Oh, get off

Here are some words and expressions that belong in the Rogues' Dictionary. Yes, I know it’s grumpy old man territory, but actually, while I might be that old, I’m not that grumpy. This stuff is litter: please take it home and throw it away.

Rollercoaster ride
No, you’ve never been on one. Not at Alton Towers, not at Battersea Funfair (remember that?), not in your own love life. You wouldn’t know what a rollercoaster ride was, let alone an emotional rollercoaster ride, if it came up to you, told you it would love you forever and then left you a week later for your best friend.

Am I your mate, mate? Did someone introduce us? Have we been friends for more than two minutes? No. I’m quite happy for a mate to call me “mate”; but actually, I've only come in here to buy a bag of nails and that simple transaction doesn't make us mates.

Light fantastic
I will die if I ever see this again. That’ll be tomorrow, then. This is a journalistic and publicity cliché of monumental proportions. If I was the boss, anyone using this word would be sacked on the spot, have their pencil snapped in half and ordered to pay reparations for life to the Whitchurch Home of Rest for Donkeys. Please, please, pretty please with cream and sugar, think of some other way to describe lightness or fantasticness, or both. Or either.

No it isn’t. What does this mean? Nothing. Nothing at all. It’s sheer idleness to use this horrible word when much more interesting words can be found, if you have half a mind to look. Ah - my mistake to think you had one.

Want to know when someone doesn’t know what they’re talking about? They say “Well, basically… " That’s not basics, it’s bollocks. They don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re hoping you don’t either. Doesn’t work – doesn’t fool anyone; sorry.

OK, I admit this is very personal. Taunton v Wigan? Portugal v England? Typographically, it’s fine. Say it, and you’re an idiot. Try saying “versus”. It takes less than a quarter of a second more to say and were you planning to do something extraordinary with that massive expanse of time? No, thought not.

Something you say when you raise a glass – even better if it’s the first of the day. But please, don’t end your emails with it, unless you’re buying me a drink. If I threaten to abbreviate “Cheers” to “Chiz”, will that stop you? Probably not. Sigh.

What - do people walk into a shop and say “I’d like to look at some of your products”? No. Do you say “I’d like to go and buy a product today”? Not unless you’re an imbecile. Call it what it is, for heaven’s sake, instead of referring to it as if it’s a close relation to "output". The only exception being the already ironic use of "product" to describe that stuff people put on their hair - that always makes me giggle.

There are more, of course. but that's enough for now. Cheers! (Not.)

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