The passive-aggressive phrasebook

13 05 2010

I want to develop a passive-aggressive phrasebook. Here’s a few to start things off:

  • “Thank you for your patience and understanding” = “Back off. Don’t hassle me.”
  • “Your cooperation is appreciated” = “Do what I tell you, or you’re in deep trouble.”
  • “Your call is important to us” = “Don’t get pissed off because we’ve put you on hold. We have enough turnover of our minimum-wage call support staff as it is.”
  • “Do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance” = “Go away.”
  • “While your skill set does not meet our needs at this time, we will keep your resume on file and will contact you if a suitable opportunity arises.” = “Your resume sucks. You suck. Go away.”

The Japanese are apparently really good at this sort of thing.

I don’t think I could survive in Japan: they apparently have seven different ways to say “thank you”, depending on the status of both the speaker and the listener. I would go through agonies trying to figure out which level of politeness is appropriate for the occasion. And I’m also glad that English doesn’t have both a formal and informal way of saying “you” (as French does, with “tu” and “vous”).

And I have an explanation for the weather that we’ve had the past few days. In April, it was nice and sunny for a while – basically, we had a few May-like days. We borrowed some May in April. Now, we have to pay it back by having some April days in May. Accounts must be settled.

(More seriously: it’s all due to the jet stream of air that travels west to east across North America. If we’re well above the jet stream, we get the weather that Kirkland Lake is getting. If we’re well below the jet stream, we get the same weather that North Carolina is getting. We virtually never get normal temperatures.)

The Song Of The Day is “Godsend” by Beat Happening. It’s what I think they call lo-fi: over 9 minutes of electric guitar and not particularly tuneful singing. But it works really well: it’s like a sunny morning on a good day.




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