Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stop irritating me 24/7 by saying 24/7

I ascertain that your catch phrase is irritating.

24/7? Don't go there, girlfriend.

Every so often a stupid and irritating phrase makes its way to the English language and, despite being stupid and irritating, shows amazing traction among a certain segment of the population who is lucky enough to have had a Culligan stupid-and-irritating filter installed in the cranium at birth.

Like the Kids in the Hall character who loves the word "ascertain" (above), they hear the offending phrase, a bell goes off, and an angel loses his wings each time they repeat it, which they do ad nauseam.

I once agreed to meet a friend's friend for lunch at the James Armstrong Richardson Davis Junior International Winnipeg Airport for the Criminally Insane. I'd never met her before, but I'm always happy to help bored passersby while away the hours in Winnipeg en route to Chilliwack.

She seemed nice enough until we sat down and she said, "I heard you've been working 24/7."

I'd never heard "24/7" before, but I instantly hated it. To my horror, she proceeded to use it 750,000 times over the course of our lunch. I swear: at one point the conversation stopped and she said "24/7" as a placeholder.

I made my excuses and got out of there, looking over my shoulder as I fumbled with my keys in the parkade - certain that 24/7 would catch up to me, hit me over the head, and steal my wallet.

Sure enough: after that ill-fated lunch, I started hearing it everywhere. Each time, I'd be taken back to the close-up, slow-motion image of my new friend's lips mouthing "24/7." "Noooooooo!" I'd yell over a long shot of planet Earth.

After years of 24/7 therapy, I believe I've overcome the issue, knowing full well that sometimes you just have to say, "It is what it is."


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