Good job

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Related Issues

I’m a natural Southerner (born and raised in North Carolina) who is now living in the Midwest.  As such, there’s a bit of a culture clash.  We Southerners don’t use the word “pop” when referring to soft drinks, for example.  We generally say “Coke.”  Doesn’t matter if it’s Pepsi.  It’s Coke.  I had a friend who was working at a concession stand at a football game when someone walked up and asked what kind of pop they had.  She told them that they didn’t sell suckers.  She was serious.  We don’t say pop.

Now that I live in the Midwest, I hear the word pop all the time.  And it just grates on my nerves.  It’s not so much the word as it is the way Midwesterners pronounce it.  There’s a kind of nasal quality to the way they pronounce their Os that just makes me cringe.  Now, I know every region has their own way of speaking.  I’m from the South, I have no room to talk.  My wife still laughs at me when I pronounce words like “get” (I use an I instead of an E).  Regional accents are normal, and I just have to grin and bear it.  I can’t expect everyone to change the way they speak just because it’s annoying to me.  That is, unless you’re pronouncing Appalchian.  It’s Appa-LATCH-ian, people, not Appa-LAYSH-ian.

This may seem like a tangent, but stay with me.  I loathe the phrase “good job.”  It’s overused, causing its impact to be diminished.  There are a lot of people who will ONLY use the phrase when praising someone, and it just becomes part of the vernacular.  Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to say it.  I’m not saying there’s some king of “good job” conspiracy, or even people who are out there telling us to say “good job.”  We just pick it up.  I’m a big proponent of finding other things to say.  I still find myself saying good job occasionally, but I try to replace it with other things.

At my office, we have an ABA clinic.  They work off an errorless principle – you stick with something until someone gets it right.  When they get something right, you praise them.  And, of course, the most common praise is “good job.”

That in itself is bad enough.  But we’re in the Midwest.  And “job” has the same O sound as “pop”.  And it drives me UP THE WALL.  Every time I walk by and someone is saying “good job for doing such and such”, I want to run in and scream at them to find another less annoying phrase.  So far, I’ve controlled myself.  So far.

Just had to get that off my chest.  Thanks for reading!

-Jesse

Comments
  1. themtguy'swife says:

    I don’t really laugh at him when his Southern accent comes out~~I actually think it’s really cute. Like when he says “lawyer”😉

  2. Roia says:

    I’m kind of with you on the “good job” thing. It just insists that people become compliant (which is, as far as I’m concerned, not necessarily a great idea), and it implies that people should only do something for the external praise they get (rather than because it was important to them to do it). But that would be my rant (which I’ll do at my blog).

    The point, though, is that Southern accents are very pleasant. I just drove through North and South Carolina, as well as Georgia. I’m still chuckling over the woman behind the counter who asked me “you just want one bee-is-cit? You don’t know want no ca-yan-dy? Two for nahnty-nahn cent?”

    I’m with your wife. It’s adorable! We’re all jealous!

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