Monday 24 September 2012

Some common English phrases need a make-over.

I was thinking today about how technological advancement has meant that some common phrases in English no longer make sense.

Such as put one's head down.

We don't really put our heads down anymore though, do we?

They stay up, because we're all looking at computer screens.

I think we should change it to something like put my head forward? Can you think of anything better?

And in this day and age, with social networking and chatting online, a slip of the tongue isn't always relevant either. Perhaps it could be a slip of the pinky or a slip of the digit, you know?

Can you think of any other phrases that need changing? What would you change them to?


  1. Ha! I never thought of it that way. I don't think old phrases ever die. A few dystopian books have used phrases like that to show the community doesn't even know where the exact term came from anymore. I remember Lois Lowry doing that in The Giver. My grandmother used to tell me not to get too big for my britches. She probably heard it from her mother. When was the last time someone used the term "briches"?

  2. I still talk about writing a letter and taping things off the telly. I, of course, do neither. I type a letter and set the Virgin-thingy to record the programme on its hard drive.

    1. So true! I'm sure there are lots of others too. It's so much fun to learn where popular phrases originated and that sometimes they're no longer relevant.

  3. What a thought-provoking post! (Even so, I seem to be out of thoughts at the moment.) Goes to show that language is breathing and living.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hang it up - who hangs up a phone anymore? We click a button.

  6. My daughter told me something was "Off the hook" this weekend and I wondered per Alex's comment what kind of hook she was referring to...okay I know what she meant but still you get what I mean.

  7. LOL! Jessica! You're hilarious. I was thinking how now we can't really say, "I can't wait to hear what you think" about book reviews so much. It's more, "I can't wait to read what you think."

    But I don't know about that head forward thing. That makes me visualize someone doing the duck neck move--LOL! :D <3

  8. This might be a regional thing, but my mom used to ask us to "wait a cotton-pickin' minute"...just how long is that?

  9. It must be an age thing as I actually think both phrases still relevant. :)


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris