Grumble. Saaaaaaad. The hell?

As I was checking out of the spa at Princeville a few weeks ago, the receptionist said “You Welcome,” exactly the same way my friend Wanita does. It got me thinking about the distinctive ways we express ourselves.

There is another distinct Wanitaism: she expresses mild dissatisfaction with “grumble.” Not actually grumbling, but saying the word grumble. (She expresses strong dissatisfaction more directly.)

Many of these things we do without realizing it. Tricia expresses sympathy with a drawn out “saaaaaaad”. Wanita and I pointed it out one day and she had no idea she’d done it hundreds of times.

Doris expresses confusion with “the hell?,” omitting the “what.”

Jon keeps his own list of Darrenisms, weird sayings by our friend Darren. My favorite is “astrocity” to refer to a satellite dish on a neighbor’s house.

In a post like this, it’s only fair that I share my own. (As shared by my friends, because I don’t necessarily notice.)

  • My “no”s and “yes”es are sometimes unclear, coming out as “nyep.” My poker buddies hated this.
  • It can be hard to read my facial expressions as the expressions for indifferent, sad and angry are the same.
  • Apparently I have a communications superpower that some of my friends are jealous of. Revealing it would dilute that power, so I won’t.

About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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