Nathan Macintosh

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Wanna read this? Cheers.

For some reason, I'm not a fan of the expression 'cheers'. I have never been. I'm not sure why. I can't pinpoint it. It's just something that hits my ears in a strange way. I don't believe that I was ever attacked by a person who wouldn't stop saying it, but maybe.
"Give me your wallet, cheers!"
"What?! Are you joking?"
"Do I look like I'm joking? Cheers! Give me that wallet! Cheers!"
"I'm so confused! Here's my wallet. What's happening?!"
"Cheers! Cheers! Cheers! Cheers!"
Pretty sure that never happened, but even still, I'm not a fan of the phrase.

There was a point in time when it was said for a specific reason. It used to be said in North America when people were having drinks. Cheers-ing a drink is a sort of celebration. Makes sense.
"We are having drinks. I am happy about this and you should be as well. Let's connect glasses."
"Cheers!"
"I believe you meant to say 'clink', but sure! 'Cheers' works indeed!"
There was a specific reason for it. But now people say it at the end of a ton of sentences. Used to be just for clanking drinks, but now people say it when a waitress brings them the Buffalo wing sauce they requested.
"Can I have some more napkins?"
"For sure."
"Cheers."
"Cheers? To what? Are we celebrating?"
"Oh, I don't mean 'cheers', I mean thank you."
"Then why don't you just say thank you? I just signaled for a beer when you said that. Now I'll just drink it alone and go get napkins. 'Cheers'."

It has its place in parts of the world. England for one, and if you are from there and say it, I get it. But if you live and were born in North America? Doesn't make sense. Unless you are from a part of the world that says it, there's no reason to adopt it. There's no other phrase from parts of the world that people adopt. People don't visit Canada and start saying 'eh'. People don't come back from Germany and keep 'danke schoen' in their vocabulary.
"I'll take a bag. Danke schoen."
"Sie sind willkommen."
"What?"
"That's German for 'thank you'. I thought you said danke schoen because you knew I was German."
"No, I just visited there and kept saying it when I got back."
"...Don't do that."

It feels as though people who haven't traveled say it. A lot of people use it to seem more worldly. People drop it to APPEAR as though they have traveled around and picked up some customs.
"Hey, man, you just used a phrase that is really only said in Japan. Have you been there?"
"No. I have a friend from there, though. And I've always wanted to go."
"...Okay. Do you get a free flight when you say the phrase or something?"
It's the same way when some people travel and come back with an accent. Gone for a month, and now speak like an Australian.
"Hey, mate, want to go to my flat? We don't have to take the stairs, we can take the lift."
"What?"
"This is how people in Australia talk. Mate is friend, flat is apartment and lift is elevator. Isn't that interesting?! Here, have a Tim Tam."
"Ah, that is great! You remember how we speak in North America, correct? It's called sarcasm. That is not great."

When did this start? Who brought this over? How did it catch on to a degree that now anytime you leave your house you will hear somebody say it somewhere. Was there one man from the past who flew into North America and decided that this needed to stick?
"Hark! I am a man from Europe's past. I am a fan of all things medieval, and I was a fan of Downton Abbey before it even came out. I have a word that I use at the end of sentences that I believe you should use."
"What is it, sir? Goodbye? Later? We use those. Thanks, perhaps?"
"No, you daft human. I'm speaking of a word that says all of those things, while also saying nothing at all. The word is: cheers."
"...Cheers. Huh. I don't know how I feel."
"If you had said 'cheers' at the end of that sentence, it would have sounded more sophisticated!"
"...I don't know how I feel... cheers. Wow! You're right! I'm sold! Thanks, winged creature!"
I can remember maybe six years ago when it being said was very out of place. People would hear it and if you didn't fit the description of a person who would be saying it, you were called out.
"Hey, what'd you just say? Speak like a human being who speaks over here speaks like."
"That sentence was terrible."
"Your face will feel terrible if you say cheers again. Oh, was that your plan? Get me to say cheers? That's it. You're dead."

It's never really said casually by people who weren't brought up with it. Say for instance, when people from England say it – it seems effortless. There's no forcing it. When someone from North America says it, there seems to be a little bit of pushing. It takes a bit of effort to get it out.
"I appreciate you holding that door for me.... Cheers."
"Why did you pause when you said cheers?"
"What? I didn't. I say it normally just as the people who grew up with it do."
"No, you didn't. You seemed to take a minute for your brain to process what you were about to say."
"No, no! I swear! I've practiced saying at home. Cheers! See? Cheers!"
"Still sounds a bit odd. I will never hold a door for another human being again."

Cheers means so many different things. Goodbye, thanks, see you. It's also a sitcom from the 80s. I think we should be able to put in any of those that we want. Let's drop 'cheers', and use other sitcoms.
"Hey, man. Thanks for coming over."
"No problem, dude. Coach."
"Coach?"
"Yeah. It's like Cheers, but I never liked that show. I always thought Craig T. Nelson was underrated and better in a starring role in a sitcom than Ted Danson, so I say 'Coach' to promote him. So, Coach."


Twitter @nathanmacintosh
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