know that a word i’s plural, and clearly, plural word’s alway’s get apos’trope’s. Just for fun, try reading that sentence as if those apostrophes actually belonged there:

They s-is-tart adding apos-is-trophe-is whenever they s-is-ee an S, becaus-is-e it help-is people to know that a word i-is-s pluasdgijadsglkadfglkjdsflgj!!!!

Stop making this mistake!

Phrases I Hate: Feel-good

“Oxytocin, the feel-good chemical.”

“This is an emotional, feel-good movie.”

Feel-good. As in, “Golly, this sure makes me feel good.” There’s something inherently stupid about using a phrase like “feel-good.” It’s simplistic and describes, in childish language, exactly what the chemical/movie/product should be doing: making you feel good, like a lollypop at the doctor’s office.

It feels good! It’s feel-good! Get it?

Yeah, we get it.

It also tries to force a particular emotion on you: when something is labeled “feel-good,” doesn’t that suggest how you ought to regard it? You mean I can’t just go to a movie and make my own decision about how I feel afterward? It’s usually a warning of the type of sappy sentiment I’d rather forgo, which at the very least is effective in helping me avoid your little rainbow movie. In regards to the brain chemicals generated by your film, am I really so dumb that you need to tell me its function as though I were three? “Point to where it hurts!” Come on.

Seriously. It’s just dumb sounding. I feel dumber saying it! I think the real gem here is the fact that “feel-good” isn’t just a trite phrase but an entire genre! How did this stupid little platitude get elevated to describing a whole genre? I don’t want to fault people for seeking out entertainment with an overall positive tone that gives them a more positive outlook at the end of it, but when it’s referred to as “feel-good”? What, is this movie for toddlers?