“Dude’s a trash talker.” = Dr. Smith never, ever holds the door open for anyone when leaving the faculty meeting at the same time.

“We’ve reached the two-minute warning.” = It’s the week before the conference you agreed to attend but haven’t written the paper for yet.

“We won the Super Bowl! We’re going to Disney World!” = Guess what? Your panel is canceled because everyone else on it didn’t write their papers and bailed at the last minute! Enjoy your five pointless days in Des Moines!

“That guy’s the heart and soul of our team.” = He only teaches one class for ten students every fifth semester, but the department has been trading on his fame for years.

“It is what it is” = ibid.

“This team is a family.” = The long-dead subject of my dissertation is as close to a best friend as I have.

“It’s the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, full count…” = Hi, I’m the new Vice Provost for Faculty Innovation, and I’d love to hear your ideas for how we can improve!

“Do you believe in miracles?!” = No one seem to notice that I used the made-up word “panopticonitical” in a committee meeting.

“We’re looking to bring in some fresh new talent” = We have $15,000 leftover so we can hire five more adjuncts.

“We’re taking it one game at a time” = I just have to live with the fact that I told my class that Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel on the first day.

“She plays an intellectual game” = She sprinkles in references to the Sweet Valley High books in her papers.

“He’s not a great athlete but he’s a good locker room guy!” = He never has much to say in committee meetings, but he does always bring Trader Joe’s Dark Peanut Butter Cups to them.

“She’s a real student of the game.” = She is the one student in my Comp 101 section that seems to do the reading every time.

“Hall-of-Fame-level performance!” = They were almost on CBS This Morning but got cut because of breaking news.

“We always give 110%.” = We always give 85%.

“He left it all on the field.” = He broke down sobbing after his dissertation defense.

“It’s a rebuilding season.” = We hosted the biggest conference of our field last year, and thus we do not need to do anything more until the late 2030s.

“Look, at the end of the day…” = Rebecca Solnit says…

“The other team just wanted it more.” = The guy who got the job you went up for worked himself into a hospitalization and can’t teach for a full year.

“Get your head in the game.” = Hit SEND on that article submission already.