The ten most irritating phrases?

Here is one list:

The top ten most 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 thank Yang He for the pointer.  At the end of the day, what would you add to this fairly unique list?  With all due respect, I personally, at this moment in time, absolutely shouldn’t of suggested that it’s not rocket science because 24/7 people are saying this and it is literally a nightmare.


11 - literally

as you aptly demonstrated in the last sentence.


aaacccckkk! "Shouldn't of" is NOT a correct phrase! If correctly
spelled, it should say "shouldn't have."

Like, literally every article I, like, read misuses the word "literally".


110% is also really annoying. "I give 110% 24/7!"

"Needless to say"

If it's needless to say then there's no reason to say it.

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you"

"Think outside the box" does it for me.

And "synergy". Whenever someone uses the word synergy, there's at least a 90% chance everything they're saying is nonsense.

I would add "To be honest with you," except that if people stop saying it, I wouldn't know if their subsequent statements were lies.

How about "top ten list?" Or is that more of a warning than a phrase?

If you things are going down as badly as you say. The only thing we have left is humor. After that, you are just left bored and depressed.

"In my opinion".
OF COURSE it is YOUR opinion, douchebag!

"perfect storm", especially when used to mean "unfortunate coincidence".

"moving forward" - what, we're going to move backwards?

Going forward. It never, ever means anything - it's always used in a context where you can't go backwards.

I'm less concerned about overuse than I am misuse or simply poor phrasing.

For example, it is fine to say "literally", but hopefully you are using it to mean that something is truly happening (as opposed to you exaggerating or speaking figuaratively) rather than using it as a synonym for "very".

"Irregardless" isn't a word.

"I personally" is stupidly redundant.

"At this moment in time" is very clumsy and awkward; I am thankfully not sure that people actually say this.

"The proof is straightforward."

Actually, Kate (at 11:31), I personally think that's basically the point (shouldn't of rather than should not have...). Come on, and with all due respect this ain't rocket science.

Thanks for the list. I'll use them all.Absolutely. It's a no brainer. Cheers. Oh, is that irritating? Let me know. You're saving me a bundle on market research.

"My friends, my maverick running mate and I are going to shake up Warshington and grow the economy!"

Sustainable, sustainability, sustainable development.
These are used as codewords for redistribution, shakedown by third-world tyrants, or socialism. Or else they are used as synonyms for The Good, without all that messy business of enquiring into what the good is.
When I hear the word, I'm sure what follows will be either grossly inflated blather, or a complete con.

"Going Green"

1. "Going forward..."
2. "In all honesty..."
3. "Frankly speaking..."

Hope and change.

"pink is the new black", "geeky is the new cool" etc.

I second "any construction involving Wall Street / Main Street."

Here are a few of mine:

  • having said that
  • "space" as used in "We are very competitive in that space."
  • "resource" when referring to an employee
  • per annum
  • akin
  • vis-a-vis (used instead of "with respect to" to sound more pretentious
  • special interests (we're all opposed to them by definition, right?)
  • liberal (what does this word mean anymore?)

"And where did the one below come from, and how does something so revolting become popular among otherwise respectable people?"

dodgeball the movie

I don't think I'm familiar with the misuse of 24/7. It is an compact description of a business or service that is always available. There is one convenience store in my area that is open 24/7.

when people misuse the word cynical to mean 'negative'.
Ex: 'Sorry to be so cynical, but I don't think xyz will win'

English_Professor: I actually made a whole vlog on this topic, most of which criticizes constructions involving the metaphorical "table". Go to my YT page and click on "First vlog: idiots on the internet".

I also hate "cents on the dollar" (we have the % symbol, folks).

@Kent_Guida: agreed. As best I can determine, those mean, "it doesn't preserve something I want to preserve".

How come no one's said anything about people who put underscores in spaces?

Yes, we can.

"-ed to perfection"
"no question about it"
"monetarily" v. financially or economically
"-wise" as in "having to do with "

escaped my bracket characters..

"VERB-ed to perfection"
"NOUN-wise" as in "having to do with NOUN"

I want to stand up for 24/7 -- so long as it's used literally. To say that something is open 24/7 is the fastest way to convey the point that it never closes. To say "I'm thinking about you 24/7" is idiotic.

It seems to me that everybody has forgotten to mention the phrase "it seems to me...".

that oft-recurring phrase "limpsquidgenous bilge-wash" is really starting to rankle my hackles

No one's mentioned the Internet meme annoying phrases, although I see that James Lileks has discussed those today. Your basic "FAIL," "made of fail," "I loves me some X," "X, not so much," etc.

The phrase "I might could" drives me insane, "you know?"

Introducing a TV news story with, "In these hard economic times, ..."

As opposed to when, the malaise of the 70s, the Depression, frontier days? For most viewing the story, these are the best times ever.



equilibrium [without reference to a model]


"Sucks" sucks. Though I admit to using it.

