Old Man Rant Episode #9: Words, Words Words!

If you’re new to the Old Man Rant, here’s how it goes.  Once I turned 50, I started venting my frustration at the irritations of life.  It felt good, so I kept doing it.  I call these periodic and hopefully humorous verbal tantrums Old Man Rants.

Today’s Topic: Misused Words & Phrases


Have you been shopping lately?  When you’re waiting in line to pay for your stuff, and a register opens up, the too-cheery clerk says, ” I can help the next guest.”

Guest?!  What happened to customer?  

I liked being a customer.  It was easy to understand because being a customer implies a transaction.  You provide a service or product for me, and I pay you for it. All good!

But a guest?  That confuses the whole thing.  Guests don’t pay for things.  If you’re a guest in my home, I’m not going to offer you a drink and then charge you for it- you’re my guest!

But now that we’ve over-polited ourselves into calling customers guests, I just leave the store feeling pissed-off and ripped-off because I had to pay for everything.  What kind of hospitality is that? 


I live in southeastern PA, about an hour from Philadelphia.  People in this region have a certain way of saying things- sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it makes no damn sense.

Example: When we eat tuna, we call it- tuna.  But when we eat tuna salad, we call it tunafish?! 

Are we saying that tuna is not a fish until we add mayo and turn it into a deli salad?!  That dry chunk of flesh from the sea is tuna, but add a little mayo and BOOM- it becomes an actual fish! A tunafish!  WHAT?!


According to Google, a rock star is a “famous rock musician”

That said, let’s talk about what a rock star is not: a teacher, a chef, a housewife, a student, a convenience store clerk, an athlete, a salesperson, etc…..

Basically anything that doesn’t involve being a famous rock musician, causes a person to not be a rock star.  So why do we insist on calling anybody who does anything (no matter how mundane) a rockstar?

“Good job honey-you’re a rock star at math.”   Gag.

“We’re looking to hire a few rock stars for entry level positions in our company…”  Puke.

Am I overly salty about this?  Probably.  

But in defense of rock stars, do you know how rare it is to be highly skilled at music, plus have the charisma necessary to put on a world class performance in front of thousands of people who paid to see you?  

It ain’t rocket science but it sure ain’t easy either.  So let’s dial down the ego-pumping and reserve the term for actual rock stars please!

I Have No Words

How many times have you heard an upset person describe their disturbing situation, and at some point utter the phrase “I have no words”?

If it ended there it would be fine, but what usually happens?  They keep talking!  

On and on they go about all the stuff they just said they could not describe. And if you’re like me, you get bummed out because you thought the story was over, but now you have to stand there and listen to them ramble on. 

People shouldn’t treat each other this way- it’s mean.

If you say you have no words- then STOP SAYING WORDS!

Ah! I feel better now. Time to go chase some punks off my lawn.

If you want to keep venting with me, check out my original rant.

For even more Old Man Rants and other stories, visit  Five O’Clock Shadow, my magazine style blog and keep coming back to Wise & Shine Magazine!

19 thoughts on “Old Man Rant Episode #9: Words, Words Words!

  1. Loving this SO MUCH. The ‘guest’ business is weird…and I’m right there with you about TUNAfish. Why? And…I see myself in your “I have no words” observation. Oh goodness. That one hits close to home! Thanks for the Friday morning smile! πŸ˜‰

    1. Haha thanks Victoria! Of course I’m exaggerating for effect- I’m not really mad at people who don’t have words but actually do. πŸ™‚

  2. I love the old man rants, and this was probably one of my favorite ones yet.

    I have no words… I mean, it was hilarious and made me laugh out loud. πŸ˜† Playing along ☝️, but I really did LOL. So funny!

  3. Yeah. You’re in good company with me. I’ve been accused of being a grumpy, old man since my 30s. When I hit 50 I leaned into it. When my friends who called it out years too early, I counter that they should have seen it coming.

  4. You’ve got me inspired! Mind if do a little ranting of my own?

    True story: Our local grocery store is a place called H.E.B. These stores are located all over Texas and are easily the most popular and lucrative chain.

    All the people who work at H.E.B. wear nametags. Each tag includes the worker’s name and the then the word “Partner” underneath the name. That’s because all those who work at the supermarket aren’t “Employees”; they are “Partners.”

    I’m going out on a limb here but I bet none of the baggers and cashiers actually have the power to make any high-level decisions nor do they share in any of the store profits. In other words, I’m not sure what benefits come with being a store “partner.”

    I’ll go out on a limb a second time. (I like going out of limbs.) I bet calling them “partners” is a kind of psychological ploy that is used to dull the pain said employees feel when they pick up their small paychecks or when they have to work a double-shift.

    On their way to the bank with their small paychecks in hand they can at least tell themselves that they aren’t just workers; they’re PARTNERS!

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