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Top Ten Irritating Phrasesgrrrr


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#46 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:12 AM

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?'

#47 TutuMaker

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:20 AM

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

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

#48 Anthony_NYC

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 10:42 AM

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.

#49 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 11:10 AM

"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.

#50 innopac

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 11:35 AM

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!

#51 Ray

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 12:13 PM

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 mini-list is great, except perhaps that I have an "issue" with the last one: I like conventional phrases of politeness that frame a casual conversation, like "How are you?," and wish more people used them; that said, however, I hate when people say "have a good one."

Also: "I hear you," although I don't hear as many people say that now (maybe I just don't hear them, anymore).

#52 Marga

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:57 PM

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.

I hear you!!

#53 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 02:17 PM

"... I could've cared less"

-d-


This one is maybe something somebody can answer. I always thought it was 'I couldn't care less', but then a lot of people say 'I could care less' and always mean the same thing. Is one of them more right than the other.

#54 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 02:29 PM

... my blood pressure goes up when I hear:...
"Hello, how are you?" when the speaker isn't really interested in the answer

I know! But then if one's boss doesn't hear the phrase when greeting -(or bothering, if i may)-clients, one is being considered "rude" or "non polite". This, particularly, in retail stores, where sometimes they just jump on you and follow you all around the place. I hate it. "Stay away from me!"...i would like to scream sometimes. :clapping:

#55 leonid17

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 03:11 PM

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

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


I do not want to be too, too terribly English, but your example is what we might call, civilised behavior. It doesn't matter if it is not meant, it is a code of politeness that establishes your upbringing your education and your class and would also when obviously genuine indicate a certain selflessness. (Yes, in some circles one is still measured by these standards). It would be seen to separate people as others, as opposed to PLU( People like us).
Once open a time one would regularly say when meeting someone for the first time, "How nice to meet you". Today, I would reserve this expression for only when I meant it and then only to some person who is distinguished in some way or have some age as it does seem kind of archaic. I think I have used it once on the two years.

The Americanism "Have a nice day", rankles most with English people sounding particularly phoney and robot like.

#56 dirac

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 03:38 PM

I do not want to be too, too terribly English, but your example is what we might call, civilised behavior. It doesn't matter if it is not meant, it is a code of politeness that establishes your upbringing your education and your class and would also when obviously genuine indicate a certain selflessness.


Respectfully, leonid, I come of a working class family and we’ve all at one time or another asked people how they were as a matter of courtesy. Good manners are not necessarily related to class, not in the US, at any rate. In my work I come into contact with people who could be described as upper middle and/or upper and some of them are quite unspeakably rude and don't seem to know any better.

Otherwise, I agree, asking “How are you?” even if you’re not terribly interested is a mark of well-intentioned politeness and not the opposite (sorry to differ with you, innopac).


There are few things more annoying, in fact, than the person who takes a “How are you?” that is clearly pro forma as an opportunity to tell you exactly,but exactly, how they are. :clapping:

This one is maybe something somebody can answer. I always thought it was 'I couldn't care less', but then a lot of people say 'I could care less' and always mean the same thing. Is one of them more right than the other.


It's correct to say "I couldn't care less" but the more emphatic "I could care less" has been heard colloquially for decades.

#57 innopac

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 04:45 PM

Perhaps I should clarify.... Courtesy is important and I agree with Dirac that you may or may not want to listen to a truthful response.

Greetings like "Did you have a nice weekend?" where you are suppose to answer yes or "How are you?" where one is suppose to answer something like "Fine Thanks, and you?" can even be pleasant when you have that exchange a couple of times a day. But if you are in a situation where that is the main content of a large number of verbal exchanges during the day it does get wearing.

#58 dirac

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 06:08 PM

I can certainly see your point, innopac. Amazing how much wear and tear a few phrases get. :)

#59 GoCoyote!

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 06:26 PM

So I'll just go ahead and post this comment.

(That was actually two. 'So' at the start of every sentence counts as one all on its own).

#60 kfw

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 06:44 PM

There are few things more annoying, in fact, than the person who takes a “How are you?” that is clearly pro forma as an opportunity to tell you exactly,but exactly, how they are. :)

That's true. On the other hand, some people aren't skilled at reading tone of voice and context, and from these people, an honest answer is in effect a compliment because it's an expression of trust. Of course sometimes you walk away wondering whether you've been confided in or taken advantage of. :)


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