Saturday, November 08, 2008

Words That Irritate

Just over a year ago I wrote a post about verbal pet peeves- the phrases I hear people say that DRIVE ME CRAZY. How interesting to read a news item today that covers the same subject, from Oxford. I seem to keep pretty good company.

Enjoy- it's a quick read:

Oxford compiles list of top ten irritating phrases
A top 10 of irritating expressions has been compiled by researchers at Oxford University.
By Charlotte Bailey

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.

The database alerts them to new words and phrases and can tell them which expressions are disappearing. It also shows how words are being misused.

The book's author Jeremy Butterfield says that many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and "synergy".

Other phrases to irritate people are "literally" and "ironically", when they are used out of context.

Mr Butterfield said: "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."

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 must admit I've recently used six or seven of these.