What interjection is common in English that is used along or right before a phrase, in which the speaker is stating some regrettable lack on the part of his interlocutor, which according to the speaker's view either could have been avoided or still can be avoided.

(interjection) Brandon! You never seem to take Jack's words seriously, but, for your info, many have already benefited a lot from his advice. He rarely says anything empty.

(interjection)! I did tell you to go to a law school, but you wouldn't listen you chose arts. Now look in what a pitiful financial state you are! Compared to other peers from your group with whom you were on par in all possible regards, you've nosedove!

  • 1
    nosedove is not idiomatic. taken a nosedive. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 13 at 9:49
  • To say that a person has a regrettable lack of some virtue is not to express personal regret. Your title is misleading. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 13 at 9:57
  • "nosedove is not idiomatic. taken a nosedive" - Thank you. "To say that a person has a regrettable lack of some virtue is not to express personal regret. Your title is misleading" - So, what's the right way to title it?. And, as the matter of fact, in my question I DO am after the interjection of regret, that is, the speaker is not only stating someone's lack but is also sad over it (like a parent is sad over his/her son's lack). – brilliant Sep 13 at 11:30
  • About the title, I can try to explain why @Tᴚoɯɐuo said it was "misleading." In your examples, we don't know if Brandon and the art student feel any personal regret. The speaker is chiding and admonishing In both sentences, but there is no evidence that Brandon regrets what he said, or that the graduate wishes he had gone to law school. The title is awkward because, generally speaking, we don't feel "regret" for someone else's actions. The word 'regret' might make sense if the student was saying, "I should have gone to law school!" or Brandon was saying, "I should have kept my mouth shut." – J.R. Sep 14 at 10:02
  • Well, "regrettable" is one of those adjectives like aggravating and interesting and doubtful, which, while subjective, express the thing as if it were an objective fact or consensus opinion, and in that sense regrettable doesn't suggest personal regret. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 14 at 12:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could begin both of those sentences with Stop!, Look!, or Listen!.

Listen, Brandon! You never ...

Stop! I did tell you ...

Other common interjections in those contexts would be Whoa! or Hold on! or even Enough!

P.S. If you have taken a personal interest in the other person's actions or decisions (as you say, you could be speaking to a son, or to a brother) so that you do indeed feel a sense of personal regret or a worried concern, and are not simply admonishing the other person for their "regrettable" lack of prudence and perhaps for their continuing "stubborn" defense of a decision they made, then you're looking for a single-word interjection to use at the head of a sentence which has the meaning "If only you hadn't done that!" or "How I wish you had not done that!" Oy! is not originally English but some English speakers do use it to express dismay and disappointment and worry.

Oy! I told you to go to law school but you wouldn't listen ...

  • Can you, please, tell me how it's pronounced? Is it like in "boy" or is it like in "blow", or in some other way? – brilliant Sep 14 at 13:28
  • @brilliant: Rhymes with boy. It is originally Yiddish. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 14 at 13:29
  • I see. Thank you. – brilliant Sep 14 at 13:30
  • @brilliant “Oy” is written by some as “oi” which can be confusing. I use “Oy vey” in spoken English every so often, but it’s usually not very serious. – ColleenV Sep 14 at 13:35

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