Have you ever stopped and thought about the word “maybe”? If you have, it will be no secret to you that it’s one of the most misused words in the English language. Let’s take a peek at the official definition:
Webster’s definitions of maybe (adv)
may·be [ máybee ]
- perhaps: expresses uncertainty
- neither yes nor no: used to give a response that is neither yes nor no
- introduces suggestions: used to introduce advice or suggestionsSynonyms: perhaps, possibly, it could be, perchance, mayhap
Now, let’s be honest about what the word “maybe” really means. Here is Danoah’s official definition:
may·be [ máybee ]
- to a Facebook event invitation: definite no, but I don’t want to be responsible for you realizing that nobody cares about your stupid event.
- to hanging out this weekend: guaranteed no, but I’ll string you along just in case I need you as my backup to my backup to my backup plan.
- a wife to her husband when he wants to “get it on”: no, no, and no, but I want you to do the dishes, so I’m going to pretend there’s a chance if you do everything I say tonight.
- a parent to his child: nope, but I want you to stop nagging me about it for five freakin’ minutes.
- an employer to an employee: no, but at least you’ll feel like I contemplated your idiotic idea.
- a father to his teenage daughter: hellz bellz no, but I don’t want you going and getting pregnant because you’re mad that I straight up told you no about something.
- a mother to her teenage son: absofreakinlutely not, but I know what teenage idiots do when they’re mad at their parents, so “maybe” it is.
- a brother to his sister: no, but mom’s watching so I better act like my friends and I are going to include you.
- a butcher to a paranoid shopper: definite no, but I don’t want you not to buy my meat just because it’s not “organic”.
- a blog author to his number one stalker: freakin’ crap no. You want me to what?!
Synonyms: no, freakin’ heck no, absolutely not, never in a million years, get a life
I think I’m going to write Webster and see if they’ll let me take a crack at rewriting it. What are some other examples of maybe always meaning no?
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS, we’d love to have you follow our blog. Also, just as a reminder, I’m on vacation until after New Years (though I’ll still check-in on the comments and emails throughout the week). This is a repost of one of my early posts.