At A Loss for Words

Ed’s Note: This is a bit of a follow up to the “10 Things I Could Live Without Ever Hearing Again.” This rant is dedicated to every celebrity or athlete who has ever won something and couldn’t think of what to say, yet he or she kept on talking.

“I’m sorry… I’m at a loss for words.”

I have some advice for you. If in someway you allow the aforementioned phrase to seep out of your mouth in a moment of mental confinement, will you do all six of us in the real world a huge favor, and shut the hell up?

Walk away from whatever lectern, camera, microphone or reporter you’re standing in front of, and find something else to do with your idle mind. Preserve for us the precious few seconds you’re wasting so we can do something better with them than listen to you think of something to say after you have just told us you have nothing else to say.

I'll give Halle a pass, though.

I'll give Halle a pass, though.

Forget a figure of speech, it’s a bad cliché. Can you possibly think of how it makes us feel to know we are wasting away listening to you think? If I added up the time I’ve waited for someone to say something profound after excusing that phrase from their person, then subtracted that figure from my age of 29, I would be, I don’t know, 7.

This is not a gross exaggeration.

The first time I heard someone utter this phrase, I was in the second grade, and too young to recognize figures of speech. I took all things literally. If my father said, “I’m going to whoop your ass when we get home,” I didn’t laugh it off because he would follow through.

So when someone dare say “I’m at a loss for words,” I expected them to stop talking. But, to my surprise, few people do. They take it as an opportunity to soak up as much undeserved attention as possible.

“I… just don’t know what to say …. I just want to let you know that accomplishing this was just really, really hard, and it took a lot of effort.”

Really? It took effort to form that simplistic-ass sentence and purse your lips to release it? Would you please just shut the …

… I don’t know … I’m frustrated … I’m walking away now because I’m at a loss for words.

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10 responses to “At A Loss for Words

  1. This one confounds me as well. How are you at a loss for words when you were nominated over three months ago? You had no time to jot down some notes? A bullet point?

    Okay, say it’s not an awards situation – you are a professional something that has given you celebrity status. Keep two or three ready made quotables handy. “I’ve just been so blessed with the opportunities to excel in my chosen profession” I just thought that up, 15 seconds… one of ya’ll can borrow it and repeat with a smile. Then say thank you and walk away, quickly.

  2. Why does Halle get a pass?

    I think that a lot of people use the statement as a filler, similar to “um” but more drawn out. Their hope is to think of something interesting/worthy/smart to say but most often that doesn’t happen.

    I like @OneChele’s comment – if you are an accomplished celebrity or a person that has to give a lot of speeches you should always have something prepared to say.

    What(who) sparked this letter?

    • I was wondering if anyone other than those mentioned in the speeches really want to hear a thank you speech though?

      I usually change the channel.

    • @tam: about Halle, I was just joking. … I wrote this a long, long time ago. Probably after watching some BET Awards show or something … idk…

    • “I think that a lot of people use the statement as a filler, similar to “um” but more drawn out. Their hope is to think of something interesting/worthy/smart to say but most often that doesn’t happen.”

      That’s what I figured. Usually they say it when they are at a loss for words at that very moment…but again taken literally, they’re not truly at a loss for words since they found the words to say “I’m at a loss for words”. lol, this mess goes in circle.

  3. LMBO!!!!! I agree- being at a loss for words means STFU and SD.

    Thank you.

  4. I’m convinced people use this phrase because they think it conveys appreciation.

    For anyone who thinks this, know you are mistaken.

    Phrases that convey appreciation include (but are not limited to) “Thank you”, “I appreciate this”, “I’m very grateful”, etc…

    “I”m at a loss for words,” however, conveys to me that you’re about to shut up and walk away; if that is not your intended next move, then don’t say it.

  5. Hey, y’all.

    I agree with @ASmith, celebrities probably do think it conveys appreciation. They probably think it makes them look humbled and not all expectant, like they knew they had it in the bag or they were a shoe in. Maybe some of them are genuinely so surprised they can’t focus, think & function and any prepared speech or notes they had leaves their mind – but this possibility most likely only relates to when an underdog/long shot wins.

    I’ve also heard celebrities use the phrases “I’m speechless” or “I’m at a loss for words” when stopped and asked to comment on something ‘big’ that has rocked the industry/community, like a death, a marriage, a divorce, etc. I think in these times, they may be caught off guard, not ready to offer an opinion or trying to be respectful and wait until they have a chance to speak to the persons/family directly impacted first. I don’t know…

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