Secret Asian Man (3/18/09)


It seems like everyone can identify a phrase that causes them to cringe upon hearing it. While “again” and “literally” are good choices, I’m even more put off by people who choose to start sentences with the word, “listen.” This phrase tends to rear its ugly head after someone has been asked a fair but challenging question, as if responding with a command asserts some measure of authority. To my ears it sounds presumptuous (as if the person is calling on some hidden reservoir of expertise) and condescending (as if the person is exasperated by the need to spell things out for his audience). It’s the type of usage that makes me want to wretch. Literally.


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