Posted by: bkivey | 13 April 2012

5 Things You Don’t Want To Hear

There are some words that most people enjoy hearing, phrases like “I’ve got a check for you”, “Good job”, “You look great”, and other affirmations. The merits of some phrases are situational: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you”; great if uttered by public safety or military personnel, not so much if it comes out of the mouth of a politician or bureaucrat. Then there are things you don’t ever want to hear. I’ve taken five of them, and listed them in reverse order of incipient harm.

Hmmm.

This usually indicates that something isn’t going according to plan, or that an unexpected result has occurred. If a physician or technician says this, it’s time to be worried. This phrase is often followed by:

That’s interesting

Whatever ‘it’ is, it probably is interesting, but not in a good way. You can judge the severity of the situation by the speaker’s field of expertise. If they’re a medical, legal, or technical expert, some concern is warranted. If an engineer says this, you may want to look for an escape route. If you’re in the company of the bomb squad, this may be the last thing you hear. If Mr. Spock says this, go straight to #4 on the list.

Uh-oh

This is the universal indication that something has gone wrong. I would bet that this phrase is found in every culture, and probably sounds the same. The severity of the situation may vary, but if your life is in someone else’s hands, and they say this, then the next thing that’s probably going to come out of their (or your) mouth, is:

Oh, shit

If you hear (or say) this, you’re done. Cooked. Forked. Likely soon to be incorporeal. I read once that this was the most common phrase found at the end of cockpit voice recorder tapes. I can’t confirm this, but it seems reasonable. This is usually the last conscious thought before the situation resolves itself.

Hey ya’ll, watch this!

If you hear this, run. Fast. Because this is the last thing they’ll ever say, and the last thing you’ll ever see.

Friday the 13th

Today is the second of four Friday 13th’s this year.  In a quirk that probably has the numerology community buzzing, they are all 13 weeks apart.

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