Saturday, 9 February 2008


For me, English is a foreign language, I have never stayed in an English speaking country longer than a fortnight.

Considering all this it is clear that I am fully qualified to talk about usage of English. Why limit oneself to subjects you know all about? There would be too much silence all around.

So here we go.

When people talk to me, in real life or at the telly, I always hear again and again "you know", "you know", "you know". I hear it frequently in every second or third sentence and I hate it.

Sometimes, I try to interrupt by saying "no, I don't". Generally, I get an astonished look but no comment, never.

Next, there is a word that should be forbidden. "Nice". I hate that, too. Nice is not warm it is tepid. It is a mild agreement of something vaguely comfortable. A horrible hat on someone's head, "nice hat you have there", the weather is nice, a girl is nice. "Nice pic", seen frequently on blog comments for splendid photos. Nice be hanged.

And here comes the summit: "cool", bloody hell and damnation, I dislike "cool" intensely. Don't know why but it is non grata to me. I hear it in English, in French and in German and God knows in how more languages the word is being used.

"Cool" seems to be the macho version of "nice". "Nice" is kind of old spinster language, wishy-washy, no offense given no offense taken. "Cool" and its counterpart "uncool" is Rambo-English. "That's cool, yeah". "And that's not so cool, yeah".

The good thing about the Internet and especially about blogs is that everybody can have his saying. You and me. Now I can unburden and tell the world what is on my mind. Sure, there are 30 Million blogs outa there and I have about 50 readers max. Never mind. Better than nothing, far better.


  1. Hi Georg,

    You are a nice guy but you are so uncool!!
    That is what some youthful English speaking cool guys will have to say for you!

    There is another word that is currently in rage - "rocking" or "it rocks", almost the opposite of "it sucks". You there?!!

    Age does great things! But you can still rock and be cool. Well, well.

  2. Hi Sharma,

    Yes, you have enriched my youthful vocabulary by one unit: it rocks.
    "it sucks" is familiar to me. Lots of bloggers use it, may the Gods send them something something stingy or sticky.


  3. Nice!
    That's a cool post man, you know?!

    :) just kidding!

    When I speak to the French, I am always amazed by the intensity they describe their day:

    -How are you today, Pierre?

    -How is your burger?

    -How was yoru walk home?

    I think the French and the English allow themselves different intensity of feeling, and thus expression.

    This is a good question you raise though. We can talk around this topic for hours and hours!

  4. Oh one more thing. Thanks for visiting my blog! When I saw this post, I wanted to tell you that when I read your comments, I read them with a French accent :)

  5. I refuse to be wishy washy, as it's non grata gibberish, but cool english works like that! ; )

    Cheers! (ps:still looking through the cds. I know it's here somewhere.)

    Reader # 51

  6. Good morning Georg~
    I sat and read and laughed. I have a teenage son whose favorite words you did not include,"um" & "fine", he has replaced "cool" with "sweet" because of my insistent nagging. He is subject to the angst of peers and a Mother who does not allow mumbling or slang.
    I quite concur there are words in many languages, most especially English that are horrid to hear in their repetition. I work with troubled teens from time to time and when they curse I make a "BEEEP" sound. annoys them, but it also makes them aware of their language. Perhaps you should find a sound to make when ever you hear a dreaded word.??
    Be peace...

  7. German ... :)
    Now I must change the accent of my readings.

    Georg have you seen the joke of the German coast guard:

    -SOS, we are sinking, we are sinking!
    -uhm, fhat ahre you zinking about?!

  8. Thanks for those last comments.

    No problem waiting for the yodeling cowboy. Waiting is cool yeah. Especially if you consider that I have been compelled to live this life without this special brand of cowboy. When he arrives though, I'll give him a cheering welcome.

    Sorrow 11
    In fact, I highly appreciate American English. It is full of life and frequently very funny. I only dislike meaningless talking. We should leave this to our politicians.

    This "you know" has counterparts in French, one is "quoi", equally meaningless. It is added at the end of a sentence. During a conversation with a friend, I was counting. When I arrived at 15 he said "what are you counting". I explained and he laughed and stopped. Weeks later he confessed that he started the counting business with others.

    Very funny this imitation of German accent. I showed it to my wife who is French. She liked it, naturally.

    On YouTube is a guy - don't know his name - who imitates all kind of accents and speaks in fake languages. Very funny: here is the link:


  9. hallo Georg
    ha! Great little post
    how are you?
    did you have a NICE day? heh heh
    oh Georg, you know English is not my 1st language either, so when I took English 101 here in USA, I had an excellent English professor who forbid us to us the word NICE in any essay in English, oh! he threatened us in a very convincing way: the 1st nice I read, he said, the 1st point I delete from your total grade. Among other words he hated were, GIRL, when referring to a woman, and yes! COOL! I think he must be your American counterpart…
    you know I struggle with Deutsch these days, and I am sure I make a lot of mistakes daily but I do appreciate your obsession with simple and overused words, nothing like reading something that has been written with a bit of effort (at least a bit, huh?)
    now have a gorgeous day! Your sandiegan friend

  10. ah! also
    i really liked this part of that comment

    -How is your burger?

    so funny!

    cannot think of a burger as "impeccable" specially after the sin of killing the cow, not sure why, but i tend to think "impeccable" translated in Spanish is "impecable" or in other words "without a sin"... but seems to me like a good response anyhow, better than nice or cool, huh?

  11. Hallo Bere,

    I frankly don't know if a mburger can be impeccable. I would already be well content if it is tasty.

    Jake, unknown pal: I didn't dare to tune in on BS. My computer flashed a warning sign, kind of "hands off.


  12. Yes it's the miracle of our life that we can see 50m blogs whenever we like and it means this big number of new ideas.
    Your post reminds me of a friend who died last year out of overdozing drogs. I'm living in Iran which is a religious country and it doesn't look positivly to a woman who is addict. Anyhow she died last year and the word always said was "you know" but in Persian which is "Miduni..." . Really I had the same hate feeling with this phrase,and lots of times I was interrupting by saying"No,I don't know(in Persian)" ...but now she is not with us and this phrase is a symbole of her in mind and I don't find any hate feeling anymore ,because it turned to a symbole by her death.
    ...and something more, your English is perfect,honestly I enjoy type of your writing and guess you should use it more than regularly to be this much fluent.
    Have good times.

  13. Thank you Somi for your friendly comment.

    Now I know that this stupid "you know" has even made it into the Persian language.

    By the way, even here, not a religious country at all, it does not look positive to be a junkey.

    As to blogging, I see it as big chance. I use this possibility mainly to express my ideas rather than what I am doing. And some people seem interested.

    Give a hug to your daughter from me.


  14. Hello, I was looking for a picture of the goddess Nike and found your blog! I am one of those American college students whose vocabulary consists mainly of "cool" "nice" and "that sucks." I think it amounts to us being too lazy to search for an adjective describing how we reeaally feel about something! Regardless, I love your blog, short and poignant! You have a new fan!

  15. Purchasing memory is such a chore... You have to Google prices, filter through which ones are legit, around a bunch of stores,compare prices, finally buy your memory, and then constantly pray that the price doesn't drop in the next month or so.

    I've been done in by rapid price drops in the past... especially this one time when I bought a Micro SD card for my R4 gaming flash card at what was apparently a bargain price, only to later see that it fell by $5 in a week's time.

    (Posted from Nintendo DS running [url=]R4i[/url] NewPost)