Prompt: Word/phrase you use constantly
I honestly cannot think of one that is unique to me on this. In casual conversation, I don’t think my speech is drastically different from that of my peers. For the blog, I tend to write in a pretty stream-of-conscious style, so my writing is a pretty good indication of my speaking style.
I do have what some have termed a “reader’s vocabulary,” which is when I know a plethora of words, but my pronunciation isn’t always on par. It can make for some amusing conversational errors. Well, amusing to other people. Usually just kind of embarrassing to me, though I manage to scramble up a stiff smile in the moment and learn to laugh at the incident later.
I think it’s probably always embarrassing for someone to be loudly called out on a pronunciation error in the midst of a group, though, regardless of whether it’s their first language or their second or third. It’s just rather rude. I don’t mind a gentle correction–I know I can mispronounce certain words–but I do hate when someone loudly says, “X?! Did you just say X?! It’s pronounced ‘x’, you know,” so that the flow of the conversation is interrupted and everyone’s attention is drawn to the error. Plus, I’ve had regional variation/ accent differences corrected, and that’s just … lame.
Anywho, so I can’t really think of a word/ phrase I use constantly. I guess maybe awesome possum? I’ve been known to say that more than a couple times a year. More than a couple times a month, ha. Possibly amazepants. Also, every variation that “fuck” can be used in: fuckwit, fuckpants, fuckity fuck, fucker, fuckwad, fuckweed, douchefuck, fucknugget, fucknog, etc. etc.– You get the point.
Also, because I was raised in a non-swearing home, I will do this thing where I randomly switch mid-conversation (sometimes mid-sentence) between my swearing and not-swearing vocabularies for some reason, so it’s entirely feasible to hear something like, “Holy geez, she’s a total fucking b, I can’t even–” or, “Jumping jehosaphats, that’s fucking crazy.”
I don’t know where I picked up the old-fashioned idiom jumping jehosaphats, but I’m going to assume it was something along the lines of Huck Finn, Anne of Green Gables, or Caddie Woodlawn. Regardless, it became a part of my swear-substitution vocabulary, along with the old standbys like, geez, golly, gosh, frig, freak, B, witch, darn, crap, crud, heck, and shucks. There are other old-fashioned idioms that occasionally pop up, too, like what in tarnation.
Oh, and my parents always spoke German when they were having private conversations around the the house, and sometimes if my mom was really frustrated because we’d been asking her over and over (and over) for permission to do the same thing, she’d say, “Bitte! Bitte, bitte, bitte,” which apparently means, “you’re welcome,” in German, but in the context mom was using it was roughly translated to mean, “You’re welcome to do whatever you want, since you’re either going to bother me until I give you permission or do it anyway.”
Sometimes I accidentally drop a smattering of German into my everyday speech–words like, bitte, or danke (sometimes danke schoen), or Nicht anfassen (heard that one a lot as a kid). The problem with that is I live in an area with a fairly high German immigrant population, and I don’t actually speak German, so this is a bad habit to have. Occasionally (about once a year) some old German lady gets really excited and begins to babble at me in German, and I have to go, “Nein, nein, Nicht sprechen sie Deutsch,” while waving my hands in frantic negating apology.