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Source: (consider it) Thread: Printable ways to say...
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Hope this doesn't count as a homework thread. I thought y'all could help me out and have fun at the same time. I am writing a devotional piece to be published to a very wide audience and possibly read on radio too, and I need a semi-polite way to say "This situation really sucks." Preferably without giving heart attacks to those readers / listeners who are troubled by vulgarity.

I'm looking for something that communicates the same emotional force with which you would say this to a) someone just diagnosed with major cancer, b) Jesus if you're out on a boat in the middle of the sea about to sink and you don't think he's taking the situation seriously enough.

I have no objection to you amusing yourselves with suggestions that, er, fall short of the mark. One I was offered was "We're having a bit of an unpleasant experience here."

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
One I was offered was "We're having a bit of an unpleasant experience here."

I was thinking of something along those lines. Drastic understatement can often convey the point quite well.

"This is somewhat less than ideal."

The trouble is that you need to nail the right tone of voice and facial expression. It is really more like this:

"This is [pause, lips together, slight eye roll] somewhat [arch one eyebrow] LESS [just slightly more pronounced than the rest of the words] than ideal. [breathe out, like releasing a sigh]"

Or, of course, you can go with the medical clinician approach (with just a touch of Winnie-the-Pooh):

"This would qualify as a Not Good Situation. One might even go so far as to say 'Bad.'"

--------------------
"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

Posts: 2516 | From: Delaware, USA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ****.

In capitals.

Well that would be my inner response to both of these situations. Outwardly, I might say something more like:

"That is, broadly speaking, sub-optimal".

"This is going to be very difficult to find the positives from, to share at church"

--------------------
Blog
My books for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18244 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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Writing it out is tricky. You don't have the advantage of facial expressions. Also I think it would be much easier if you were writing to a Brit audience. (I imagine you are writing with Americans as the primary recipients of your devotional wisdom.) Irony is so often lost on us Yanks.

--------------------
"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 21151 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stercus Tauri
Shipmate
# 16668

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"We have an irritation that may, in fact, amount to a nuisance". (That one from a real life job disappearance).

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

Posts: 808 | From: On the traditional lands of the Six Nations. | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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From the original (1975) film Rollerball, said by the John Houseman character when plotting to quash the James Caan character:

"I'm afraid we have something of a situation."

--------------------
"We're not in Wonderland anymore, Alice." – Charles Manson

Posts: 9978 | From: The Great Southwest | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
jedijudy

Organist of the Jedi Temple
# 333

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In High School, we had a teacher who would say, "This is a very unhappy situation," with a straight face.

Of course the problem with using that phrase is that your audience (in this case teenagers) would mimic the words and facial expression at every opportunity.

--------------------
Jasmine, little cat with a big heart.

Posts: 17553 | From: 'Twixt the 'Glades and the Gulf | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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You folks are great. [Big Grin] I'm afraid there's no video component (that I'm aware of, anyway). It would make things so much easier.

We had someone suggest the disciples say they were having a spot of bother.

I rather suspect the actual language was laced with fishermen's profanity.

[ 21. March 2017, 00:22: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Irony is so often lost on us Yanks.

Love the irony. [Two face]

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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There's always "Houston, we have a problem", a la Apollo 13.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17124 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I'm reminded of:
"small earthquake in Chile, not many dead"

and from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Ford: I rescued you from the Earth.
Arthur: And what's happened to the Earth?
Ford: It's been demolished.
Arthur: Has it.
Ford: Yes. It just boiled away into space.
Arthur: Look, I'm a bit upset about that.

Posts: 10432 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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This is less than fully good.

--------------------
God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62196 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Oh, so it's going to be that sort of day.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10432 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Irony is so often lost on us Yanks.

Love the irony. [Two face]
[Big Grin]

--------------------
"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 21151 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
jacobsen

seeker
# 14998

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This is a profoundly dischuffing* situation.


* For those from the NE of the UK

--------------------
But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
The man who made time, made plenty.

Posts: 7765 | From: Æbleskiver country | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged
BroJames
Shipmate
# 9636

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
There's always "Houston, we have a problem", a la Apollo 13.

Yes. I was thinking of this, perhaps with more referencing in case people missed the point. E.g. "As they said on the Apollo 13 mission, 'Houston…'…'

(Though according to Wikipedia the wording was slightly different.)

Posts: 3171 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

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Doesn't it depend on who the characters are in the story?

I rather like the old Bill-and-Ted "this is like totally bogus.."

But understatement is also good. We Brits might just say "um..." or "oh dear."

--------------------
my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

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How about this: To quote the late Jack Swigert "OK Houston, we've had a problem here."

Yes, I know it isn't as Tom Hanks used in the film, but it is what was really said on Apollo 13 and implies suitable masterly understatement.

--------------------
Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4475 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
How about this: To quote the late Jack Swigert "OK Houston, we've had a problem here."

