Showing posts with label way shape or form. Show all posts
Showing posts with label way shape or form. Show all posts

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Advice For Sounding Like a Total Moron

By: T.R. Slyder,

Anyone that respects the English language hates the colloquialism "Any way, shape or form". The phrase itself is bad enough, but given it's intended meaning, it's always used in a smug manner. The only time you hear it is when an idiot attempting to sound lawyerly. They feel that the add verbosity adds depth their claim, thereby making them sound much more intellectually complex. But in fact, any respectable lawyer (or human) would know that in regular parlance there is no appreciable difference between "shape" and "form". Furthermore, once you've established that there is "no way" something happened, throwing the "shape or form" in for good measure doesn't bring anything new to the linguistic table. You'll never hear anything like the following.

Mike: Dave, did you eat the last piece of pizza that was in the refrigerator.

Shane: No

Mike: Yes you did.

Shane: I assure you, in no way whatsoever did I take that last slice.

Mike (smugly): Very well....BUT.....Did you by any chance take the last slice of pizza in some shape or form?

Shane: DAMNIT!! You're good. Yes, yes I did. There was a form in which I took the last slice. The "form" in which I took it was when I opened the door and removed the slice from the refrigerator.

Mike: Ahhh, I see. So you didn't take the piece of pizza in any certain "way", but you did so in a specific "form". That all makes sense to me now. You thought that if you ate the slice in a "form" but not in a "way", that your denial of "in no WAY whatsoever" would be technically correct, and you'd have an ironclad alibi.

Shane: I sure did, Mike. I sure did. But you still caught me. You're good, man, you're good.

I can understand the expression of "No way", but if the phrase "No way, shape or form" made sense, then you would think you'd also hear the phrase "No shape, or form!". As in,

Mike: "Dude, did you hear that Clay Aiken came out of the closet?"

Shane: "No shape or form!!!! Are you serious??! Holy crap, I can't believe he's gay!"

Don't be like Shane.