flexo
Posts: 344
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Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:54 pm

I thought I'd start a thread about phrases that make you laugh or roll your eyes because they obviously make little sense but are still widely used.

I'd start with a few:
- "Being the third wheel"
Why is the third wheel so much worse than the second? It is still pretty important! It should say "the fifth wheel"

- "The cat is going to the bathroom"
Of course the cat really isn't, it is merely going outside to take a dump in the dirt, makes me laugh to hear it

- "The store is open 24/24"
Ok, that is probably not that common but a friend of mine uses it all the time and I have even seen it written down in a store that is open 24/7

What else should be on the list?
 
aero145
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:40 pm

I haven’t heard of any of those - it this German?

Tschüü,
DAE
 
andz
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:43 pm

The one that makes the least sense to me.... "bite me"
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
Elite
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:47 pm



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 1):
I haven’t heard of any of those - it this German?

Yeah I haven't heard of any of those either.

How about "your mom" and "that's what she said" for everything you say, even though it has no connection at all?  rolleyes 
 
RussianJet
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:56 pm

Many a mickle makes a muckle.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
VC-10
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:21 pm

Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I COULDN'T care less"

[Edited 2009-01-17 08:55:41]
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:36 pm

"Below par" - shouldn't that be a good thing?  Wink
 
cptkrell
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:44 pm

Dfw...I was thinking similar..."She's feeling below par today", or, She's not feeling up to par today."

How did the exact oposite of meaning come to be so common? ...jack
all best; jack
 
mham001
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:44 pm

"Can't have your cake and eat it too".

Why can't I?

Actually I heard an explanation of that but have it didn't make much more sense either.
 
flexo
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:48 pm



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 1):
I haven’t heard of any of those - it this German?

Nah, all from my American friends

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 5):
Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I couldN'T care less"

Good one, I know a lot of people who say that!
I guess kind of like using "irregardless" instead of "regardless" although that is not really a phrase
 
don81603
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:55 pm

Irregardless. Huh? Actually means Without not looking?
Colder than hell. Isn't hell supposedly very warm?
I need that like I need a hole in the head. Say what?
Done like dinner. Okayyyyyyy
Off like a herd of turtles...
Shitting a brick. OUCH!
A blithering idiot... How exactly does one blither?
24/7/365. Is the 365 really neccesary?
Drunk as a skunk. Huh?
Man, is the rain ever coming down. Would look stupid going up...
Drinking like a fish. Do they actually drink?
Brass buttom popped up, never came down. My grandmother used this a lot. Brought our brains to a screeching halt.And there I was... GONE! Again, huh?
Free gift. As opposed to?
So and so has a body to die for. Why would you want that?
An ugly divorce. Never seen a pretty one...
And the one that drives me around the bend...  
Unthaw, which actually means to freeze.

[Edited 2009-01-17 08:57:03]

[Edited 2009-01-17 08:59:30]
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
seb146
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:56 pm

"Good to go" is like hearing fingernails on the blackboard. I also don't undrstand why we are shorthanding our language. Is it really that hard to say "24 hours a day" that we have to say "24/7?"
Patriotic and Proud Liberal
 
DLPMMM
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:56 pm



Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 7):
How did the exact oposite of meaning come to be so common? ...jack

Par means "standard" or normal and was a term long before golf. Below par is good for golf because the less strokes than the standard, the better.

Below par on a test is bad because the more points, the better.
 
mirrodie
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:03 pm

One word:


Irregardless.
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
virgin744
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:04 pm

I cant stand the American term for through to or until.

They just say through. I.e Good though Jan31
 
RussianJet
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:05 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 12):
Is it really that hard to say "24 hours a day" that we have to say "24/7?"

Different things. One means 24 hours a day, the other means 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Irregardless. Huh? Actually means Without not looking?

No such word. An erroneous combination of regardless and irrespective.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Drunk as a skunk. Huh?

Obviously silly, but it rhymes.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
An ugly divorce. Never seen a pretty one...

Some are more amicable than others.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
A blithering idiot... How exactly does one blither?

No, I like that phrase - a blithering idiot is an idiot who is going on and on and not making any sense or saying anything of worth. Basically, the opposite of what I do.  duck 

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 5):
Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I COULDN'T care less"

I wholeheartedly agree. It's nonsensical and defies logic. If you couldn't care less then you care so little about something already that it would not be possible to care any less even if you tried. If you could care less then it means that you could stand to care less than you currently do.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
cptkrell
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:43 pm

DLPMMM: Thanks! Looked it up for my own interest. I've learned something today!

Regards...jack
all best; jack
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:46 pm



Quoting Flexo (Reply 9):
"irregardless"



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 13):
Irregardless.



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
No such word.

 checkmark 

Haven't a clue how that word (which really isn't one) got started.
You can't cure stupid
 
RussianJet
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:49 pm



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 17):
Haven't a clue how that word (which really isn't one) got started.

