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Top Ten Irritating Phrases

130 posts in this topic

And what about "horrendous"? Is this indeed a word?

Since at least the 17th century (so, all in all, fairly new). From the OED:

"1659 HOWELL Twelve Treat. (1661) [...] Your horrendous Sacriledges the like whereof was never committed."

Thanks, Ray, for the correction. I feel horrendously embarrassed. But, hey, "not to worry."

And thanks, Hans, for your elaboration on Starbuck history. It makes sense. I still say "your smallest cup" when ordering, however. I like to distance myself from Starbuck-mania by using that "your" (implying, "nothing to do with me," as though I were a visitor from Mars). Incidentally, yesterday's paper had an article about people deserting Starbuck's coffee for McDonald's. Indeed, several financial stories in recent weeks have used "Starbuck's" as a symbol for over-spending on non-essentials.

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Indeed, several financial stories in recent weeks have used "Starbuck's" as a symbol for over-spending on non-essentials.

That's good to hear, because I have this $50 Starbucks card, and this information will make Starbucks, which I don't even like and think of as ordinary, seem like a luxurious and gleaming dream.

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OK, since I teach, I have a lot more of these that I like to put in my "word graveyard":

"Relatable"

"Different"

"Interesting"

"Contrastingly"

"In today's society"

And any paragraph ending with "....soul"

It's all, like, oh so very.

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Indeed, several financial stories in recent weeks have used "Starbuck's" as a symbol for over-spending on non-essentials.

Hmmm, it's been called "Fourbucks" here for years.

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Using the word "meh" to describe something or someone you really couldn't be bothered to have an opinion or feeling for.

There is actually an ancient reason for the use of the term "Meh."

Meh is the Egyptian God of Indifference. Translated from the original is the Prayer to Meh.

Oh Meh.

We pray to you.

Or not.

It's very short.

I'll try and remove my tongue from my cheek now.

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Oh Meh.

We pray to you.

Or not.

Inspiring!

And it's almost half a haiku.

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Are you okay with that?

Is that gonna be a problem for you?

"Hey, you okay?" (on TV movies)

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Oh goodie, I finally get to say it: Misuse of the word "bemused." :lol: It means bewildered, NOT amused. Far too many people, including journalists, misuse this word as a synonym for "amused."

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I have a similar problem with 'nonplussed', which many people seem to think means 'unimpressed'. It means perplexed or bewildered.

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My most-loathed: "Ya gotta do whatcha gotta do."

My favourite trash phrase "I'm outta here."

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Using the word "meh" to describe something or someone you really couldn't be bothered to have an opinion or feeling for.

I always thought "meh" meant "It isn't worth having an opinion about." :lol:

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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'm fairly guilty of overusing # 6. (Imagine, dealing with countless ladies eager for some chit-chatting/gossiping in a hairdressing salon...one ends up agreeing on everything they say..."Oh, absolutely!"

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I understand, Cristian. Absolutely. I use it too. To paraphrase Patrick, "We gotta do what we gotta do."

Regarding "meh." I'm having trouble placing this. Can somene help with pronunciation ... and possibly a couple of examples of how it's used?

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'Meh' is pronounced the way it's spelled--like the Italian 'e' or 'eh' sound with an M at the beginning. It's used to indicate apathy, as far as I can tell. 'Did you have fun at the party?' 'Meh, it was ok.' It's really more of a sound than a word.

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Is that gonna be a problem for you?

You betcha!

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"Reticent" used as a synonym for "hesitant" drives me up the wall (a phrase which does not :lol:)

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Ok, I can explain the Starbucks issue. The original sizes were Short (10 oz.), Tall (12 oz.), and Grande (16 oz.). Customers complained that the Grande was not large enough, so Starbucks added the Venti (20 oz.--'venti' means 'twenty' in Italian), and people eventually stopped ordering the Short size, so they removed it from the menu. Whether the fault lies with Starbucks for insisting on cutesy/pretentious names for its sizes or with American gluttony, I leave to you. :lol: I think it's somewhere in between.

Oh, and some annoying grammar/spelling issues: alright and alot when it ought to be all right and a lot. Similarly, every day and everyday, although the difference there is that both are valid but have different meanings. If something occurs every day, it is an everyday occurrence. :lol:

THANK YOU! for both the Starbucks explanation--I always ignore their silliness and simply say "small, medium, or large" and let them translate my order--and for once again reminding the grammatically illiterate of the correct forms of "a lot", "all right", and "every day" or "everyday". You made my day.

