Select Page

What is the very last thing you want to hear when you’ve made a mistake you were cautioned against? You guessed it, “I told you so.” So, why do we say it at all? If we don’t like to hear it- why are we compelled to say it? It is right up there with saying- no pun intended or pun intended- it’s implied. When you say “no pun intended” you are basically telling me how Clever you are and that you think I am too stupid to recognize said pun.When you say “pun intended” you are again saying how Clever you are and how afraid you are I might not realize how Clever you are.

I don’t say “I told you so” to people I don’t like so why would I ever say it to someone I do like? It is disdainful, and Clever Girls are far above such behavior. If we truly love someone- friend, boyfriend, sister- isn’t it better to take the high road and say- “Hey, you never know until you try” or better yet, nothing. An honest smile of sympathy or empathy is all a loved one really needs to allay the fear the freaking “I told you so” is coming.

Let’s say you told your boyfriend to salt the front walk and he neglects to do so- two hours later, he heads out to get the mail and busts his ass. Is an “I told you so” really necessary? I personally would be so busy castigating myself for not being at the ready with a video camera, I wouldn’t have time to rub his nose in it. Actually, I would probably worry he was hurt- rush to his side and when I learned he was more embarrassed than anything, I’d smirk a bit- assured my request was the last thing to pass through his mind before he nearly brained himself on the steps. Ha! Watching people trip is truly one of the great joys in my life (as long as no one is hurt).

Now, if you warned him to salt the walk and a little trick-or-treater does a header, make sure the attorney who calls knows you “told him so”. Totally kidding. No. I’m. Not.

When THE mistake is made- I liken it to being a hockey goalie. You make the mistake and a red light goes on over your head and sixteen thousand people are pissed off at you. We are all that embarrassed when we make that cautioned against error- don’t be one of those people who HAVE to make you feel worse than you already do.

Ok, Clever Tribe- irregardless is not a word- it doesn’t even make sense. Regardless is what you really mean- so please say it. It means without regard for. So, if you useirregardless– which isn’t a word- you are saying- without, without regard. Reminds me of the movie “Mickey Blue Eyes” when Jeanne Tripplehorn’s character tells Hugh Grant’s character the name of her father’s restaurant- The La Trattoria. Funny stuff.

When I hear people say impordant instead of important it makes my teeth itch and let me tell you- it’s more common than you think. I hear it on the news often and the broadcasters have been schooled in speaking (theoretically)- so don’t feel bad, just PLEASE annunciate.

I can’t believe I have to say this, and you don’t have to tell me it’s in the dictionary- I understand that. However, if you must use ain’t– don’t do it if you are having tea with the Queen- it simply isn’t accepted in a formal setting.

Now, mortified is easily one of the most widely misused words in the history of the English language and there is good reason for it. Mortified means intense embarrassment or shame- even humiliation. Despite the extended meaning- to subdue (rarely used), it never means terrified or fearful. The root “mort”- death is what leads people to associate it with fear or terror or even death.

I’m not going to attack colloquialisms because I find most of them charming, but leaving the G off of words is not colloquial- it’s lazy. I’m goin’ to the store and gettin’ some beer so we can do some drinkin’. Now, while I appreciate you running to the store to get some beer so I can drink it- I ask only you not forget to pick up three Gs when you are there and apply them directly.

As annoying as the forgotten G is- the ignored H is equally nauseating. I just have to say this at the risk of pissing off the natives- Houston is spelled with an H, the H is not silent- nor is it silent in humor. As a matter of fact, I can think of few H words, which are silent in the English language. Think- hour. A man named Howard is not pronounced- Oward- right?

As long as you are here, I might as well just say it- platitudes, any hackneyed saying and clichés make me crazy. Why? Well, because they no longer hold meaning- further, if you ask someone, “what does that mean?” they will fumble. These utterances, and they are little more than that, are in the vein of “um,” “uh,” “I mean,” “you know” and “like”- are fillers.When you can’t think of anything to say- you insert one of the above. “Hey, grass is always greener,” “Strike while the iron is hot.” Oh, and my favorite of all “Take care”- again, what better way to say I am lazy and I could care less about you?

Here is a tip- PREGNANT PAUSE. What is this you might ask? It is a purposeful pause, while speaking, to give your mind time to catch up to your mouth. It is a moment to generate a thought, so you don’t have to say, “um,” “uh,” “so, anyway,” “you know.” Try it- you’ll like it. Do not, however, take too long a pregnant pause- in person, someone might think you had an aneurism- over the phone they might think you dropped the call, and if you’ve ever listened to Dan Patrick (former ESPN SportsCenter host- ESPN radio- SI columnist- ultimate Clever Guy’s Guy) on the radio- you are convinced, at least ten times during his show- the station went black. A pregnant pause loses its appeal the longer it is- it’s supposed to be a thoughtful moment- not to mimic the onset of a coma.

The only time a cliché gets my attention is if it’s mangled or inadvertently combined with another- this will get a rise out of me on par with someone tripping. “She is dragging me up the wall”, “Too many cooks in the soup,” “If we hadn’t been drinking like wild dogs …” “It was raining like a banshee”- I’ll tell you- I am busting out laughing right now- by myself. The only appropriate response in this situation is to ask, “What does that mean?”- through your laughter, of course.

I try never to correct people in front of others, but if I get the feeling they misuse a word each time they use it- I will call it to their attention gently- during the board meeting- kidding.Clever girls don’t MORTIFY others. Nor, do they mortify themselves, which is why I had to call in the Cleverest Grammar Girl of all, Alisa- to double and triple check my use of quotation marks and italics. She really is So Very Clever.

A Very Clever Guy kept calling me pretty, and because he is exceedingly intelligent, well read, and has an excellent command of the language, I challenged him to find a more compelling adjective. He said, “Look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary, pretty.” So I did- in the bathroom- while he was ordering a drink. When I returned, I was beaming. Originally, before it was derogated with all the other words that are used for women, pretty meant CLEVER, cunning, admirable. So, the next time someone calls you pretty- say “thank you!” and know they really meant- CLEVER.

 

It’s game day tomorrow and I am craving homemade pizza. So, here is your shopping list:

 

What you need:

Kabuli Crust- I prefer the whole wheat. If they do not carry Kabuli in your area- Boboli is similar

2 small cans of tomato paste- I like the Contadina with the Italian herbs

These are the toppings I like to use-

Sweet onion, red, yellow or orange peppers, mushrooms, green olives and hot Italian sausage

Obviously you can use whatever toppings you prefer.

Reduced fat mozzarella cheese

 

I will issue forth the instructions tomorrow- they are not as easy as you might think. Many a soggy pizza has been made and gone uneaten. I know what you are thinking- even bad pizza is better than no pizza at all- WRONG. If you can do it right, why wouldn’t you?