Friday, November 07, 2008

Most Annoying Phrases

Got an article to write, and need a way to pad out your wordcount while annoying readers? Check out the list of most annoying phrases, as assembled in the UK, so not only will you be annoying readers, you'll have that British Isles flavor that makes you seem smarter. The majority are either absolutes used as generalizations, or a combination of absolutes with generalizations, such as "fairly unique" — 'unique' means the one and only; being 'fairly' unique would indicate it's not unique, but the phrase lets you expand out the word 'rare' to two, and up goes your wordcount!

I'd like to include "literally" on the list: literally means exactly as said, as opposed to 'figuratively', but when you're interviewed on a Discovery Channel show about ghosts and say, "it literally scared me to death", people will be wondering how you're still up and walking around despite your fear-induced demise. Using literally to indicate hyperbole is making the word mean the exact opposite of its original meaning.

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