A Wide Open Letter

Letters about anything and everything I want.

"Are You Sure?"

A Wide Open Letter to Users of Idiotic Phrases

Dear English Speakers,

This is a letter to everyone who uses to phrases “are you sure?” and/or “you know”. First things first, “are you sure?”. Every time someone asks me that all I want to say in replay is “You know I thought I was sure, and then you asked me that for the millionth time and that last time got me thinking and I think you’re onto something. I don’t think I’m sure, now I’m almost positive I’m not sure. I think I’m just going to turn around and go home and once I’m there I think I’m going to lock the doors and never leave again. Thank-you for helping me realize the grave mistake I almost made. I mean I always thought I liked creamy peanut butter, but now I just don’t know.” Now I’m not saying that there aren’t times when asking “are you sure?” aren’t appropriate, but normally when it’s used, it is not being used properly. Let me give you a few examples to help make my point. Asking “are you sure?” right before I go skydiving is good; asking before I purchase peanut butter is bad. Asking before I commit a crime, good; before I accept a job transfer, bad. Asking before I go under any life altering, completely voluntary unnecessary surgical procedure is good; right before I cut my hair is bad. Do you get what I’m saying? By you asking these three little words most likely won’t make me change my mind, and I’m going to make mistakes; you may even be able to tell me “I told you so”. One last thing about this then I’ll shut up (for now), everything seems like a good idea at the time, otherwise we wouldn’t have done whatever it was, but I can guarantee you that someone asking “are you sure?” wouldn’t have made anyone change their mind.

Next, the phrase “you know” has become I think the new “like”. Mot of the time I hear it now is when somebody is telling me something. So when you say “you know”, I don’t actually know, that is why we’re talking. If I in fact did know then we would not be talking, and I would not be restraining myself from grabbing you by the shoulders and shaking some proper grammar into you. About two months ago I was siting and listening to a presentation about something that affected child development and I have no clue as to what that something could be because every other word out of the presenters’ mouth was the phrase “you know.” All I could do was sit quietly and recite the 50 states in the United States and their capitals alphabetically over and over in my head until she was finished because I had sat in the furthest corner of the room and could not leave. Maybe if someone had asked me “are you sure you want to sit in that corner?” I wouldn’t have tortured myself.

As I’m on the subject of grammar and annoying things people say, can we as humans, and particularly English speakers please stop saying “um”, “uh”, “like”, “lol” when we aren’t laughing out loud and other ‘text speak’? Why after all of these thousands and possibly millions of years would we want to sound like cavemen grunting all of the time? Aren’t we better than that?


Another annoyed English speaker

PS. like always I’m open to responses, comments, questions, or even the occasional insult.

  1. wideopenletter posted this