General Question

gailcalled's avatar

When does a remark or adage or saying stop being funny and become banal and tedious?

Asked by gailcalled (54584points) September 23rd, 2008

My philosophical query of the evening, triggered by Windex’s this.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

33 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I think it’s totally subjective. I may have heard it a million times and be sick to death of it, but to someone else it may still be fresh, and they’ll still find it amusing.

SuperMouse's avatar

To me it is a question of overuse. Once a word or phrase or remark catches on and most of the civilized world seems to be saying it, that’s when I’m done. Some recent examples include my bad, all that and a bag of chips, and wassssuppp.

There are some I have thought banal and tedious from the jump, for instance from the jump and referring to anything is tight.

fireside's avatar

I agree with the subjective part.
For me with movie and tv quotes, it happens after maybe 4 or 5 times – if that

It just seems like trying to relive the first laugh because I had friends that would just wear things to the ground simply because everybody laughed at them the first time.

I am guilty of saying things like my bad too often.

gailcalled's avatar

Addition; I meant your subjective take. I don’t think that there is a general answer. (other than the views of Aristotle and Moliére and I have already mentioned them three times).

Bri_L's avatar

That is really hard to say. I know there are sayings that I could put my brother, Dad and best but on and we could go all day 24/7 on and not get tired of. Then get tired for a day then get back on it again.

My wife found it very funny at first now it is just amusing. Then she started saying “thats what he said” and we turned it into a contest. It became funny again.

augustlan's avatar

Hmmm, even with your clarification Gail, I still can’t really say. Some grate on my nerves quite quickly, while others don’t bother me a bit. One that drove me insane was “Life is like a box of chocolates” from Forrest Gump…mostly because people always said it in a poor imitation of Forrest’s speech pattern. Ugh.

marinelife's avatar

I will get pet phrases stuck in my mind and overuse them. They usually wear out for others hearing them before me saying them. I went with windex’s phrase—at the office especially—for months and months.

gailcalled's avatar

Philosophical questions never require definitive answers…just endless discussions. I love those. And (our little secret) I never heard of “That’s what she said” until this evening. Why is, or was, that funny?

marinelife's avatar

Let me add, I can take an instant dislike to a phrase and never use it. Case in point, the ubiquitous and in my opinion obnoxious and meangless “back in the day.”

Bri_L's avatar

@ Gail – An example of use

Someone says: Its a problem. Its really big and we have to ride it hard.

Someone else says “that’s what she said” implying that “She said” “Its really big and we have to ride it hard”

gailcalled's avatar

Thanks, Brian: And that is was funny because? I see a version of that here – “what he said ” – all the time.

Bri_L's avatar

I think that is just a form of ” i agree with him” rather than retyping everything.

augustlan's avatar

Gail, that’s different. One is agreement with a prior post, one is a sexual innuendo.

gailcalled's avatar

@Aug: Which is which?

kt5405's avatar

When you have to question if it’s tedious and banal.

Mtl_zack's avatar

well, fads die and then repeat themselves sometimes. for instance, fancy brooches were worn a lot by my great-great grandmother, great grandmother, and grandmother, but my mother never wore them because she and all her friends thought that they were hideous. now, my sister, who is 20, wears antique brooches all the time. the older the better.

but the question isnt if fads can be revived. it is if something that many people do can die (paraphrasing with bad english—sorry gail).

philosophy is a thing that everyone does. every person has wondered “why am i here” or “what is the meaning of life” or some other question, which can include this question. so, is asking, “why are we here, on earth, living and breathing?” a tedious and banal question? yes. a remark saying “that’s what she said” can be less philosophical, but it is still something that many people state, just like “why are humans here on earth?”. i dont think that the latter is banal, and therefore, the former should not be banal either.

gailcalled's avatar

@Zack; At this point in time, that’s not a bad answer. We think about philosophical issues, however, and not do them. And on that banal note, I am going to bed.

Bri_L's avatar

@gail “Which is which?”

in the end it is probably contingent on the text before hand or the mind of the reader or both.

gailcalled's avatar

deleted by me.

Bri_L's avatar

sorry, you lost me.

gailcalled's avatar

I lost myself…too tired from researching abiotics for a lazy teenager here.

Bri_L's avatar

Once again gail, your life amazes me.

fireside's avatar

@Gail – I liked your first answer about the abiotics, “I could spend the next twenty minutes on Google, but then I would know the answers and you wouldn’t. Good or bad idea?”

Guess you had the twenty minutes : )

gailcalled's avatar

I am often an idiot, but a curious one. Old habits die hard. Time to turn in: Milo needs his beauty sleep.

Knotmyday's avatar

An (erstwhile) cleverly worded statement becomes banal and tedious when overused by boring, unimaginative philistines- to whom the crushingly obvious scintillates.

Yes, I’m back. You can thank a long, unecessary, libation-soaked business trip for my fangs.

gailcalled's avatar

@knot; under what underbrush were you creeping this time? I missed you (can’t speak for anyone else, of course.) Welcome back.

Knotmyday's avatar

I was furthering pork-barrel fiscal policy, and I am not proud. I ate well, though. Missed you too, :^)

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

All I wanna know is did she put it in the frizzer under the pool?

augustlan's avatar

Welcome back, Knot.
@Sueanne: Frizzer may never get old, for me!

stratman37's avatar

Way before “that’s what she said” enjoyed a renewal on The Office, a friend of mine and I used it for phrases that were decidedly NOT applicable.

Like, in response to “I’ll check the schematics before we fill out the work order” which I thought was funny because to use it like it’s used on The Office is just too easy, ya know?

Nimis's avatar

Whenever people say “I just threw up a little in my mouth”,
it makes me want to kick them a little in the shins.
I don’t know why this one annoys me more than “that’s what she said”.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I dont care what anyone says, but “PUNCH HIM IN THE DICK” will always be funny.

gailcalled's avatar

To you, right? Others may disagree.

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