Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

The Brevity of the Situation

Some may remember my post, “Had Just Assume Forget.” In it I rant a bit about mangling of popular phrases and of grammar in general. In “You Should of Seen It,” I have fun with common mistakes.

On Monday while on my lunch break, I thought it would be funny to have a character mistakenly say, “the brevity of the situation,” rather than “the gravity of the situation.” I searched for that exact phrase on Google, using quotes, to see whether anyone else had thought of this (which usually reveals that my idea was not new).

I got 206,000 hits, and after clicking down to the third page of results, I realized that the writers were using it incorrectly, not satirically. In one case it was used in a tirade about Sookie, an annoying character from “The Jersey Shore.” There it was not surprising, but often it was used within text that otherwise seemed to be written by an educated, well-read person. (On second thought, perhaps the Sookie comment was a very clever reference to the character who calls himself “The Situation,” but I doubt it.)

Curious, I searched for the phrase “the gravity of the situation.” That time I got 1,200,000 results.

That means that, out of a total of 1,406,000 occurrences of both phrases, “the brevity” was used nearly 15% of the time. I can’t possibly know whether it was used for comic effect or not, but extrapolation from the first three pages of results on that phrase isn’t promising.

Please pardon the gravity of this post. I mean, the brevity. Dang!

7 Responses to The Brevity of the Situation

  1. You’re so funny, honey! Only you would go out and search for something like that. :o) I like your new pic – where were you & who took it? And whose hoodie do you have on (’cause I know you don’t own one)?

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  2. Personally, I hate the term “it is what it is”. Drives me absolutely nuts!

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  3. Personally, I hate the term “It is what it is”, drives me absolutely nuts!

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  4. There are so many of these phrases that people use wrong. I could very well do it myself so you need to promise me that you’ll correct me when I do.
    The English language is just so cluttery…

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  5. Dave and Linda – It takes much less of this kind of thing to drive me nuts than it does the average person. Glad you two aren’t average, either! My wife isn’t, either, but, she won’t admit it.

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  6. I could care less.

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  7. sSo, WHICH IS Correct….Brevity of the Situation or Gravity of the Situation?
    They just said “Gravity of the situation” on The ROCKFORD FILES, and i ThoughT ThaT was Wrong…maybe it is correct?

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