Britain’s most irritating expression

by Carmen

Researchers at Oxford University have compiled a top ten of the most irritating expressions. Top of the list was “at the end of the day”, followed by “fairly unique”, reports the Daily Telegraph. “I personally” – a phrase described by Radio 4 presenter John Humphreys as the “linguistic equivalent of having chips with rice” was third. Also making the top ten is the grammatically incorrect “shouldn’t of”, instead of “shouldn’t have”. The phrases appear in a book called Damp Squid, named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib. 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 book’s author Jeremy Butterfield says many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and “synergy”. He 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 in full: 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

11 Comments to “Britain’s most irritating expression”

  1. 11 – First!!!!!!!

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  2. The one that gets me is the “fingers in the air speech marks”

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  3. I hate it when people who are about to criticise/insult me preface their remarks by saying

    ‘Now don’t take this personally, but . . .’

    Ggrrrr !!!

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  4. 15 Or, “I know it is none of my business, but……..”

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  5. 16 Or, when Mrs D says .

    ‘What time do you call this ?

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  6. 17 Feckin’ smilies!!!!!!

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  7. Basically! Grrrrr!!!!!

    Synergy… awful, I think foreign people tend to use it more, I assume they think we’re all yuppies & use it a lot?

    “Shouldn’t of” is just bad English. It sounds OK (usually) as it souns like shouldn’t ‘ave. But to write it???

    I remember a local supermarket put up a sign by the till, it read….”We do not except credit cards”. πŸ˜†

    Richard Madely (who I cannot stand!) kept saying “quintessentially” for ages. Luckily someone must have stopped him, before I did!! πŸ‘Ώ

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  8. Well, basically at the end of the day, and at this moment in time, I personnaly think that I’m fairly unique in my excellent use of the English language.

    With all due respect to other sites, but they just can not compare in their writing ability, and shouldn’t of even tried.

    I mean posting on the internet is absolutely not rocket science is it?

    Some people even believe that it’s a nightmare, well they should wake up, smell the roses and try thinking outside the box…

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    well I’ll get me coat….

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  9. Anyone remember the Eighties and “Fair comment”?

    It was usually uttered by a rep., nodding his head, while fixing you with a phoney “understanding” look.

    I could barely stand this, but if it was followed by “Squire”, then it was guaranteed to freak me out!

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  10. I cant be asked
    I cant be bothered
    Dont ask me
    No children,nor dogs
    …etc….

    Just brushing up my english πŸ™‚

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