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Killer Phrases

Killer Phrases

Words that kill imagination, creativity, exploration, and wonder in children also provide challenges for adults to overcome.  Faced with real world problems, we need every critical thought we can generate, even if it is outside the box.

The phrases become killers when used to shut people down, stop looking for better ways, terminate exploration, and close down wonder.

Killer Phrases 2012-04-22 update


Be ladylike.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Be practical...

Because I said so. (Richard Ewald)

Behave. (Loren Miller)

Children are to be seen and not heard (Richard C. Brown)

Crucify yourself daily.

Crucify yourself in imitation of the crucified Christ

Do you realize the paper it will create?

Don’t be so disruptive.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Don’t be so negative.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Don't be ridiculous.

Don't fight city hall.

Don't rock the boat.

Don't waste time thinking.

Focus on the positive.   (Emma Rosenthal)



Get a committee to look into this.

Get over it!

Great idea, but not for us.

Have you heard that one before? ex-xians. (Nerdless)

I am going to beat the bjesus out of you. (Richard C. Brown)

I don't have time.

If it ain't broke...

I'll get back to you.

I'm the one that gets paid to think.

It can't be done!

It has been like this since Cain and Abel!

it isn't the right time.  (Emma Rosenthal)

It'll be more trouble than it's worth.

It'll never fly.

It'll never work.

It's just human nature.  (Chris Barna)

It's not in the budget.

It's not your responsibility.

It's out of scope.

It's too far ahead of its time.

Just Remember things you love about your husband.

Kill them with love and kindness. (Richard C. Brown)

Let's get a committee to look into this.

Let's stick with what works.



Obviously, you misread my request.

Oh, you can’t reason with children. (Richard Ewald)

People don't want change.

Put it in writing.

Rejoice in your crucifixion.

That sounds like something my kids would say.

That’s not polite.   (Emma Rosenthal)

That's irrelevant.

That's not in your job description.

The boss will never go for it.

The competition will eat you alive.

The poor will be with us always!

They can kill u but can’t eat u. (Richard C. Brown).

This isn’t the time.

This isn't the place.   (Emma Rosenthal)

Turn the other cheek.

War is war!

We agree to disagree. (Richard Ewald)

We have to appeal to (white) middle America (though they never SAY ‘white.’)   (Emma Rosenthal)

We haven't got the manpower.

Well, that’s your opinion. (Richard Ewald)

Well-behaved women RARELY make history! (Loren Miller)

We've always done it this way!

We've done all right so far.

We've tried that before.

What will people say?

When we are weak, He is strong. (Nerdless)

Women should be silent in church.


You can't legislate morality!

You can't teach old dog new tricks.

You just want to make trouble!

You’re being divisive.   (Emma Rosenthal 

You’re too extreme.   (Emma Rosenthal)

You're too young.

You've got to be kidding.

Members: 14
Latest Activity: Mar 24

Discussion Forum

"Get over it" a Killer Phrase

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Mar 17. 6 Replies

Have you noticed how people find ways to discount, trivialize, deny, demonize others who speak the truth? These are what I call "Killer phrases." "Get over it" is a perfect example of what I mean. My…Continue

Backbone Zone

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Steph S. Oct 28, 2012. 4 Replies

Backbone Zone has some good posters about verbal violence.…Continue

Tags: Backbone zone posters

Arrogant bosses cover insecurity

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Tammy S Jul 26, 2012. 2 Replies

Identifying the Arrogant Boss set off a light bulb.Arrogance is characterized by a pattern of behavior that…Continue

Tags: arrogance

Rape Joke verbal assault

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by annet Jul 15, 2012. 3 Replies

Anatomy of a Successful Rape JokeThis entrenched mysogenistic verbal violence makes me sick.…Continue

Tags: humor as verbal violence

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Killer Phrases to add comments!

Comment by Patricia on March 18, 2015 at 7:23pm

"You're supposed to always let the boys win."

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on March 18, 2015 at 1:57pm

You're confusing me with someone who gives a shit.

Comment by Patricia on March 18, 2015 at 1:51pm



Comment by Loren Miller on March 18, 2015 at 1:48pm

It occurs to me that the one "killer phrase" which may have spawned them all has yet to be mentioned, perhaps because it's the most blatant and the most used:


You don't get a whole lot more dismissive than that.

Comment by Patricia on March 17, 2015 at 6:33pm

"You, & who else's army?"

You need to go to church!"

Comment by Loren Miller on March 17, 2015 at 6:28pm

I've heard this one more than once, including a guest shot in the movie, Twister:

"If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you!"

Comment by Patricia on March 17, 2015 at 6:10pm

"You ask too many questions!"

"What is wrong with you?"

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 7, 2012 at 1:25am

Karol, I am very happy to have you join us as we explore language and how we can learn and develop strength and competence through awareness of its effects on us. Your statement about mental abuse being used on men as well as women is quite correct. Where men often use physical force to gain control, women often use language as their weapon of choice. 
I look forward to the time when men and women do not seek control, but rather seek solution to problems so all have their needs me. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 6, 2012 at 10:39pm

Welcome aboard, Karol. Good to hear from you.

Comment by Karol Pankowski on November 6, 2012 at 10:12pm

Hi all, I've just joined the AN and have to say: what a great group Killer Phrases is! I think it is not only about spousal abuse, this kind of mental  abuse can be used on men as well. It can be used to "shut down" whole groups of people, even entire societies. One would think they are just words but it is rather shocking how harmful and devastating it can be.

Some of the things you said Joan have become "big quotes" for me:

"Verbal violence creates so many hidden wounds that are hard to get to."

"Faced with real world problems, we need every critical thought we can generate."

"Words that kill imagination, creativity, exploration, and wonder in children also provide challenges for adults to overcome."

Brilliant. Kudos to you and keep them coming!


Members (14)


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