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  • by Barb Shelton

5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate

Most sayings make sense and are appropriate. Like saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes, or calling a loved one "sweetheart," a silly person "goof ball," an overly-dramatic person a "drama queen," a jittery person a "bundle of nerves," or a high-energy person a "firecracker."

However, I have come across a few sayings that either don't make sense or that cross lines – lines that we often don't even realize exist. These sayings may be impolite, insulting, uncaring, or just plain wrong.

Some sayings go even further and are gross, disgusting, or make me downright angry.

I'm going to share five such sayings with you today.


"kill two birds

with one stone"

Stone in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

You don't have to be a bird lover for this saying to hit you as being a bit, well, overkill, for lack of a better word. It implies that a single weapon –a stone –is used to kill not just one, but two innocent birds.

Do innocent birds really deserve this morbid fate?

If they are loud, obnoxious crows, then yes, they do deserve this morbid fate! Use all the stones you want to annihilate them.

But why use such a violent metaphor to refer to something as benign as getting two things done with one action?!?!

I would humbly present to you a better option that I actually use!


"Feed (or

revive) two birds

with one worm"!

Now, I do realize that a (presumably) innocent worm (admittedly we don't know the whole situation) still loses its life in this alternative saying, but since this is a God-ordained loss of life that happens all the time in nature, and that results in a baby bird being nourished, rather than a violent-and-pointless killing, it's at least a huge improvement. (Do you have any other suggestions?)

Baby Birdin 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

(Worm not pictured, but

you can tell it's a'comin'!)



Non-Aspirin in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

For the love of all things intelligent, I do not understand how this totally non-descriptive name for a pill actually made it to store shelves! Seriously?!?!? How NON-specific can you get?!?!

"Non-aspirin" could be absolutely anything that is not aspirin. Isn't every single pain reliever other than aspirin, technically "NON-ASPIRIN"?!?!?!

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That's like calling a daffodil, tulip, sunflower, daisy, or lilac a "NON-ROSE." ... Wow, brilliant! Refer, then, to this photo of "non-roses":

Flowers in vases (no roses) in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

...Or it's like calling all the bags of chips in this photo "NON-FRITOS" – except for the bag in the center of the bottom row, which actually IS a bag of Fritos.

Bags of Chips in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

But as you can see, the non-intelligent name didn't keep me from buying the above-pictured bottle of Acetaminophen (which is on my kitchen table). It was cheaper, after all.

Nonetheless... whoever thought of this wording must have been on something. Maybe a "non-drug"?


None. I just have

to put up with it.



Silhouette of girl at sunset in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

Someone puts their shirt on in-side-out, and, upon realizing it, blurts out, "Ooooh I'm such a RETARD!!!"

Or a guy spills his coffee, and a co-worker chides, "You are soooo RETARDED!!!"

This word is typically used to describe someone who just did something foolish or stupid. But let's shine some light on this practice...

The word "retarded" means "slowed down." Maybe you've noticed that children's pajamas were made with a "flame retardant." Meaning there's something in the fabric that will slow down the ability of fire to ignite it.

In psychology, "retarded" is a clinical definition to label those whose mental processes have been slowed down for some reason. They could have been born that way, they might have Down's Syndrome, or their brain could have been damaged in an accident or by a disease.

Whatever the cause, mentally retarded people are not "lesser" people with impaired value. They’re not stupid. They simply have a disadvantage** completely out of their control. The truth is, they are just as important to – and cherished by – God as anyone else. They are His precious children! In fact, they would be one of those Jesus had in mind when He referred to “the least of these” that we’re supposed to help.

Many people with "lesser" or at least "different-from-the-norm" thinking abilities have "better" and "different-from-the-norm" emotional and/or spiritual giftings!!! People with Down Syndrome have probably taught those who know and love them far more about life and unconditional love than those people ever dreamed possible!

I love how my friend, Tamera, put it: "I have known several Downs people and have found them to have an amazing amount of love and joy and a freedom to express it exuberantly! I believe they are disabled in many things compared to the mainstream of humanity but they are unhindered by some of the things that disable the rest of us. I believe they are capable of seeing God more clearly, much like through the eyes of a child and they aren't inhibited to love, the way many of us are. Who's more disabled - them or us???"

How can we regard in a derogatory way those with mental impairments? First, they simply don't deserve it. Second, they have enough challenges in life without us using that term to describe our own shortcomings. I know most people don't intend to be derogatory, but they are. Don't beat yourself up over it; just repent and don't use "retarded" anymore.


Can we just


this term?


"End Construction"

End Construction sign in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

Now, why in the world would we want to end construction? Without it, nothing would get built! No houses... no roads... no vehicles... no stores... No NOTHIN'!!!

What this sign is really saying, of course, is "END [OF A] CONSTRUCTION [ZONE]"! As in the end of a construction zone on a road. So this sign tells us that we no longer need to keep being extra-cautious in said zone.

What this highlights is the importance of prepositions. In this case, the preposition "OF"! Which was left out – making it sound, at least to me, like someone is on a bandwagon to end construction!

OK, to no one but ME, I'm sure. Nonetheless, because I have the technology and the highly-coveted (I'm sure) skill to fix this error, at least in my own little world, I have taken it upon myself to reconstruct this sign, and add in that small but all-important preposition, "of"...

End OF Construction Sign in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

Aaaaaah!!! There! Isn't that just beautiful?!?! OH, that felt good!!! And see? – there was plennnnty of room for the "OF"!!! Perhaps I need to write to the Department of Transportation? Or...


Just get over it?


"Put a bug in your ear"

Bug in yellow flower center in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

Even though the very thought of this saying is absolutely disgusting, I have used it countless times throughout my life!

Until one day when, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I happened upon – and, regretfully, watched – a video showing the procedure of an actual live bug being pulled out of an actual live person's ear!!!

I will never be the same. (I'll spare you the trauma by refraining from linking you to it. And do NOT look it up!!! You will regret it!!!)

As a result of said traumatization, I can no longer use this disgusting saying anymore without deeply cringing.

By the way, the photo above is of a bug in a flower, not in an ear, to spare you from traumatization. You're welcome.

But where oh where did the idea of putting a bug in your ear originate?!?! How the concept of putting an idea in someone's mind morphed into the idea of putting an actual bug into their ear is beyond me!

Instead, I now say what I actually mean...

"Can you

give me/them

a reminder

or hint?"


"The End"

THE END in sand in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

No, REALLY. I mean the actual end – of my little tirade! And no, I'm not suggesting we do away with sand-writing or that we stop saying "THE END"! Both are just fine!


Do you have any sayings you'd like to see revamped or even downright obliterated from our language? Our thoughts and preferences may never be known beyond this blog, but at least we can co-miserate about it together and maybe even start a trend toward better word choices. We would thus...



Baby bird with mouth open in 5 Sayings I'd Like to Change or Eliminate  ::

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THE (actual) END


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