Friday, September 04, 2009

The Most Irritating Phrases in the English Language

The Canadian newspaper the National Post raises the question what are some of the most irritating phrases in the English language? I think they nicely cover most of mine. Think of this as a companion of our earlier post about words that make you wince. So don't be shy: step right up and add your most irritating phrases.


At 2:09 PM, Blogger Erin O'Brien said...

"Seems doable to me."

"Good 'nuff."

I detest "crotch."

I love parallel and perpendicular, though. Nonsensical is a good word. So is clerestory. And bejeweled? I could bejewel all day.

Hi John!

At 2:12 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Howdy to you, Erin. Those seem pretty good to me...or bad, rather. Please give my best to the Goat.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

Probably the one I am most guilty of is: "To tell you the truth..." which my wife is always removing from my posts.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Jane Levesque said...

I hate it when a writer (or newscaster) begins a story with a statement and follows it with "That's the word from..."
For example:
Italian food is becoming more popular. That's the word from John Ettorre, an expert on the subject.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Your wife is performing a valuable service, Jim. And Jane, please don't make me hungry.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous steveg said...

like we live in the "valley," Dude.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That's high on my pet peeve list also, Steve.

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Pat Washington said...

I really don't like the phrase "needless to say." If it's not needed, DON'T SAY IT.

Also, I hate the use of the word "absolutely" to convey a simple affirmative. Goes somethin' like this - A bubblehead TV host will ask a silly question and the guest "expert" will respond with "Absolutely." Sometimes the guest seems in love with this word and will continue, as in "Oh! Absolutely. Absolutely." Sometimes, for fun, I like to count how many times I hear this word in a "news" (ahem) program.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

None of these bother me too much in oral language. But it's that deadly habit we all sometimes have of letting these cliches and bad/lazy usages seep over into our written language that becomes a real problem.


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