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Top Ten Irritating Phrasesgrrrr


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#1 kfw

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:10 PM

The Daily Telegraph today brings the comic relief language lovers need so we'll literally die laughing: Oxford compiles list of top ten irritating phrases

1 - At the end of the day

2 - Fairly unique

3 - I personally

4 - At this moment in time

5 - With all due respect

6 - Absolutely

7 - It's a nightmare

8 - Shouldn't of

9 - 24/7

10 - It's not rocket science.

I don't often hear number seven here on the American side of the pond, but I've been guilty of the sloppy number eight. My own, personal list includes "going forward" for "now" or "in the future," and "go away" for "end," as in "when might this this recession go away?"

#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:19 PM

"I have nothing against. . . "

Always followed by something where you do.

#3 dirac

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:31 PM

Thanks for posting this, kfw. These lists come up from time to time and they're always fun. Jargon phrases and words go in and out of fashion - probably a decade or so 'Hopefully' and 'Finally' would have been on the list (they're still around but have lost their novelty and hence the annoyance factor has receded somewhat).

I'm not wild about 'With all due respect' but it has its uses, especially when you're disagreeing with someone (not least on the internet). :flowers:

I wouldn't flog yourself over #8, either, a misdemeanor I've also committed. It wouldn't surprise me if, many years down the line, it becomes more or less standard usage - such shifts do happen.

Any other pet peeves in this department, BTers?

#4 dirac

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:35 PM

Forgot to add that I agree strongly with the Telegraph commenter who mentioned "It is what it is."

#5 Hans

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 06:38 PM

One I can't stand is 'on a regular basis'. Why not simply 'regularly'? There is also the matter of the over-use of 'currently'. 'We are currently in the process of...' Really? Right now? I thought you meant you would be in ten years. :flowers:

#6 papeetepatrick

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:04 PM

I'm not wild about 'With all due respect' but it has its uses, especially when you're disagreeing with someone (not least on the internet). :)


I hate it too, but agree with its irreproachable and unimpeachable importance. Actually, I find it amusing as well, because people used to say it all the time on the old 'L.A. Law' TV show, and that's where I learned it. Jill Eikenberry was good at it.

Listen, dears, I think you're all wrong about 'shouldn't of', at least part of the time, because even if I say full out 'he shouldn't have' (which I do), I will say 'he shouldn't've done that', which sounds like 'shouldn't of' but definitely isn't--it's a legitimate diminution of 'shouldn't have' .

Here's one that gets on my nerves: not using 'entirely' occasionally, but always using it. It is not forbidden to remember that 'completely' and 'thoroughly' exist. All theorists and wannabe philosophes do this, and even Joan Didion overuses it. There is an 'I'm an intellectual' swagger to 'entirely' sometimes, although not nearly always, and it is very often used to throw weight around in an obnoxious way :flowers:

I don't like any of the 'rocket science' things and won't say them under any circumstances. I confess to having now begun to use '24/7', which overcame years of resistance, but I've decided things are too claustrophobic not to have some things you can slip in that will be understood by children of all ages.

Don't like 'YO!' and can't stand redneck 'yyyellooo...' on the phone.

I thoroughly dislke 'a couple drinks' and all variations leaving out the 'of'. This is maybe 20 years old, and now even smart bloggers like Josh Marshall will write, not just say, 'a couple clips'. It's 'a couple of clips', Josh.

One that has definitely entered common usage is 'different than', and we are all anachronistic curios who say 'different from'.

Also, there are many tacky overuses of 'actually', and some are in the same bimbo vein as 'I mean, it was like...' and don't even mean 'actually' anymore. Usually pronounced. 'you know, ACk-shu-a-leee...' and not even necessarily followed by anything at all.

#7 zerbinetta

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:36 PM

"no problem".

Inevitably there will be one.

#8 Marga

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:52 PM

"_______ and I", when it should be: "_________ and me"

#9 Helene

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 07:53 PM

For me it's "waiting on" instead of "waiting for". I know this is regional, but it makes me crazy!

If "It is what it is" was banned, the software industry would come to a halt :flowers:

#10 kfw

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:08 PM

For me it's "waiting on" instead of "waiting for".

That's a good one. Waiting doesn't make one a waitor or a waitress.

Another phrase that bugs me ("This dress bugs me" -- thanks for the laugh, Jim Jarmusch) is "let's not go there." I don't know who first said it, but it showed personality then, I'm sure. By now, what's wrong with the descriptive "talk about" or "discuss"?

#11 papeetepatrick

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:11 PM

"let's not go there."


Yes, abhorrent, as is the related 'we are NOT gonna go there' by the overly maternal and paternal.

#12 4mrdncr

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:10 PM

1. "Paradigm" (sp?) was overused as a business term throughout the 90's
2. "ACKS" instead of "ASK"... The word is only 3-LETTERS!!! long and people still cannot pronounce it correctly?!!!
3. "The fact of the matter is/was..." Whatever became of, "the fact is/was..."
4. I actually heard an NPR anchor say "you betcha" tonight (Was he kidding? It didn't sound like that to me.)
5. "Wonk" (still have no idea what or who that actually refers to) A slang term that was never defined but used constantly in the 90's. I thought it might be the psychological definition of an obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Sorry, it's late, so will have to think of more (Noooo!) later.

#13 Quiggin

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:28 PM

Regarding Helene on "on line:" the first thing I noticed when I moved from Los Angeles to New York is that people waited on line, not in line. I was very impressed with that.

I think the source of "No problem" for "that's alright" was the "Get Smart" television series. It has a vacuous quality--as if the speaker is not there. Recently someone in San Francisco said "no worries" in its place, which is a bit gentler and down home-like.

"Literally" happened (as opposed to "metaphoricially"?).

At a granular level the apostrophe before the s in the plural (like a decorative flourish) and in the pronoun possessive its. A friend of mine is certain that the gene that determines the sense placement of the apostrophe has been lost or compromised.

"Gradient" was the "paradigm" of the 1970s, everybody at CBS news used it whenever he or she could. And where have all the "parameters" everyone used to use gone?

#14 zerbinetta

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 12:35 AM

The use of "ironic" what what is meant is "coincidental".

#15 diane

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 01:45 AM

"... I could've cared less"

-d-


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