09 November 2008

Oxford's Top 10 Irritating Phrases

The Telegraph reports:
The phrases appear in a book called Damp Squid, named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib, a type of firework.

The researchers who compiled the list monitor the use of phrases in a database called the Oxford University Corpus, which comprises books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the internet and other sources.
...
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
...
Other phrases to irritate people are "literally" and "ironically", when they are used out of context.
A few notes: "literally" means the act you describe has actually taken place. For example, "I literally turned beet-red" means if a beet were juxtaposed to your face, there would be no difference in color--which is why it's far better to omit "literally" in almost every instance it's used, because things almost never "literally" happen as we describe.

Often, when people use the term "ironically," they really mean "oddly enough" or "unusually", whereas the term "irony" denotes meaning something precisely opposite of what one says. For instance, on the win of an unremarkable politician, one says, "This is the greatest day in American history."

"Alright" is not a word.

"Different than" is hardly ever used properly (the best and brightest confuse this). Unless one is saying something is more different than something else, the appropriate phrase is "different from," as in "This man's outfit is different from that man's."

"Irregardless" is not a word.

"Supposably" is not a word.

"Hopefully" is never used correctly. It means "filled with hope" but is often used to replace the phrase "I hope."

"Afterall" is not a word; it is two.

Example of gratingly irritating phrasing (though the underlying sentiment is sound):
Irregardless of their rhetoric, supposably pro-life Obamacons showed little regard for the unborn afterall; hopefully they'll repent, or spend eons in the lowest rung of Purgatory subjected to tickle torture by aforementioned babies.
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