Any vague, empty rhetoric (e.g. "Yes we can")

"comes at a time when"

54,100 hits for this phrase when googling - "comes at a time when" "new york times"

Deirdre McCloskey ECONOMICAL WRITING 2000 pp. 76-77:

In Ersatz Economics, prices start by "skyrocketing." When "sellers outnumber buyers" prices fall from "exorbitant" or "gouging" levels, down through "fair" and "just." If this "vicious cycle" goes on too long, though, they fall to "unfair" and "cutthroat," the result of "dumping." Likewise, the woman in the street believes she knows that unions and corporations have more "bargaining power" than do their victims, and therefore can "exploit" them. A consumer can "afford" medical care, maybe only "barely afford" it, "needs" housing, and views food as a "basic necessity." Business people maintain their "profit margins," probably "obscene" or "unwarranted," by "passing along" a higher wage, which causes workers to demand still higher wages, in a "spiral." The protection of the American worker's "living wage" from "unfair competition" by "cheap foreign labor" should be high on the nation's list of "priorities," as should be the "rebuilding" of our "collapsing" industrial "base."

If you want to know the truth ....
Perfect strom ....
ping me ....

The use of the word "myself" as used by pro athletes..... shiver

'shouldn't of' may be *dismaying* but should not be irritating. If you are irritated by others' ignorance, it's your own fault.

For ye have the poor spellers always with you ...

'Reach Out' ~ As in "I'll reach out to operations on that topic."

"Prior to" when "before" will do.
"Asked" pronounced "assed" or "axed"
"Pitcher" for "picture"
"Like" used "like" a conjunction.
"Flush out" and argument instead of "flesh out."
"Exit" for "leave."

"To tell the truth..." (or "Honestly..."). It makes me wonder if you haven't been honest up to that point, and you're finally breaking down.

"In the final analysis"

Righteous agreement with "Perfect Storm." Sebastian Junger should be punched in the throat for fathering that monstrosity.

- Sheer
- On steroids
- The thing is, is that
- It's / its

Phrases just annoy me generally; never use 'em, myself.

The misuse of "begs the question" really rankles.


"strong oversight"

my 2 cents / $ 0.02 / EURO $ 0.02 etc.

Now it's occurred twice in this thread. 'Hopefully' used to mean 'I hope' is most annoying.

I hate the way everybody uses the same word to mean the same thing. Convention is tiresome! And since we're all so stupid, it would just be better if we didn't understand each other.

I have a hard time understanding why any of these things (short of blatant misuse) actually LITERALLY annoys anyone. At this moment in time, I have to wonder what could actually be written if we denied everything that annoyed everyone so much that they'd take the time to list it.

Using the term "folks" to mean people. It's always been around, but I feel like folks are using it way more often these days. I blame Obama.

"The fact of the matter is...."

Hands down the most irritating phrase.

Marginal Revolution. Because they really mean to say...

I hope I never hear the phrase "heartbeat away from the presidency" again.

"Going forward..."

It's almost always redundant.

Re: "sustainable"- unfortunate it has become overloaded to mean any form of "green". I've always understood it to mean a plan or system that will balance and continue to work over the long-term, so at times I use "unsustainable" as a criticism of various foolish versions of "redistribute the wealth" that destroy incentives... I shudder at the thought that communism could be implied by "sustainable".

Maybe at the end of the day we can get closure, but we really need to reach across the aisle to end this phrase that rises to the level of a high crime.

'... threw him under the bus.'

It went from being used to talk about reality show contestants to mainstream politics and business. Sad reflection on our culture.

Even though there have already been a lot of comments, I feel that we are only in the 3rd inning of a 9 inning game.

"in reality" or "the reality is"


Okay, the three worst are:

paradigm shift
tipping point

I cringe when I hear these!

Egads, you people are irritated and annoyed...

I hate "going forward." But there are many excellent, that is to say, annoying, suggestions in the thread.

nth-ing "the fact of the matter is." My least favorite part of campaign season.

Oh the pain! The suffering! I just heard someone use a HACKNEYED PHRASE! I’m guessing that if the poor language usage of others causes you such anguish, you must be really, really smart. Or you have a nice life, protected from pretty much everything except others’ displays of their poor education. Or maybe you’re just signalling?

Some notes on grammar in Lander's Stuff White People Like website:

as a libertarian "good enough for government work" seems to fill the bill

Re. "I give 110%, 24/7"

Shouldn't it be, "I give 110%, 26.4/7.7"

Utilize instead of use.

Greatest crisis since 1929
So the one in 1937
or the one after 73, that lasted until 82 ( 12.5% plus 7.1)and 22%
or the one in 1991

How about BENCHMARK? It has no meaning, but it keeps plenty of people in business.

Ain't nothin funnier than "It ain't rocket scientry." Such a perfect use of irony!

"taxpayer dollars": in that context, from where else are dollars of revenue taken?

"hard-earned taxpayer dollars": why would it matter how much effort was expended in earning them? Is it better to tax easily-earned revenue than hard-earned? How does the taxing entity distinguish between the two?

Oops. I meant to say that I saw this usage of "almost" in the New York Times the other day. Not the sentence.

"It's all greek to me."

Also, i hate the phrase "green collar jobs". I find it insulting.

I've replaced Number 10 with this one: "It's not like it's rocket surgery." That way I can get two into the same sentence.

- Singing off the same hymn sheet
- All on the same page
- Using the name deck for PowerPoint presentation

These are the most irritating phrases ever!
I made the 11th most irritating phrase!
It is-
One sec. (second)
I keep saying it and everyone finds it so irritating! LOL.

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