Friday, February 06, 2009

Irritating turns of phrase

These are some of the phrases people use that grate with me, some of them more than others…

Do you know what I mean? repeated frequently. Yes. I speak the same language as you. I can follow the thread of your argument. I have a brain. I know what you mean.

Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I have two female friends who will suddenly sing a loud ‘la’ note for no apparent reason other than that they’re not the centre of the conversation. Possibly the most annoying way to grab attention.

Guess what I did today… You gave yourself a full-frontal lobotomy with a spork? No? But what else would explain your prob…? Er. I don’t know. What did you do today?

Would you like to…?
I’m on dodgy ground bringing this up because this is my lovely wife’s favourite prefacing question. “Would you like to empty the bins and recycling?” No, not really. Or, classically when I’ve just sat down on the sofa after a hard day, “Would you like to go out to the kitchen and do a random chore involving heavy lifting?” (Okay, that’s not a literal report, but the gist is true.) Used as a ‘non-nag’ nagging method. ‘I’m not telling you that you ought to phone your dad, but would you like to phone your dad…’

I’m not being funny but… Good thing you said that or I’d have burst out laughing at your point. You will let me know when you are being funny won’t you. I might miss it.

Have you got two minutes to [insert random charitable endeavour]? Yes I do have two minutes, thanks. And I’d like to keep them.

[In lilting sing-song] Thank you. One of my colleagues uses this method to signal the end of a conversation; say ‘thank you’ in a sing-song voice and then walk away. Thank you for listening to me; I’m bored of you now. Or, thank you for allowing me to interrupt your work; I don’t want to hear why my idea will create a lot more work for you because frankly I don’t care. Goodbye.

“Hello, can I speak to Mr Mattius/Mathis/Matthews/Matt-i-ass please?” No. Get lost.

I’m sure you’ve got your own - add them in the comments…


  1. - 'At the end of the day' a phrase used to declare that the following nugget you are about to share trounces any previous argument unequivocally

    - Saying 'So' at the end of almost every statement (can also be added to by saying the meaningless 'So there you go')

    - What you did was great - really fantastic - but... (followed by an endless list of things that you did wrong, missed out or fouled up royally)

    I probably do it myself without realising, but they are annoying!

  2. "To be honest" is an annoying one... but a colleague of mine goes one step further and constantly says "To be perfectly truthful and honest with you..." it's not just annoying that this person feels they have to tell us when they're being honest...but it also just takes so long to say, especially when used multiple times in one conversation...

  3. 'twitter me' or 'facebook me' are ones that really irritate me. Not everyone lives in an e-world! Also on Facebook the turn of phrase that I'm glad they got rid of was the 'poke me' thing. What on earth was that about!?!?!?

  4. Top of my list is:

    "With all due respect..." - it generally means the opposite.

  5. "I am not racist but"

    Is generally the introduction to an exceeding racist statement.