May 29, 2008

Education

The term is not "magic bullet," it's "magic pill." That makes a lot more sense, doesn't it? Compare: "There's no magic bullet for weight loss" vs. "There's no magic pill for weight loss. "Magic bullet" IS an existing term, but it is used to describe, for example, the way a medical treatment might be able to zip in and kill JUST the bad bacteria, without harming the good bacteria: a magic bullet, weaving into the middle of a crowd of hostages and killing just the bad guy. It is NOT used to describe the concept of "an effortless way out." That is when you use the term "magic pill": You can't just take a magic pill and make the problem disappear. Magic PILL. No one is SHOOTING AT the problem and hoping for good results.


When people make fun of the "hot fudge sundae and a diet Coke" combination, that's the same as saying that if you spend money it's stupid and contradictory not to spend more. I mean GEEZ! Why would you spend money AND not-spend it? If you're spending some, you might as well keep spending, even if you don't want to! If you buy a couch, you have to buy a new bed, DUH! ...And this is all assuming the diet Coke means what those people assume it means, which is that the person is "dieting" and therefore being a stupid moron by eating ice cream. I drink diet Coke because I prefer it. I hate regular Coke: it's way too sweet, it never seems cold enough, and it's not thirst-quenching. But I guess I should drink it anyway EVEN THOUGH I DON'T LIKE IT, if I'm eating ice cream: if you eat ONE item with fat and calories in it, you are DUTY-BOUND to eat the maximum possible fat and calories with all other choices you make. That makes NO SENSE.


And speaking of making no sense, "giving 110%" ALREADY made no sense, but now it's getting worse: people are saying "giving 150%" or "giving 200%"---because apparently now 110% doesn't sound like enough. AAAAAAGH. The most you can give is 100%, just as the most you can fill a glass with liquid is 100%. In fact, even "giving 100%" is a huge exaggeration: I suppose there might be occasions where someone would literally be giving 100%, but those times are rare.

54 comments:

Marie Green said...

Yes, yes, and yes.

My husband is diabetic, so he always drinks diet soda. He now prefers it. BUT if we are at a restaurant, he orders diet and I order regular, they ALMOST ALWAYS give me the diet. As if to say "women are the ones that need to diet" or "women are the only ones that care about calories". Granted, my husband DOESN'T need to care about calories, but we still think it's funny that they ASSUME that the diet drink is mine, even though HE orders it. Hee hee!

Jess said...

The Diet Coke thing is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. You explained it PERFECTLY. You took the words OUT OF MY MOUTH. Seriously, verbatim.

Nowheymama said...

Also, "very unique" or "more unique." Unique = one of a kind. Something can't be *more* one of a kind.

And Scott keeps having meetings with people who say "net net" to mean "to sum up" or "the net result." This makes no sense, and it is annoying as net.

EMama said...

Thank you.

Natalie said...

HA! YES!

I always feel awkward going to McD's and ordering my food with a Diet Coke because I KNOW what people think. In my case it's "she's already got a wide load going on, who is she fulling with this diet coke nonsense?"

I DRINK DIET COKE BECAUSE I PREFER IT PEOPLE.

Wow, apparently I'm passionate about this.

And yes, also because it has no calories. It is just my drink of choice.

Natalie said...

Ha, did you see that Freudian slip there? I meant f.o.o.l.i.n.g not fulling (as in, McD's makes me full). Sheesh. What a nincompoop.

Alice said...

dear swistle,

i love you.

i'd also like to add that using "literally," in situations where you ARE NOT literally doing whatever you just said, is STUPID and ANNOYING. no, you did NOT just literally jump out of your skin with fright. or if you did, holy crap we need to call a doctor.

love, alice

Mayberry said...

Amen. And also: It's "chick" lit, not "chic." Two different words. Two different pronunciations, even.

Not entirely analogous to yours but it NEEDS to be said!

AndreAnna said...

Am I the only person who thinks of a WHOLE other thing when I hear "magic bullet"?

AndreAnna said...

Oh, and while were on the topic of annoying things people say or do, can I vote for "drownDing" rather than "drowning" or when people type "segwey" instead of "segue". Dude, don't TYPE it or SAY it if you're not 100% you're right. That's what - gasp - dictionary is for

Penny said...

I always took the comment about ice cream and diet coke to be more to the effect of, 'why don't you just eat a smaller portion'. I used to work in a fast food chain and these huge families would come in, order like 5 burgers each with extra bacon and mayo on all of them, and then a diet coke. While I do respect the decision to try and cut calories out, it seemed kind of fruitless when you're going balls to the wall on calories in the first place.

Just my take on it, though.

Beth Fish said...

