I’ve always admired authors who can sprinkle their prose with Latin, French, or German phrases without sounding snobbish. This is a skill I have not mastered.
My current guilty pleasure reading is Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. Set in England and Egypt from 1896 to 1926, the main character is an independently wealthy amateur Egyptologist. Ms. Peters not only sprinkles Latin, German and French throughout, but translations of ancient Egyptian poems and prayers and Arabic sayings.
Knowing I am hopelessly out-classed in this field, I have decided to coin some of my own phrases as well as draw from popular culture. Here goes! (That’s one.)
“There’s a lot of that going around.” I like this one because of its versatility. It is a very useful phrase to use when a new acquaintance starts to tell you about her current cough, or her nephew’s flu. It can also mean there’s a lot of stupidity and silliness going around – depends on the context.
“What the …..?” Best left unfinished, this phrase can be used to express a variety of emotions ranging from genuine confusion to outright anger.
“Now where did I put that?” Used by a wide range of people or all ages. Contrary to popular belief, it is not limited to senior citizens.
“Be right there.” Of course you won’t. You have twelve things to do before you respond, all of which will take more time than you intended. Sometimes it works to placate, at least temporarily.
“Truth is not victimized by fiction.” This is an original. Sounds good, somewhat philosophical and almost poetic, but most likely not true.
“The exception proves the rule.” This phrase really gets my goat! (See, another one.) On the face of it, it makes no sense. According to my research, the old-fashioned syntax disguises its true meaning, which is “The exception disproves the rule.” (Proves=tests).
Enough of this for now. Got to get going before my get up and go is gone. (Sorry about that last one).