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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: 13
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 Nerdlass on March 21, 2012 at 11:50pm

Though the original intent is to encourage the faithful, those who doubt are shut down with this phrase:

When we are weak, He is strong.

Have you heard that one before, ex-xians?

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 21, 2012 at 11:21pm

Ouch! Verbal violence creates so many hidden wounds that are hard to get to. The bruises present easy evidence. thanks for the graphic. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 21, 2012 at 11:07pm

Here's a striking image for verbal violence


Comment by Richard ∑wald on March 18, 2012 at 4:34pm

"I know the fallacies aren't in error, I am."

Logical fallacies are just heuristics, it isn't just how an argument is framed that makes it valid, invalid. Logic is a kind of proof, same with "calling" someone on a logical fallacy, one needs to prove the proposition is invalid.

Once this is understood, it becomes much easier to spot others errors in reasoning, as well as avoiding employing them one's self.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 18, 2012 at 3:39pm

Richard, yes, one can reason with even a very young child, even as many people disagreed with me. My cousin said I had to hit them up the side of the head to get their attention, but that just makes no sense to me. How is a child to learn if they don't learn from their parents and early.
I like your understanding of logical fallacies even as many of them make no sense to me. I know the fallacies aren't in error, I am. That is why I, and the women in my family suffered so unnecessarily for generations. I am gullible to a fault and fall for the snake oil way too often. Glad to have a community of people who take time to make a case and stand on principle. 
My daughter was ten years old in 1974, she put her hands on her hips, her nose just level with her father's bright and shiny army belt buckle, looked up at him so they were eye to eye even though at different heights and said, "You don't have the right to treat me this way!" I was overwhelmed! I had never said that to anyone. Within a few months, I packed the kids in the car and left. that was 38 years ago.  
I have always known my kids were smarter than I, and she proved it.  

Comment by Richard ∑wald on March 18, 2012 at 2:19am

I remember her friend's parents always asking me why she was so polite, never "acted out" or needed a "time out". I said, "I've always reasoned with her".

They always say, "Oh, you can't reason with children…"

You can, if you lay the foundation for it early on and stay consistent and respectful to your kids.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on March 18, 2012 at 2:16am

As my father did with me, I framed everything we talked about (aside from jokes, fun stuff, etc), from a standpoint of critical thinking, reason and logic. From about age 3. I taught her logical fallacies from Lewis Carroll's "Alices Adventures in Wonderland - all the dialog by all the characters is various fallacies. She can spot a con faster than most of the adults around her.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 18, 2012 at 1:14am

Richard, glad to see you here. You know, before long, I am going to be able to understand "philosophy talk" and "logical reasoning" if you are willing to hang in with me. I am still working on your most recent piece, but I will understand your meaning before i quit.
How does your daughter feel about your precision of word choice and logical thinking? I like your answer to her that "I told you so" is never acceptable. She needs to stand up to that kind of tyranny and bullying even if it is from an adult.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 18, 2012 at 12:53am

Steph, it is great to see you on this line and help identify the ways we allow ourselves to be stopped or slowed down in our progress. As you can see, the list has been growing for some time, and with each new inclusion I see ways I can prevent barriers. 

Comment by Richard ∑wald on March 17, 2012 at 11:06pm

"Because I said so"

…I told my daughter this is never an acceptable answer to anything unless it's phrased differently and implies that an explanation is forthcoming.

- ex-wife hates me for this one.


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