Most Common Phrase of 2020

A short while ago I wrote a post about the 2020 Word of the Year but I want to go a step further now and propose the most common phrase of 2020

I’m sure this phrase isn’t one that’s unique to 2020, but I’m pretty sure I never heard it uttered before the various knockdowns came into place this year.

You will no doubt have been on a video calls recently, whether it’s Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet or one of the other numerous offerings. I’ve just come off one now and it struck me that there’s one particular phrase that the people on these calls say over and over again no matter how tech-savvy they are. Have you guessed what it is yet?

You’ll surely have been there yourself: someone starts speaking and the only clue we have is that their lips start moving. Got the phrase yet? Yep, that’s right, it’s “you need to unmute!”

Even in English there are many variations on this core phrase ranging from the terse “unmute” to the more verbose “we can’t hear you, dear – you have to unmute your microphone” with loads more inbetween. But think about how many people in the world don’t speak English and have no intention of starting.

It’s estimated that there are 6,500 languages spoken in the world today so it’s not hard to work out how many alternatives there are to “you need to unmute”. Of course I could Google it, but wouldn’t it be much more fun if you could post your own version in the comments here. Whether it’s an English version or one in another language I’d be fascinated to know what it is.

If I don’t hear anything back then I might have to wave to you from across the gulf of space between our web browsers and utter this most common phrase of 2020 myself; “you need to unmute yourself!!” 😀

Breaking News

In an unprecedented move today, Robert puts away his phone and engages with the real world.

Yes, in breaking news this morning, Robert actually puts his communication device in his pocket and looks at the sun’s rays breaking through the clouds at the start of a glorious day.

Rumours that his battery is almost dead and he has to get a trot on to attend a(nother) Zoom call are just vile.

This is Robert in York (England) signing off for now.