(Sorry, if that's an annoying saying too.)

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Re "no problem" as a customer service response - many years ago I organized a major business meeting at a Ritz Carlton in Palm Springs. The staff were trained to say "it's my pleasure" whenever they were complimented. Sounds much more elegant, right? Except by the end of the weekend I thought I would scream if I heard it another time :lol: I think a simple "you're welcome" would do just fine.

Regionally, when I moved from Calif to NY I was struck by the phrase, "Are you going to (insert question) or no?" Why add "or no" and if so, shouldn't it be "or not"? Another peeve was leaving out "at" in a phrase such as, "I left my bag home" instead of "at home". One more peeve: "I should have went" instead of "gone".

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"Skill sets" for "skills."

"Price point" for "price."

"There is something fundamentally wrong with that" instead of just "that's wrong" when what's wrong is obvious.

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Re "no problem" as a customer service response - many years ago I organized a major business meeting at a Ritz Carlton in Palm Springs. The staff were trained to say "it's my pleasure" whenever they were complimented. Sounds much more elegant, right? Except by the end of the weekend I thought I would scream if I heard it another time :) I think a simple "you're welcome" would do just fine.

Regionally, when I moved from Calif to NY I was struck by the phrase, "Are you going to (insert question) or no?" Why add "or no" and if so, shouldn't it be "or not"? Another peeve was leaving out "at" in a phrase such as, "I left my bag home" instead of "at home". One more peeve: "I should have went" instead of "gone".

Well, 'I should have went' is just bad grammar, along the lines of 'he don't' :clapping:

'It's my pleasure' is okay if the rep is complimented. The reason 'no problem' is practical, if not lovely, when used by Hewlett Packard, et alia, when they are trying to get your printer to work from around the world, is that it can be used for almost anything and nobody expects it to be a literal expression anymore. So that when you are complaining about mechanical failures and make a request for some help, you get used to 'no problem, sir', and there's nothing elegant about computer failures; the best one hopes is that nobody starts screaming. I think it's funny when they answer 'Welcome to Chase, this is Jane, how may I provide you with world-class service today?'

I hadn't thought about the 'or no' but I don't care for it either. Nor do I like it when people want to write this sort of Continental English, and always write 'that's what the solution is, no?' instead of just simply 'that's what the solution is, isn't it?'

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I cringe when I hear the word "robust" used to describe a machine.

I also abhor the use of "shut up" to express disbelief!

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When I first moved to New York many years ago, "standing on line" sounded weird to me. Now I find myself saying it, even though in the Internet age it can be confusing: "I'm on line at the bank" sounds exactly the same as "I'm online at the bank."

The Starbuck's lingo makes me feel silly, so I'm glad to find I'm not alone in refusing to use it.

Other annoyances:

"Issue." Apparently, it's rude or politically incorrect to call anything a problem nowadays.

"Oh," "Oh yeah," and "Did I mention." As in a restaurant review that spends two paragraphs talking about the decor and service, followed by "Oh yeah, and the food's great, too."

"The." Yes, I'm complaining about an article! "Jake Gyllenhaal: the Rolling Stones Interview" (will they never run another?), "Batman: the Movie" (in case you thought you were entering the theater to read a comic book), "NBA: the Store" (what's wrong with "The NBA Store"?). This is pure advertising idiocy, meant to sell us a new incarnation of a popular brand name, and it turns everybody and everything into trademarked merchandise.

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"Issue." Apparently, it's rude or politically incorrect to call anything a problem nowadays.

This thread is good, we're gradually to all the ones I hate most. Totally agree with this one, especially when it's said to me in the form of 'Patrick, I think you may have issues about this...' I still think 'problem' is used a lot in the offices, as I outlined above, but in different senses than it used to have. Now you'll hear 'You got a PROBlem, you take it up with Rod_E', etc.

By far the worst of all, nobody's mentioned it yet is 'GET A LIFE!' and 'I think somebody needs to get a life'. This goes back to the 80s, but it's never died. I think it is positively subhuman.

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Maybe this is slightly off topic but my blood pressure goes up when I hear:

the statement "I love my country" when used as a justification for any opinion and a way of closing discussion

problems being described as challenges

university students being described as stakeholders

someone saying they are a "big picture person" when it really means they are not interested in fixing things that don't work

"Hello, how are you?" when the speaker isn't really interested in the answer

This thread has a therapeutic quality!

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