Welcome to Swistle Soapbox.

the planet of janet said...

i am the queen of the diet coke float. i put my calories where i WANT them.

or nonfat milk with WHIP on my latte!

sheesh. PEOPLE!!!!

Amanda said...

While you are on the subject, I hate it when people say "It is deja vu, all over again"... ergh... no! And I never understood "lucked out"... so are you out of luck, but it's a good thing?

Banana said...

Ohhh, the diet coke thing kills me dead!! I hate that!

Jennifer said...

The bite of an ice cold Diet Coke is the perfect compliment to a large fry. Just sayin'.

Wendy said...

See, now I want to hand a glass to the "giving 110%" guy...and fill it 110% full of diet coke. Because that would be funny even though he would miss the point. But I'm going to keep the ice cream sundae thanks :)

I've never really understood the ordering diet pop with hugely calorie filled something...but now that you've explained it, I can really see the sense.

starsgoblue said...

I've never heard the term magic bullet before. Magic pill? Yes, I've heard that. I do know that there is a lot of butchering of the English language out and about and it is distressing.

I prefer diet drinks myself as well. I drink mine and eat M&M's.

I will cop to using the 150% nonsense but in my defense, I never use it to describe myself, I'm usually complimenting someone else (or overinflating their egos). I'm afraid 100% isn't enough anymore just like everything else.

nonsoccermom said...

Hee, well said. My thoughts exactly.

Leigh said...

I am so glad that someone out there understands the diet coke thing. I'm tired of being misunderstood. LOL

cindy said...

I heard someone say recently that they gave 1000%. That seriously bugged me.

Sandy C. said...

Yes, I know so many people who just actually prefer Diet coke. And that whole 110% thing annoys me to no end too.

Alice said...

Oh Lordy Day! Thank you for bringing the 110% thing to people's attention! I cringe everytime I hear someone use it.

My Buddy Mimi said...

I tried the argument of not being able to realistically work 100% in a performance evaluation at work a few years back. It did NOT go over well with my boss. When I did my exit interview, he still remembered it and brought it back up as a basic flaw in my work ethic.

Carmen said...

It seems as though we are but one brain inhabiting two separate bodies. As with the vast majority of your posts, I agree 110% with what you just said! ;)

desperate housewife said...

Oh, people ALWAYS yak at me about the Diet Coke thing, even total STRANGERS filling up with me at the soft dispenser at McDonalds (um, not that I eat there ever, of course.) "Well honey, if you're eating fries, you might as well spring for the regular Coke!" It doesn't even occur to people that I just LIKE THE TASTE of diet soda. I'll tell them, and they give me this patronizing face as though it is IMPOSSIBLE to prefer diet soda and clearly I am in denial.

HollyLynne said...

THANK YOU about the diet coke thing. Seriously. I'm drinking a diet coke right now and afterwards I just might have a chocolate chip granola bar . . .so there.

CassJustCurious said...

The Percent thing really pisses me off. I'm a little short on the temper lately (surprised, I can tell) so when a vendor told me today they are doing their very best giving it a full 150% I laughed out loud and said "Really, because this work looks more like a 65% effort level". They crawled back into their hole.

fairydogmother said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many people pipe up with that theory of why I should order a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke. Jess is right, you did explain it PERFECTLY. I choose diet coke because I can't stand regular coke. In fact, I don't even particularly like diet coke but when choices are limited that is my choice. MINE. Not any dining companions who might decide they are entitled to an opinion about my menu ordering decisions.

I'm getting irritated just thinking about it, because it just happened to me again the other day. I think I need a diet pepsi lime to chill out with! ;) Mmm, aspartame!

Anonymous said...

safe to say you are still grouchy I see?

fairydogmother said...

ALSO? I'm with Alice on the misuse of the word literally. There is a commercial (for vehix.com I think) where this woman is going on about how you can (supposedly) "Literally take a test drive right there on the website".

NO. Just NO. If you are visiting the website you are looking at a video of a test-drive. Therefore you are VIRTUALLY taking at test drive. Unless of course you are driving while perusing the internet with a computer on your lap. In which case I'm glad I am safely ensconced on my couch while watching your irritating beyond belief commercial!

Ah, I feel much better now! :D

Omaha Mama said...

I've had the same thought about diet soda! If you are already splurging calories on a cheeseburger and fries, why not save a couple hundred on the drink? Really. It makes sense to me.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

And I here I was thinking that the magic bullet was a vibrator.

skiplovey said...

Geez I had no idea that diet coke thing hit such a nerve. Whoa.
*Note to self, do not mess with the diet cokers.

Erin said...

