Top Ten Irritating Phrases

November 10, 2008

Some researchers at Oxford University have released a list of what they consider to be the top ten irritating phrases. Here is their list:

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
Some of them are grammatically incorrect (like #8), some are redundant (like #3 and #4), and some are just not accurate (#2 and #5). Some of them make the list because the researchers seem to feel that the phrase is overused. As Jeremy Butterfield explained:
We grow tired of anything that is repeated too often--an anecdote, a joke, a mannerism--and the same seems to happen with some language.
We probably all have our own list of phrases we find irritating. Any other nominations?

7 comments

  1. How about end a sentence with "Like a champ."

    E.G., "You finished that burrito like a champ!"

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  2. "Step up"

    "It is what it is" Oh really? I thought it is what it isn't!

    "think outside the box"

    "give back" A good phrase when it means that you understand how something or someone has helped you, but usually it just means charity.

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  3. Anonymous10:29 AM

    "It is what it is."

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  4. 1. The use of "literally" when clearly the context isn't literal.
    2. When all is said and done

    Your comment on redundancy reminded me of our principal's recorded message that was played over the loud speaker each morning at the start of school. "Let's all stand and say the pledge of allegiance in unison together."

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  5. "Deja vu all over again" makes me cringe...

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  6. Karen G11:15 PM

    Two fine-sounding phrases which may help inert groups create an illusion of action:

    - "move on"
    - "reach out"

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  7. Thanks for the thoughts! These are some good ones to add to the list. I especially agree with the poor use of "literally."

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