1. janesz
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    janesz New Member

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    Need some special phrases, have you got any?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by janesz, Jan 23, 2010.

    Greetings everyone! I'm new to the forum and appreciate such a creativity-supporting internet place where everyone can share their ideas and get help...I, for now, am in need of the latter.

    Ok, imagine yourself vividly in two different situations:

    1. Someone is very lazy, when he should be working or doing something. You are angry and would say or do anything to get him to work. What would you say?

    2. Someone is working hard and you want to convince him to stop, to relax and cease to work. What would you say?


    This is what I need...some (as much as possible, actually:)) sentences/phrases that one would say to make someone work or to prevent him from working. Think about it and whatever comes to mind, just spill it all out here!

    Many thanks!

    P.S. I need this for a supposedly funny short story I am writing. But since I am not an english native speaker, it's difficult to think of such phrases. Translation from my language doesn't do well...
     
  2. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    Start working:
    Get to work, you sluggard!
    Work harder!
    Get to work!
    Don’t make me put a boot up your arse!

    Stop working:
    Relax, dude, and go do something else.
    Cease and desist.
    Belay that order.
    Stop doing that or I’ll put my finder in your eye and swirl it around!
     
  3. francescayeah
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    francescayeah New Member

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    Why don't you get off your lazy arse and do some work?
    When was the last time you did something even remotely productive?
    How can you just sit there, like that? If you can't find something to do then I'll give you something to do.
     
  4. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    DragonGrim's and Francescayeah's posts, above, point out the problem here. How you address the person depends largely on their age and their relationship to the speaker. You would not, for instance, have a mother threaten her six year-old with a boot up his arse if he doesn't do something. Likewise, you're not likely to have a construction forman tell a brawny steelworker that, if he doesn't have something to do you'll find for him to do!

    If you're talking to a young person, you might tell him or her something like, "If you want to see your next birthday you get up from there and get to work... NOW?"

    Whereas, if you are dealing with an adult woman, you might go for something more like, "I'm sorry sweety. I hate to bother you but, do you think, when you're finished with your manicaure, you might give us a hand over here?"

    But, if you are dealing with a sluggardly guy, your approach might be more like, "You want to put your rear in gear and get to work?"

    Again, with the flip side, you might slow a kid down with some throw away line like, "Okay! Okay! Slow your roll. You've done enough for a while. Take a break."

    But, with an adult, man or woman, you'd likely go for something more like, "Slow down! Relax for a minute. Are you trying to make the rest of us look bad?" or "Take a break! The work will still be there when we get back."

    See? The approach depends largely on who you are speaking to and who is the speaker.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    In Edinburgh I had a friend who always used to say to her (slightly lazy) teenage son:
    Would you ever get off your arse and into work!
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all but wordsmith's examples are overtly british... what you use should be aimed at who will be reading it, so if you're writing for the uk market, that's ok... but if you hope to snag an american publisher, you'd best use american idioms, instead...

    and ws is right in that you must consider who's saying what to whom...
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    However, there are plenty of 'British' characters in novels published in the US also, and vice versa...just be aware of whatever idiom you're using. Actually, no one in the UK says 'dude' unless there are invisible quote marks around the word.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Random phrases really won't do here, especially in a humorous piece. You will want phrases that paint a picture of the speaker, including his or her culture and individual character. There will be regional phrases, phrases favored among a particular age group, and even phrases passed down within the family (and parents are very likely to tell their children repeatedly to stop laying around and get busy, so those family phrases do stick around).

    In something like this, you can't just look at the phrase separately from the character.
     
  9. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    How did you come to that conclusion? It doesn’t make any sense. I could see the examples with “arse” and “sluggard” seeming British, but even then, they would fit just fine in historical novels or fantasy.

    Anyhow, Cog’s right that the op is going about this the wrong way.
     
  10. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm...or British novels, perhaps? Not that I've ever heard the latter word used.

    We need more information about the character, or this is going to turn into a 'how to insult a lazy person' topic.
     
  11. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I agree with Gallow, without more information on the character itself we cannot determine if it is an older person or if it's a child. We also can't determine if it's a british person or american born. Without a better look at the characters, we're just throwing insults at air.
     
  12. janesz
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    janesz New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for posting their replies so far. I agree with your findings that such phrases depend heavily on age, character, culture, etc. Hmm, well the best depiction of character of the speakers would be: aged 18-30, they are friends and coworkers (at the same level, so one is not ranked above another), educated and from a western culture (more so american)...phrases should be asexual and not include swearing.

    Nevertheless, I should point out that I intended for the phrases to be rather general, such that could work well in different situations, and not specifically tailored to just one. For example: "Get up and do your work." or "Your work is not going to do itself." or "You work/study too much, relax a bit, take a break." could be used in many different situations, while "Get up your ass and do some work." or "Could you please do your work sometime this millennium" are perhaps a bit more specific...

    thanks again
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    place is also a determining factor, since even in america, there are many regional differences in words and phrases to consider... some simple, general ones would be:

    get busy
    get a move on
    get off [not 'up'] your ass and get to work
    move your buns

    a bit more specific:

    we don't have nap breaks here, get to work
    don't just stand/sit there, finish the job
    you're not paid to daydream

    and so on...
     
  14. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    In addition to the good observations above, you're writing a humorous piece, so the comment(s) should fit the theme, hence the need for specifics. For example, what is the motivation for one worker to criticize another person's laziness, especially when they are peers? The usual response to such unwanted comments from peers is "Go %$^% yourself." Not humorous and too general for a comedy.

    On the other hand, let's say the workers are car-pooling and the hard worker is waiting for the lazy one to finish his work so they could go home. There are several comedy mechanisms that might work:

    Sarcasm - "Hurry up. The price of gas is rising!"
    Veiled threat - "Do you have any idea how much it costs for a cab these days?"
    Joking with shame - "No wonder your wife left you for the UPS guy. He's always on time...and I hear he delivers!"
    Mocking - "Man, you need a government job. I hear the DMV's hiring."

    In each case, the objective is to write in humor-context while getting the point across about contempt for laziness. I don't believe there are one-size-fits-all, slogan-style comments that work best in all situations.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    excellent advice by our salty mate!
     
  16. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    LOL! When you're good, you're good!
     
  17. janesz
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    janesz New Member

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    A good point. I suppose I have to work out the specifics a bit more...
     
  18. Evil Spock Pinyata
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    Evil Spock Pinyata New Member

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    For number one it would only turn into an insult contest. I don't want to be insulting. Although sometimes being insulting is the only way to motivate someone.
     
  19. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    Well, okay. This sounds kinda fun.

    "Johnsson! Get of your lazy arse and get to work, or so help me I will tan your hide! I'm serious! Do you even know what tanning is? Because if that phrase leads you to think about sunburns, boy, you are in for one nasty surprise!"

    "Hey there, Sisyphus. How's rolling that boulder working out for you? Seriously, are you some kind of masochist or something? Take a break!"
     

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