OK, I’m coming clean - I hate the phrase “spot-on”.
Every time I see it in a comment or a post, I want to murder someone.
Because it’s a stupid term to start with, and to compound that, everyone in this day and age (internet age) uses it.
I’ve tried to analyze exactly why I have such a problem with this phrase and here’s what I arrived at:
I think in essence, I have a problem with the word “spot”. Don’t think I like the word “spot” too much. It’s kind of like the word “squat”, which is definitely an ugly word.
So, just the sound alone is kind of irritating. Try saying “spot” a lot of times and see if it doesn’t irritate you.
A spot is a particular area that is being designated out of a more general area. For example, a hotspot is an area where the internet signal is really booming. This differentiates this spot that is hot from other areas that aren’t.
As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing hot about a spot.
Then, there is the concept of something being spot-on. “Man, that’s spot-on!” I dunno, that just doesn’t sound right. I know it’s supposed to be flattering, but, it just sounds clinical and strange.
It used to be people would say “Right on!” to indicate something of the same nature. In my unhumble opinion, that’s much better.
To say something is on a spot isn’t particularly flattering. Plus, how big is this spot?
Which brings me to the next problem I think I have with the phrase “spot-on”.
A spot isn’t that precise. It’s like saying “Man, you are blotch-on!”. Well, I think that is more indicating the sound association of the word “spot” again. “Blotch” is another definitely ugly word. But, if something is “blotchy” it is also kind of vague.
Spots are kind of vague too. Plus, how many spots are we talking about? For example, how “spot-on” am I really if I have just managed to land on a spot on a leopard? See, we need context here.
For example, if a person said “Man, you hit the fucking bullseye!”. Or, “Man, you hit the nail on the fucking head!”, fine, OK, now I have a context. There is one bullseye and one nail. I hit them. Cool.
Like, is there this one giant spot somewhere that is waiting to have someone on it?
What is the nature of this spot? Where is it? Why would I want to be on it?
Seriously, I don’t know that I want to be on a spot. What spot? Which one?
Which reminds me…I think that is where “spot-on” must have come from - the phrase “on the spot”. Which is much older I’m sure.
Um, I’m gonna go ahead and say that I like “on the spot” better. I would never say it, but, I don’t find it nearly so offensive for some reason.
Spot-on sounds kind of like “spit on”. Or “spittoon”. It just has an ugly sound to it. Actually, I like the word “spittoon”, but, it is defined as “a pot that you spit into.”
I know spots are supposed to be kind of cute. Like “Gee, look at all those spots that leopard has. Dreamy.”
And I think that’s just the thing. Spots are cute. But, A SPOT is not.
See, that’s cute. But, it’s really designating the opposite of what the person who says “spot-on” is trying to designate: precision, accuracy, nailing it.
Or, it’s like a superhero that needed as many spots as possible to be turned on before he could go off into asskicking mode. Probaly a girl superhero, actually.
So, in sum net total, if you want to compliment me, do not say that something I wrote is spot-on.
It’ll only make me want to murder you.