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Top Ten Most Irritating Phrases

Lifehacker recently pointed to two UK lists of the top ten most irritating (and clichéd) phrases in use today.

But I feel like these lists are too UK-specific and also a bit too general. I feel like most of us buzzword-weary guys hear far more irritating phrases than these lukewarm ones.

I’ll list my ten (and Oxford & BBC’s) after the jump- what are yours?

Victor’s Top Ten Most Irritating Words/Phrases

1. My name as the beginning of a sentence.

There’s nothing I hate more than hearing someone begin a sentence with “Victor,” unless they don’t have my attention. If I’m looking at you and we’re having a conversation, it is 3000% unnecessary for you to repeat my name before making your point. If you’re trying to emphasize the point you are making, you’ve chosen the wrong strategy- now you officially sound like a Jehovah’s Witness at my door, and will never make said point in my book.

2. In real time

This is usually misused and irrelevant to whatever product or service the person is describing. Unless you’ve mastered the power of stopping or slowing down time, I’m going to infer that whatever you’re talking about will happen in real time. And real space. And more or less adhering to all of the physical laws of our universe.

3. Über

It has the same syllables, same basic pronunciation and same meaning as “super”. You’re not German. Why do you find the need to say über? Should I start flitting in and out of languages porque c’est geil? Or do you enjoy incorrectly using the word?

4. Literally

Unless someone uses the word correctly, which happens 0.00001% of the time.

5. Gay

When used to describe something negatively. I admit, I used to say it all the time when I was younger. But it really isn’t helping the state of the world too much… Associating darkness/blackness with evil is bad enough, “gay” is just the product of flagrant bigotry.

6. No offense but…

If the next words out of your mouth are offensive, then they will most likely offend. That’s like me saying “No bruisies!” and then punching you in the face. Speaking of- once I have my meeting with Obama next week and am brought into its cabinet (chances are looking really good) I will stage a coup, become dictator, and decree that this phrase will warrant a punch in the face. No exceptions.

7. Random

Apparently I hate the words that come out of my mouth, because I use this one a lot. In fact, a friend of mine once did an impression of me where he ran around acting like a moron, repeating “random”. I never realized how annoying it was until I had a roommate that used that word as a catch-all phrase for EVERYTHING. Every single sentence uttered was followed by the sentence “It [was/is/seemed/seems/etc] random.” Lordy…

8. “A” Game

Because unless I’m reminded, I’m constantly bringing my “B” Game.

9. proactive

This word is so universally hated, I have nothing more to say. But it must be on the list.

10. Any management happy-clappy neuro linguistic “let’s hold hands while i beat you over the head” speak

I cut/pasted that phrase from a forum poster. Obviously, that man is a genius.

BONUS: Spaniards are brilliant wasters of breath.

A really common way for a Spaniard to segue, conclude a conversation, but mostly buy time between thoughts, is to say ‘Pues eso, pues lo dicho, pues nada’ repeatedly. Which translates to “Well, what I said”, “Well, what was said” and “Well, nothing, really”. This is truly inspired stuff!

Here’s Oxford University’s Top 10.

Here’s BBC Online’s Top 20.

Everybody has awesome word/phrase choice pet peeves. What’s yours?

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