Search

Loathsome phrases

  • pop of colour
  • whip smart
  • slick of lip gloss
  • bang on trend

I know there’s more that inexplicably make my skin crawl but that’s a good start. What are your unfavourites?

UPDATE:  Dr G’s most loathed phrase is space, as heard on countless real estate programmes. There’s much bellowing at the telly, “It’s not a f*cking space, IT’S JUST A ROOM!”

UPDATE 2:  Timely article on BlogHer today about clichés. I too loathe eating bon bons all day. STAB! STAAAB!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


52 thoughts on “Loathsome phrases

  1. Ha.. I love saying bang on trend… in an ironic way you understand?

    I hate:

    “Let’s take this conversation offline”
    “Let’s just download some thoughts”

    The joys of working in online media I guess.

  2. ohhh lordy those online ones are awful… heheeeee!
    excuse me while i go vom just thinking about bang on trend… aaaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhh

  3. I think you just made those phrases up to toy with foreigners 🙂

    I’m always annoyed by “I could care less” because it makes no sense. You must care a little if you could care less, right?

  4. I love “whip smart”!

    I hate it when people say groovy or boogie — luckily, since it’s not 1974 that’s not too much of a problem… 24/7 gets to me, though.

    “I could care less” seems to be a US thing; we say ‘I couldn’t care less” in the UK. Although people will hear it a lot via US media and start abusing my ears with it over here too, no doubt.

    I’m sure there’s lots of others I’ve (thankfully) blanked out.

  5. I absolutely hate the phrase “just sayin’.”

    As in, “Dude, that pesto you made looked like the Incredible Hulk sneezed on my pasta. Just sayin’.”

    It’s usually used when people want to say something insulting or obnoxious, but they don’t want to own the consequences. Little wankers.

  6. Wah! My comment disappeared into the internet abyss when I hit preview 🙁

    I deeply despise the word pop being used by every designer, chef, presenter etc on television. I’m so glad I’m not alone. Wankers, the lot of them.

    However, I do love the word loathsome. Reminds me of ye olde boarding school books with tea and scones with lashings of jam.

  7. @Rebecca – YES! