When you answer a phone, do you say “It is I,” or do you say “It’s me,”? Technically, you should say the first in formal settings, but then you may come off as pompous and potentially sound rude. Then again saying the second option may make you sound like some ill-educated buffoon in informal settings. Of course, the third option is that the potential outcomes mentioned could flip for either, so how are we ever supposed to answer the phone correctly?!

Most people don’t worry about this issue, but the Merriam Webster editors are not most people. Their day to day involves a lot of wordplay and constant reminders of rules of the English language. They toil endlessly from 9-5, fretting the possibility of the phone ringing and having to decide whether to say “This is her,” or “This is she,”. Even in the video you can see the pain in the editors face as she questions the next words that come out of her mouth…

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One of the top phobias worldwide is the fear of saying the wrong thing. Ironically, it is referred to as a social phobia because no one will step up and name it, potentially out of fear of offending others. Why do we fret with words other than to avoid offending others, or avoid looking foolish? Communication is key in developing relationships and your ability to do so puts great weight on the bonds and opportunities you create in life. The social anxiety of saying the wrong thing is very real and happens to people almost daily. Luckily it can be treated.

So what’s the cure for social anxiety? How much therapy will you have to undergo? None. Studies have shown that receiving therapy for day to day social anxiety can cause a habit in patients to further analyze and ruinate every social situation they encounter. At this point, the social anxiety can evolve from problematic to crippling and daily activities then become too fearful to partake in. Bobby Mcferrin summarized it best when he said “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and that’s exactly what you should do if you are concerned with how you should answer the phone. However, maybe you just watched the video to further expand your already firm grasp of the English language. Quit being such a nerd! You’re stressing everyone else out!

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