Irritating expressions or worse

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Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:16 pm

I think it would be nice to have a repository for expressions that annoy us or even make us want to pull our hair out. So, this is a good place to vent your spleen.

Just the word or phrase could be listed or the word or phrase with comments.

I’ll kick it off:

At the end of the day: A phrase that has been around since the mid-20th century but which only became popular more recently (1990s or so) as an interesting and trendy expression. Gradually, however, it wore out its welcome until today it a hackneyed phrase despised by some (count me in), but still used by others (politicians, news commentators, etc.). See here.

P.S. Not having been anything close to an English major, and not having had a grammar course beyond elementary school, and not having studied this stuff much on my own (or not having absorbed it) as I should have, I’m sure I’m guilty of spewing my own irritating expressions and faux pas of grammar and punctuation too numerous to mention.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Harry » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:48 pm

24/7 is rather dogeared. Tacking 365 on the end is like fingernails on a blackboard.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:09 pm

"Two males and a female were found to be deceased".
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by trolley » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:44 pm

"Sooner than later"
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:49 pm

The mislabelling of contradictions in terms oxymorons.

eg The living dead (deep).

A drug with no side effects (a contradiction in terms).

I've nothing against either term used correctly.
I just felt like doing a bit of spleen-venting.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:43 am

1) 'As far as [...] is/are concerned' when the speaker omits the 'is/are concerned'. Example: "As far as the new football season, NFL bosses expect the opening weekend to bring record revenues".

There is a simpler but similar-sounding alternative form of words: "As for [...], [...]". Example: "As for the new football season, NFL bosses expect the opening weekend to bring record revenues". Perhaps some people are confusing the two.

2) 'Absent [...]' used in place of 'without [...]' / 'in the absence of [...]' / 'in the event that [...] is absent'. During the past three or four years I've frequently heard this formulation from the lips of both presenters and interviewees on NPR [US National Public Radio] news and current affairs programmes. The stress is on the first syllable ('ABsent'). Example: "Absent the Bush Administration's failure to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress would find today's financial crisis much more manageable".
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:58 am

It's a new grammatical construction.
The absent tense.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:08 am

... which, oxymoronically, adds to one's tenseness.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:48 am

yclept
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:52 am

'Pranked', 'mote' and 'hierophant' (all much overused in Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy. I last read it about 30 years ago, but I still recall those damn words).
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:01 am

I remember the dramatisation.

There haven't been many occasions when (now Sir) Christopher Lee and Spike Milligan collaborated.

I remember the Tower of Flints (precursor of the Owl Tower at Hogwarts.)

But I don't remember those words.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:25 am

Silly and often annoying expressions come and go. But let me emphasize that in what follows, I am only talking about what’s going on ‘out my way’ and I have no idea if my experience is representative of what others are hearing. Also, the expressions below have mostly emanated from the mouths of babes – kids under the age of twenty-two, mostly CSU (Colorado State University) students working in cafés and restaurants. Evidently, they feel that they have to come up with some sort of a reply to whatever I say, which they do, and the following are their responses du jour.

As an aside, all or a subset of the following annoying terms are used (depending on who's on duty) when I go to my local café for my daily coffee and bagel fix. And last Sunday night when I went to a very nice Italian restaurant with my Brazilian honey, I thought it would be interesting to see if we would hear these same expressions. So, in my old-fashioned paper day-timer (which I always carry with me), I furtively jotted down the various responses we heard as soon as the waiter left the table. And the results: 100% of the expressions listed below (with some multiple hits).

The infamous no problem in reply to my ‘thank you’ seems to have faded – can’t remember the last time I heard it. In its place I’m hearing BUT OF COURSE or the short form, OF COURSE. Of course what? My guesses as to what they are thinking (if they’re thinking at all) are, of course, no problem or for the sophisticates among them, of course, don’t mention it / of course, that is what is expected of me as a waiter / or . . .

In a restaurant I order a can of worms from the menu and the waiter’s response is EXCELLENT or PERFECT, probably short for excellent / perfect choice but I doubt if the waiter realizes that. What they used to say is good/nice choice, but I suppose that excellent and perfect takes things to a whole nother level.

The response to any declarative statement I might make is now TOTALLY (Short for, I agree with you totally??) or PRECISELY (Short for, That’s precisely what I was thinking?? And then there’s EXACTLY (Short for, That's exactly what I was thinking?? In the old days we used to say that’s for sure – but these new responses, although more modern, are not as direct. But they do have a certain air of exactitude, sophistication, and glitter, whereas the old responses were more drab and better suited for plebeians.

An interesting question is, where do these expressions come from? Are they picked up from TV? Do they propagate through social networking? I don’t know the answer, but it would be an interesting project to try to find out, but not now! (<:)

Stop the presses! I was on the phone ordering a pair of jammies from a company located in Rutland, Vermont. I told the sales person that I had to put down the phone for a moment to take out my credit card. And what was her response? You got it, “NO PROBLEM.” I guess it lives on like a zombie waiting for that stake to be driven through its heart.

Mea culpa: Not having been taught any grammar in high school (but was in elementary school), and not having been anything close to an English major as undergraduate (Mechanical Engineering – big mistake), and not having studied this stuff much on my own as I should have, I’m sure I’m guilty of spewing my own irritating expressions and faux pas of grammar and punctuation, too numerous to mention – a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black! (>;)
______________________

Ken G – October 21, 2011
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:13 am

.. I will repost here my all consuming passion to rid the english speaking world of the word basically ..

WoZ who basically hates basically
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:51 am

Yes, it usually prefaces a 'killer argument', ie precluding any come-back, that isn't.
In closing, at the end of the day has similar arrogant overtones. Of course. As I think you'll agree. When you think about it.

In the final analysis.
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Re: Irritating expressions or worse

Post by trolley » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:38 pm

I worked with a fellow who used "essentially" in place of "basically". Essentially, most of his statements began this way. Basically, it was pretty annoying.
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