The phrase craze: What's groovy and what's not, in terms of terms?
By VERONICA GORLEY
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
It just drives you nuts.
Every time you hear it. That annoying little catch phrase that is oh-so-popular this week.
A hip new catch phrase seems to spring up in conversation all the time, flung into Standard English grammar as if it belonged there all along.
These trite phrases have become to pop culture what apple pie is to America -- icons of society. Boldly proclaimed on T-shirts, trinkets and television, phrases such as whatever and Whassup pervade all aspects of American life.
But today's cool phrases quickly become overused, cast off like old news. Because popular phrases go out of style faster than shoes do, keeping up with what's tight is not always a piece of cake.
Understanding the new phraseology is tough for someone out of touch with the culture or generation that gave the lingo its meaning. Sometimes, the communication gap can be downright frustrating. To those who just aren't down with the jargon of a different generation, the phrases are senseless and irritating, and for the lingo-lover, talking to someone with whom it doesn't fly is just as exasperating.
Fed up: Whether the phrases are worn out, nonsensical or just plain annoying, a number of people are fed up with a number of popular expressions.
"When you're talking to someone and they say, 'I feel ya,'" said Ken Melquist, 43, of Boardman. "I don't quite understand that. That's irritating."
Melquist explained that I feel ya means I understand.
"The new one I don't like is 'Whassup,'" said Karen Cox, 50, of Boardman.
Mike Herman, 25, of Youngstown said his least favorite catch phrases are any of the Budweiser ones.
"They're just getting a little old," he said.
Tony Kasnick, 17, of Girard doesn't want to hear 'bout it, 'bout it anymore.
"It means you're down, you want to go do something, but it got old," he said. "It's played out."
One word that chafes Phyllis Wallace, 44, is whatever. The Struthers resident said she hears it sometimes when she asks her kids to do something they don't want to do.
"It means 'Leave me alone,' really," Wallace said.
Whatever also gets under the skin of John Geletka, 36, of Canfield.
"You don't get an answer; you just get 'Whatever,'" he said.
Mike Whitfield, 15, of Columbiana dislikes the phrase fo' real.
And what exactly does fo' real mean?
"I have no idea," he responded.
Also irritating: Other phrases to express disbelief are equally irritating to some.
"When people say something they can't believe is true, they say, 'Shut up,'" said Deborah Smith, 49, of East Liverpool. The schoolteacher also dislikes hearing the word freakin'.
Gina Ferry, 26, of New Castle bristles when she hears, get outta here, using a tone of voice to meanI don't believe you -- you're joking.
Some words are synonyms for cool, such as the phrase that peeves Amy Hovart, 20, of Youngstown.
"I hate it when people say, 'That's phat,'" Hovart said. "It's so annoying. Who came up with that?"
Ron Saunders, 21, of Warren and Jay Hall of Sharon don't want to hear that's fresh or word again.
"'Tight' is old," added Hall, 23.
Brent Furrie, 23, of Boardman gets annoyed with some slang terms of endearment. He said that "What up, dogg?" is annoying, adding that other bothersome substitutes for dogg include cat or bro, all of which are ways to address a friend.
Furrie also expressed his vexation in hearing I haven't seen you for a minute, which means I haven't seen you for a long time.
Doesn't understand: Some people, including Em Persico, 78, dislike hearing no problem as a response to thank you. Other phrases that the Boardman resident dislikes are get with it and Are you serious?
"Kids are saying a lot of things today that I don't understand," Persico said, chuckling. "We're just out of the league."
Marylou Hudoba, 43, of Canfield said she keeps up-to-date on what's going on with her kids, but she doesn't like to hear this sucks. She draws the line when her daughter Jennifer, 15, begins using phrases that her son David John, 8, picks up.
And what's Norman Eicher's pet peeve phrase?
"Bite me," said Eicher, 53, of Darlington, Pa.
One of the newer additions to catch phrases is using computer talk during conversation -- a pet peeve of Jen Bierdeman, 18, of Boardman. She said that kids will say LOL (laugh out loud) or JK (just kidding) in conversation.
Despite some people's annoyance of this week's sweet sayings, the phrase craze continues. And until the next pop phrase hits the streets, it's been real. Peace out.