Like I said -

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
An erroneous combination of regardless and irrespective.

✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
jessb
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:50 pm

Here's a Welsh saying that makes no sense.

'I'll be there now in a minute' or ' I'll do it now in a minute

Jess B
Come to the darkside, We have cookies
 
RussianJet
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:10 pm



Quoting Jessb (Reply 19):
Here's a Welsh saying that makes no sense.

'I'll be there now in a minute' or ' I'll do it now in a minute

Jess B

That is funny. Reminds me of the South African "I'll do it just now" which could mean sometime in the next two minutes or possibly even sometime this year.

Also, in Russian, as many know 'da' (да) means 'yes' and 'nyet' (нет) means no, but you can sometimes answer a question with да нет. It in fact means a slightly more emphatic 'no' but it always amused me. The Russian word for 'probably' is 'наверное'. It is also possible to answer a question with 'да нет, наверное'. Go figure!
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
Stokes
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:19 pm

Heard this one yesterday:

"For all intensive purposes ..."

So what do you do, correct and come off like a snob nerd, or condone the thing?

Contra Mham001, "Can't have your cake and eat it too" is actually a useful phrase to those of us with small children: once you eat your cake, you don't have it anymore. Choices have consequences.
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:28 pm



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
I need that like I need a hole in the head. Say what?

The way I've heard that was "I need that like I need another hole in the head.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Off like a herd of turtles...

I've never heard that, but it does make sense, that is if you are making a sarcastic observation.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
Qantasistheway
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:29 pm

Two I absolutely hate.

Ginormous - Come on, it's either giant or enormous, chose one.

and

Guesstimate - How can this be both?

By the way, both of these are registered in spell check.
 
Klaus
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:36 pm



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Off like a herd of turtles...

Nice image!  rotfl   bigthumbsup 

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Drunk as a skunk. Huh?

A nicer sounding extension of "stinking drunk", which can be quite literally true, unfortunately...!  yuck 
 
YYZflyer
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:39 pm

Anything that uses double negatives that mean the opposite of what the person is saying.
i.e. 'I didn't do nothin'  gnasher 

I've noticed a lot of Americans use that.
Avoid hangovers, stay drunk.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:43 pm



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
24/7/365. Is the 365 really neccesary?

If you think about it, it should really be 24/7/52.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
Klaus
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:44 pm



Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 23):
Ginormous - Come on, it's either giant or enormous, chose one.



Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 23):
Guesstimate - How can this be both?



Quoting YYZflyer (Reply 25):
Anything that uses double negatives that mean the opposite of what the person is saying.
i.e. 'I didn't do nothin'

All examples of "additive logic" being applied. The brain likes to work that way, language rules be damned!
 
aero145
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:59 pm

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Do they actually drink?

Of course they do!

Quoting YYZflyer (Reply 25):
Anything that uses double negatives that mean the opposite of what the person is saying.

I wholeheartedly agree! Reminds oneself to always take double negatives as double negatives, and if somebody asks if ”you didn’t do nothing yesterday”, you reply with ”yes, I did a lot yesterday!” or something.  

[Edited 2009-01-17 10:59:32]
 
Klaus
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:04 pm



Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 27):
Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
24/7/365. Is the 365 really neccesary?

If you think about it, it should really be 24/7/52.

No, 24/7/365 actually makes some sense:

- 24: all around the clock
- 7: every day of a regular week
- 365: even on special holidays, not just on regular weeks
 
futuresdpdcop
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:14 pm



Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 23):
Ginormous - Come on, it's either giant or enormous, chose one.

I was reading the Spirit Magazine on a Southwest flight last week about how we add a new word to our language every 98 mins and ginormous was one of them.

The (the word maker people) look for new words and see if they catch on, then add them. Another example they gave in the article was "rickrolled".
 
luckyone
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:35 pm



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 6):
She's feeling below par today

Or "not up to snuff."

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 20):
Also, in Russian, as many know 'da' (да) means 'yes' and 'nyet' (нет) means no, but you can sometimes answer a question with да нет. It in fact means a slightly more emphatic 'no' but it always amused me.

Armenians have a similar expression. Bear in mind for those of you who speak Armenian my spelling is completely improvised and Americanized, haha. "Che" is no, and "ha" is yes. Armenians will say "Che ha!" which for all intensive purposes means "No way!"

A completely nonsensical phrase that I've only heard recently is "I swanee", a colloquialism in a few counties in Northeast Georgia which means, "I swear." It took me off guard the first time I hear it because I grew up five miles from Suwanee, Georgia which is pronounced much like "Swanee."

Another one... That's stuff's so good it'll make you want to slap your mama..... Please!
 
David L
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:39 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 4):
Many a mickle makes a muckle.

It makes perfect sense in Scots, where it comes from. It's like saying "many a penny makes a pound" and means the same as the English expression "if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.".