Yes, I know it isn't as Tom Hanks used in the film, but it is what was really said on Apollo 13 and implies suitable masterly understatement.

Hanks played Jim Lovell.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62196 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

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But the original line was spoen by Swigert.

--------------------
Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4475 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Hedgehog

Ship's Shortstop
# 14125

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
... I need a semi-polite way to say "This situation really sucks."

Giving it more thought and limiting myself to the written word, and still sticking with the belief that properly used understatement may get a point across well, I wonder if you could go with: "Suffice it to say that the situation is bad."

The word "suffice" is not one that the average reader or listener is likely to see/hear on a regular basis. It therefore catches attention. And that is really the purpose: to get people's attention to a succinct "this is bad." And, because the inherent meaning of "suffice" suggests that the writer/speaker could go further but is self-limiting, it really gets across the concept that things are worse than bad.

Of course, if you really want to quote something, take a leave from the Grinch song and describe the situation as "a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!"

--------------------
"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

Posts: 2516 | From: Delaware, USA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Ooh, I love the Grinch song. Though I'm somewhat in love with Dorothy Parker's "What fresh hell is this?" right now.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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Hmmmm.

--------------------
Blog
My books for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18244 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
St. Gwladys
Shipmate
# 14504

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Or to use Terry Pratchett's word, describe it as being an "embuggerance".

--------------------
"I say - are you a matelot?"
"Careful what you say sir, we're on board ship here"
From "New York Girls", Steeleye Span, Commoners Crown (Voiced by Peter Sellers)

Posts: 3242 | From: Rhymney Valley, South Wales | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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A friend of mine used to say that a situation "bit a brick".

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11520 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Perhaps the Ship's Biblical Curse Generator? [Smile]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17124 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

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Of course, we Brits are supposed to be masters of understatement. A play in a northern city based on people's experiences of the Blitz was entitled, 'It's a bit lively out there ...'

The title came from a remark overhead during a night of heavy bombing.

There's also the celebrated incident during the Korean War when a US radio operator, despite his correct impression that a British position was about to be overwhelmed, didn't send for reinforcements because he took the British officer's comment that the situation was a 'bit dicey' to mean that although it was serious it wasn't critical.

'We're having a spot of bother ...'

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 14876 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
St. Gwladys
Shipmate
# 14504

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Things aren't going quite to plan?
Or if you want to be more direct "up the creek without a paddle".

--------------------
"I say - are you a matelot?"
"Careful what you say sir, we're on board ship here"
From "New York Girls", Steeleye Span, Commoners Crown (Voiced by Peter Sellers)

Posts: 3242 | From: Rhymney Valley, South Wales | Registered: Jan 2009  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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"Well, this isn't going to make the Christmas letter this year."

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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Not quite what you're looking for, but I've always loved the line from Full Metal Jacket: "It's a huge shit sandwich and we're all going to have to take a bite".

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29690 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
ArachnidinElmet
Shipmate
# 17346

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quote:
Originally posted by jacobsen:
This is a profoundly dischuffing* situation.


* For those from the NE of the UK

I've not heard/said 'dischuffed' for years! Many thanks for the reminder.

--------------------
'If a pleasant, straight-forward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres' - Kafka

Posts: 1752 | From: the rhubarb triangle | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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How literate an audience?

You might get away with

"It wasn't the best of times."

Jengie

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

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Polly Plummer
Shipmate
# 13354

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I'm reminded of something Anthony Powell wrote in "The Soldier's Art":
"The situation remained capable of considerable improvement before being regarded as in the least satisfactory"

Posts: 504 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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I've settled for a most forgettable phrase (witness the fact that I can't recall it clearly now, at home). Any of your offerings would have been better, but mustn't scare the horses,or make the fragile flowers* faint. Meh.

I'm aiming for a reading level of about 12 years old due to the widespread limited literacy of the universe-at-large--which also sucks in a major way.

* I am SO not saying "old ladies," because all the old ladies I know swear like sailors and would hoot like baboons if they realized I was fretting over this. It's the middle-aged I must watch out for, and only a minority of them. But there, so it goes...

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Timothy the Obscure

Mostly Friendly
# 292

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Emperor Hirohito's "Jewel Voice Broadcast" after Hiroshima comes to mind:

quote:
...the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage...


--------------------
When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
  - C. P. Snow

Posts: 6102 | From: PDX | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
Shipmate
# 9597

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Charles Manson's attorney Irving Kanarek, addressing the jury, as quoted by prosecutor Vincent Buglioisi in the book Helter Skelter...

"There are aspects of my client that are not good."

Posts: 6103 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Heheheheh.

You remind me now of an extremely basic children's reader that had the story of the good Samaritan in it. There was this really rather violent cartoon style page which showed a little guy cowering as several giant thugs came running at him with clubs. The dialogue for that page read simply "Oh."

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 19641 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged


 
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