10 of the Most Irritating Phrases in the English Language

Find out what phrases you should omit from using in future conservations.

from Reader's Digest | May 2009
10 of the Most Irritating Phrases in English Sometimes, just a few words can give you a headache.

Share your most annoying phrase on our Facebook page.

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

Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare by Jeremy Butterfield (Oxford University Press, $19.95)

Plus:
24 Things You Might be Saying Wrong

10 Food Myths Put to the Test

5 Bizarre Weight Loss Tips That Work

  • Your Comments

    • Mark Twain

      Some other verbal jewels: ‘That being said’ yeah, you just said it motherf**cker!
      ‘Just sayin’ when someone is too gutless to stand by their statement and offers this apologetic phrase.
      ‘Seriously…’ This word is so overused now it’s ridiculous. Anytime something doesn’t go a person’s way ‘Seriously?’ F**k you, seriously.
      ‘Really?’ Similar to ‘Seriously’ however, this is also used at the end of a statement. “you mean I have to wake up at 6am, really?’ No, not really. Wake up at 7 and be late like a schmuck.

      ‘Fail’ another overused word that applies to anything that is unsuccessful (regardless of how insignificant). Instead of saying someone ‘messed up, screwed up, botched, butchered, loused, etc.’ Most people are verbally lazy and resort to rote phrases such as this one.
      I’ve seen a lot of ‘It is what it is’ but I don’t mind that one. That’s like going to the DMV and it goes slow as crap. Hey, it is what it is and we all know it. That’s more of a universal statement for me.

    • Kingfisher

      I told him, I said . . .

    • icwydt

      “Look” as used by politicians and commentators to preface their comments. It seems to be the replacement for the unfortunate “In fact”.

    • Brandon Roberts

      yeah so why is every body in america annoying

    • Marty Hirsch

      I get somewhat annoyed with erroneous word usage by news anchors who, I prefer to imagine, should know better. Common examples are “plays a factor” (an absurd portmanteau of “plays a role”, a legitimate metaphor, and “is a factor”) and the use of the word “nonplussed” to mean “unperturbed” – when it actually means “confused”.

    • Guest

      I get somewhat annoyed with erroneous word usage by news anchors who, I prefer to imagine, should know better. Common examples are “plays a factor” (an absurd portmanteau of “plays a role”, a legitimate simile, and “is a factor”) and the use of the word “nonplussed” to mean “unperturbed” – when it actually means “confused”.

    • pismopal

      I feel like….. I could care less……

    • Ted

      the gunman opened fire, before turning the gun on himself. there will be a candlelight vigil followed by a makeshift memorial. officer involved shooting, a person of interest, he’s stepping down, they are tying the knot, then calling it quits.

    • Jane M-Mc

      too much “passion” comments when describing a competitor’s determination to excel. I hope I never have to hear about anybody’s “Passion” ever again.. And please stop with the “amazing” and “awesome” please, please, please