Friday, 29 September 2017


Does anyone else share my irrational dislike for these contemporary catchphrases::

"Shoot the breeze". It is something you can do with someone else, apparently.

"Not so much" - not in the old context of "Not so much salt in the potatoes next time might be a good idea" but as a response to, "Do you like living in this place?" "Do you like the course you're doing?" "Do you like what I've done with the curtains?"

"Not so much".

It sounds like you don't speak English naturally.

"Heft" also annoys me - it seems to have become the new shard

There is some other current usage that I probably find more irritating than all of these put together but my mind has decided to hide it from me, presumably to prevent me from spending my entire waking day in a perpetual state of frenzy. But it will come back in the fullness of time and then I shall tell the world (the blog as therapy).


  1. "Shoot the breeze" I think of as an obsolete Americanism. I'm not sure I've heard it, and I doubt I've heard it in the last thirty years. I'd have thought that it began its decline about 1950.

    "Not so much" I encounter only in disjunction: X is OK/good/alright, y not so much. In answer to a question, one hears "not really" or "not much", but "not so much" ... not so much. At any rate, that is how things seem in the part of the US that I know.

    I'd be happy to see "heft" replace "gravitas"--which never suggests a deep commitment to Latin in the journalist using it.

    1. Thanks George - I hear heft more in slightly flabby discussions about artistic creations of one kind or another - if something is said to have heft, it is more legitimate, so far as I can tell