Monday, November 22, 2010

Overheard in the Coffee Shop

I made the mistake of thinking that the coffee shop would be free of students this morning. Oh well. There was a pay-off, though, in that I got to overhear the following unbelievable exchange from two twenty-somethings who are apparently vegan. Unfortunately I did not hear the beginning of the conversation. But the statement before the segue is classic enough to warrant inclusion.
Barbie: That's the worst reason to become a vegan! Seriously. What is wrong with Jenny?

Skipper: I know... Anyway, I had to call my parents yesterday to figure out what we're all doing for Thanksgiving....

Barbie: And.....

Skipper: Well. They're insisting on turkey. I know... But how can you argue with people who think that their way is the highway? [sic!]

Barbie: Goddam. I could kill your parents. If I thought I could get away with it, I probably would.

Skipper: Yeah. Let's see how they like it for a change.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Skipper's parents' experience of being dead will be quite similar to that of the Thanksgiving turkey.

Word verification: heenous (one letter away from perfection)

Glaucon said...

Wow. And all these years, I thought "It's my way or the highway" was an exclusive disjunction. Little did I know that the 'or' is epexegetic. Thanks, Skipper!

Spiros said...

I have a friend who works with someone who, when explaining a procedure or task, frequently claims that she's trying to "make sure we're all on the same base." A nice combining of "all on the same page" and "covering all of our bases."

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I suspect the "highway" remark is just unreflective parroting of Limp Bizkit lyrics.

Philostinkus said...

My way is always the highway.

Glaucon said...

You've buttered your bread, now sleep in it!

Anonymous said...

I've heard native American English speakers say (and write) "flush out" for "flesh out" and "for all intensive purposes" for "for all intents and purposes". There's little correlation between these mistakes and level of education. Lots of people are getting graded by TAs who make these same mistakes. Some of those TAs will become tenured faculty. Some day a critical mass of them among the referee and journal editoriate will ensure that we see these abominations in print.

Word verification: nestetra.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. English is a living, dynamic language. If you're looking for calcified linguistic rules, there are plenty of dead languages to choose from.

Anonymous said...

"They're insisting on turkey. I know... But how can you argue with people who think that their way is the highway?"

There's something really clever here that Skipper might have intended. How can you argue with someone who won't even let you choose between their way and some highway? (Okay, "might" be too strong.)

Anonymous said...

Spiros, I believe that Anon 10:15 has just refudiated your criticism of Skipper.

And Anon 1:40, you totally made my day.

CTS said...

Now that we've cleared the air around Skipper's travel plans, I wonder if anyone has thoughts on his last comment, "..See how they like it for a change."

I don't want to raise tendentious issues of temporality, of course. It just seems to me that, once one is dead and eaten, 'for a change' doesn't have much meaning.

Anonymous said...

@10:15 Sure - but who said growth couldn't be funny? And why think that a few notable misuses of a phrase are a sign of growth? If they never catch on and become part of the public language, your point is moo.

Anonymous said...

I remember taking the GRE. During the 10 minute break, I stepped out, walked past the attendant's desk and saw the little sign she'd posted: "I'm next store."

Anonymous said...

I agree with 6:05 -- 10:15 seems to be making a mute point.