In other words, if someone says there's no point in worrying about pennies because pounds are worth more, the response is that pounds are made up of those "worthless" pennies.  Smile
 
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:41 pm

Blind as a Bat- Bats aren't blind!
Midwest Airlines- 1984-2010
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:47 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
Why is the third wheel so much worse than the second? It is still pretty important! It should say "the fifth wheel"

Probably referring to a Two wheeler  Smile
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
RussianJet
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:56 pm



Quoting David L (Reply 32):

It makes perfect sense in Scots, where it comes from. It's like saying "many a penny makes a pound" and means the same as the English expression "if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.".

Yup, I know what it means, it's just that it sounds like nonsense. Anyway, aside from the fact that we know the general meaning of the phrase, can you tell me what a mickle or a muckle actually is? Or, why a muckle is bigger or better than a mickle?  Smile
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
RGElectra80
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:06 pm

There were some things that I thought were really bizarre when I first moved to Texas, and from what I know are pretty much exclusive to this state: "do what now?," when you don't understand what someone just told you and "I'm fixing to...," meaning I'm about to do something.
austinspotter.wordpress.com
 
metroliner
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:16 pm

I hate it when people don't understand 'near miss'.

It means that it was near, but it missed.

Not that they 'nearly missed' or collided.

It can be both near and a miss; hence 'near miss'. Gaahh!  Smile

Another good one is the 'Texas question'. It's when people say 'I am doing this, why?' instead of 'Why I am doing this?' But it can be very funny indeed.
Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:46 pm

"I could care less."

Wouldn't it make more sense to say "I COULDN'T care less?"
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
RussianJet
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:48 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 38):
"I could care less."

Wouldn't it make more sense to say "I COULDN'T care less?"

Indeed it would, as already stated.

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 5):
Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I COULDN'T care less"



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
Quoting VC-10 (Reply 5):
Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I COULDN'T care less"
I wholeheartedly agree. It's nonsensical and defies logic. If you couldn't care less then you care so little about something already that it would not be possible to care any less even if you tried. If you could care less then it means that you could stand to care less than you currently do.

✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
us330
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:37 pm



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
I need that like I need a hole in the head

I get that--means I don't need it, since I don't need a hole in the head

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Shitting a brick

That's the point--it's gonna hurt coming out...

Quoting Stokes (Reply 21):

"For all intensive purposes ..."

Did the person know that they butchered the phrase?

Quoting Metroliner (Reply 37):
I hate it when people don't understand 'near miss'.

It means that it was near, but it missed.

Not that they 'nearly missed' or collided.

It can be both near and a miss; hence 'near miss'

George Carlin would like a word with you...he has a list of phrases and sayings that don't make any sense whatsoever, including a whole routine on Aviation-speak.

Why don't they just say "near hit"? Makes much more sense.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:45 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 29):
No, 24/7/365 actually makes some sense:

- 24: all around the clock
- 7: every day of a regular week
- 365: even on special holidays, not just on regular weeks

What about leap years? Does the 29th of February not count?
 
Klaus
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:06 am



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 41):
What about leap years? Does the 29th of February not count?

Hair splitting duly noted! Big grin

February 29th should generally be covered by the "24/7" part already.
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:05 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 42):
"24/7"

Although, if you a really religious, like Hassidic, wouldn't it be 24/6? Big grin
You can't cure stupid
 
Klaus
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:09 am



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 43):
Although, if you a really religious, like Hassidic, wouldn't it be 24/6?

You'd be beyond help and beyond reason anyway in that case.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:20 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 29):
No, 24/7/365 actually makes some sense:

- 24: all around the clock
- 7: every day of a regular week
- 365: even on special holidays, not just on regular weeks

I still disagree with you. The pattern is clear:
24 hours per day
7 days per week
52 weeks per year
Each number goes up one level. On the other hand:
24 hours per day
7 days per week
365 days per year
does not have that symmetry - it jumps back down from weeks to days. If you want to emphasize that you're open every day of the year, it should just be 24/365, since being open 365 days a year already implies that you're open every day of the week.

Not that any of it really matters...
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
Tesko
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:54 am

When someone finds what they were looking for and says "it was in the last place I looked!"
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:08 am

I have a "nails on the chalkboard" response to the bizarre phrase:

"Ya feeling me?" instead of "do you understand me"....  sigh 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
SpeedBirdA380
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:30 am

"Its raining cats and dogs"
 
andz
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RE: Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense

Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:18 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 20):
the South African "I'll do it just now" which could mean sometime in the next two minutes or possibly even sometime this year.

we also have "now-now" which is even more vague!

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 20):
Also, in Russian, as many know 'da' (да) means 'yes' and 'nyet' (нет) means no, but you can sometimes answer a question with да нет.

In Afrikaans they say "ja-nee" which is "yes-no"

Quoting Stokes (Reply 21):
For all intensive purposes

Someone repeating what they thought they heard someone else say, which is how a lot of this nonsense is propagated.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...

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