Besides if you give 110%, there will be spillage and necessary clean up, so it really doesn't makes sense to go overboard like that.

the new girl said...

OMG.
There are people in VERY CLOSE proximity to me (in an in-lawish way) who say the following:

AsparaGRASS.

BISRTday.

PIXture.

I know that it's not quite the same thing as you're citing, but let me tell you...I'd LOVE to give them some fine education Swistle Style.

Kristin.... said...

Mine is "libary" instead of "liBRARY". ugh.

Amen for Diet Coke. Elixer of life.

Swistle said...

Skiplovey- SRSLY. We will hunt you down and pour ice down the back of your shirt. Then we will raise our diet Cokes in triumph. And you will be so glad it was DIET, because you will only be COLD and not also STICKY.

Tessie said...

I am SO GLAD I read all of these comments so I could agree even MORE with all of these annoyances!

I am having trouble deciding which is my favorite. I'm going to have to go with 110%. It reminds me of vanity sizing in that it WILL NOT END. We will soon be giving 123947% and wearing size -5.

I order sugar-free syrup with whole milk at Starbucks and it drives the baristas AROUND THE BEND.

Susan said...

And what about "On a scale of 1 to 10, it's a 12"?

d e v a n said...

too funny! All true!! I have always thought that about the Diet Coke thing. I mean, that's like saying that I shouldn't use cloth diapers at ALL just because I use them part time. I figure every time I use them it's saving me some money (and possibly doing some good for the environment).

d e v a n said...

Also, I thought the magic bullet was a vibrator too. *ahem* Not that I would know...

Saly said...

YES!! Always in Starbucks, I order my drinks non-fat. Why? Because I hate the taste of whole milk. So PUHLEAZE don't judge me when I order a pastry with the grande nonfat mocha. kaythanksbye!

Jen said...

can i get in on the mispronunciations-i-hate party?

MISchievous not misCHEEVEEous

picture not pitcher

REALtor not reaLItor

JEWELry not jewLERey

okay, i think i'm done.
thanks.

Saly said...

And also, since I have no other avenue to vent this.... tell my father-in-law that the word is giraffe, not giraffeT. No T!! GOD!

Swistle said...

Devan- Agree! I think the "all or nothing" attitude is...a poor choice.

Devan and Sassy- That may be so! Perhaps that is why people keep misusing the term! The EDITOR OF US WEEKLY (and I know it's tempting to say "*scoff* Us Weekly, what do you expect?" but you still have to be pretty great to be editor of a national magazine with a huge readership) misused it in last week's issue. And almost EVERYONE uses it when discussing weight-loss surgery: "There's no MAGIC BULLET," they say. And I say, "GRRRRR!" Watch: you'll start seeing it everywhere now.

Swistle said...

SaLy- ME TOO! So I have a big glass of skim milk with my pan of brownies, because I LIKE SKIM MILK. I HATE WHOLE MILK. Why do I have to drink whole milk---which I DON'T LIKE---just because I'm eating extra calories? DUMB!!

Erin said...

Actually, I think the phrase was originally "silver bullet," not "magic bullet." Seems like it's changed over time, and I suppose "magic bullet" means pretty much the same thing. But I like the etymology of "silver bullet" -- it was the only thing that could kill a werewolf -- and I do think it was the original term.

Too geeky? Oh well.

Kristin C. said...

nowheymama- Net Net??!! WTF?? WHO is saying this?!! I can't even imagine hearing it because just reading it is making my ears bleed!!!!

Swistle. You are the woman. Perfect email for the day. I needed a alittle rant-fest.

Sylvie said...

Hi Swistle, I never comment on your blog, but your point #3 is so true that I must comment. Don't people realize that once you've given 150% then that effort is the new denominator and therefore total effort is still equal to 100%? I am a math dork, but anytime anyone thinks they are giving 200%, it does annoy me!

rebcram said...

You are hilarious when you're ranty.

My personal pet peeve is when people mix up "in light of" and "in lieu of." OMG anger anger anger.

Jenni said...

Oh, the overuse of literally is killing me. Figuratively, of course.

And what about "irregardless"?

My worst pet peeve, however, is intentional misspellings of store names or signs. Whomever thinks Krazy or Kute is clever should be shot. Literally.

Shoeaddict said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_bullet

The "silver bullet" is the vibrator.

I agree with you on all of these. I am a Diet Crack, umm, Coke drinker, too. I do not like the taste of Coke.

I have a friend who says immaculaNte instead of immaculate. She also says "used of" insted of "used to" (We buy Brand X becasue my son is used to/of it.) Drives me batty!!!

Mommy Daisy said...

Ha, ha, ha. I love that I'm not the only one bothered by these silly things people say/do.