Category Archives: words are important

why i hate “fair enough”


hey anderson!

are you ready to hear another pet peeve of mine? you know i am a really big fan of grammar and being articulate, and this is just another thing to add to my list of things that make me cringe.

i hate when people say “fair enough”.

seriously, wtf does that even mean? i really don’t know, but more and more people are saying it. here are a couple examples i’ve witnessed lately:

dude @ work: i’ve just finished reading the report

other dude @ work: fair enough

supermarket cashier: how’s your day going?

me: good so far, thanks!

cashier: fair enough

friend: what’s new?

me: not a whole lot, i’ve been really busy with work

friend: fair enough

now tell me, what was the purpose of saying fair enough in any of those situations?? they may as well have just said “i don’t care, anything you say will elicit the same response from me”. i may concede that in the last situation, the “fair enough” response was somewhat understandable. but way to kill the conversation!

i just don’t understand why expressions take over to such an extent. words lose their meaning when used in such a knee-jerk way. i know that i do the same thing, and we all have our go to expressions. but usually those are personal, like when asked how i am i often say “not too bad”, especially when asked at work. i like that response, and i stick to it because it is honest. i am rarely great or awesome, so why would i say that?? but when people speak to me, i don’t feel the need to offer a judgement on what they have said. and when you think about it, “fair enough” is a judgement statement. it means that you are giving me approval for what i did and said. thanks, but i don’t need that!

so please, don’t fall back on over used expressions. it’s the least you can do for the person you’re speaking with.



quiet mom, small talk is overrated


hey anderson!

i have a confession to make.  i am an introvert. i know, how can a reporter and tv show host be friends with an introvert? but i think we can do it – it’s about balance – so don’t worry.  i have some very extroverted friends, and i manage.  although, i’m not sure you’re actually a huge extrovert.  i think you really value time alone or in small groups, you just have a public and social life as a career.  so basically, we’re still destined to be bff.

anyway, a few years ago my department at work did the meyers-briggs personality type assessment.  our group of 6 people had 5 extroverts, and me, the lone and hardcore introvert.  that day long session was really important for me.  i learned that sometimes people just can’t help but talk.  i can be chatty, sure, especially with a few drinks! but even when i am talking a lot, i choose my words carefully.  i don’t talk around a subject, telling 14 non-related stories before i answer a simple question.  nor do i love to brainstorm as a group. or spend hours discussing every possible detail of an issue.

i am an INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving) and i am proud to be!  even if it is a bit of a curse.  introverts are a much maligned group of people.  add that intuitive trait to the mix and we are kind of all-knowing as well.  i really enjoy observation and contemplation.  but in a world that celebrates celebrity, talking heads and gossip, i am left judging.  not that there’s anything wrong with that.  we all need a coping mechanism and that’s often mine.  the person in the elevator who recounts their adventure doing errands the night before deserves my death stares because all i want is a few minutes silence before sitting down to work.  and the person who lectures on their hobbies and interests, should just go do them rather than bore me. 

like yours, my job involves a lot of talking, which can be exhausting.  but at work there are two kinds of talking.  the endless meeting and rehashing everything i can’t stand.  everyone talks so much, it’s sometimes like a word count competition at some of our meetings.  when i speak, i try to make sure i’m being concise and that what i’m saying brings value to the discussion.  the other kind of talking that i do enjoy, is the discussions with our stakeholders.  i love explaining what we do as a company, describing the details of our projects and debating the necessity of what we do.  i have a lot of coworkers who don’t enjoy that at all.  but i like the challenge and more importantly i know there is value in every one of those discussions.  if i have to choose, i would never talk to a single coworker again, and just talk to our stakeholders.  it’s still talking, but at least it’s purposeful.

while on the subject of purposeful speaking, i have to mention my mom.  i love my mom.  she is funny and cool, and a very good sport.  but she talks a lot.  on our trip to new orleans, it felt constant and i was overwhelmed.  she complained that i’m not like my sister who will have lengthy discussions about everything and nothing with her, while i am practically mute in comparison. i told her, i just don’t feel like i have to talk all the time.  my mom’s inner monologue is actually 100% externally produced.  a couple weeks after our tip, she was visiting and we had sushi for dinner.  i was faced with a barrage of statements; “oh this looks good”, “lots of wasabi”, “that salmon looks great”, i hope they gave us enough soya sauce”. it just would not stop.  so i delicately made a suggestion.  i told her to say every second thing she thinks.  and before she speaks, just think about the importance of her words.

so anderson, am i a bad daughter?  or did i do the right thing?  i think i was doing both her, and the greater public, a real service.  my mom often has really interesting things to say, but, much like the boy who cried wolf, they may get lost amongst all the other things she says.  and anderson – how do you always manage to engage with people?  are you an extrovert or an introvert?



loquacious letter


greetings and salutations anderson,

i trust my latest missive finds you at the epitome of fortitude and magnificence.  obligatory musings on my own lugubrious condition will simply have to be postponed until such time as i am able to extrapolate my theories…

i bet you’re wondering why the plodding language found above. my sister has read my letters to you. don’t be mad anderson, they are, after all, on the internet which is surprisingly public (colour me nonplussed!). anyway, my sister thinks i should be showing off more of my vocabulary in these letters. yes, she is currently an undergrad focusing on english lit, but i don’t think that’s why she wants me to write like a thesaurus. it’s just because big words rock. why use a series of short words to circle around a situation, when one awesome, multi-syllable word will do the trick. also, i’m even funnier when i turn my smart on.

one unfortunate thing about having big words in my vernacular is that sometimes what i say is met with awkward silences and blank stares. i’m not like spencer reed on criminal minds or sheldon on big bang theory, but i do confound people now and then. sometimes even the fact that i like words confuses people. but i was always a reader and always thought different ways of expressing things are fun. that’s right, fun!  my sister used to have grammar and vocabulary homework and i loved to help her. sometimes it was really frustrating though when i didn’t like how a word was defined or if she was not as enthralled as i was with a certain choice adjective.

what can i say, i’m a word nerd.

 i’ve decided to give you a list of some of my most common and favourite big words. this way, when you spot them in future letters we can celebrate with sirens and confetti like on pee-wee’s playhouse when people said the secret word!! it will be a fun thing between us, i just know it!

 so here are some of my faves, in alphabetical order so they don’t get jealous of each other.

deign – used a lot when telling people i would rather be snobby than do something

hyperbole – i love to exaggerate, and then, if necessary, name drop that particular literary device when people act shocked 

incredulous – life is more than just a little shocking and it makes me incredulous!!

loathe – why hate something when you can loathe it?  not to be confused with loath, which is also a good word and i have used when i really don’t want to do something but want to sound smart when declining.

schadenfreude – what an amazing word!  and it’s a german compound word which makes it even better!  one simple word that describes the awesome way i feel when others are miserable.

sisyphean – like the guy in greek mythology, i often describe my life as a fruitless attempt to accomplish something that is always thwarted at the last second.

surreptitious – not to mention the adverb surreptitiously!! I love being deceptive and sneaky.

superfluous – a real favourite, but unfortunate as i have a slight lisp (also why does the word lisp have an ‘s’ in it???).  i use this word all the time because, from my perspective, most things are unnecessary. 

ubiquitous – i still remember learning this word in middle school and love to use it when things are plentiful or, more often, when there is too much of something or someone and i am cranky.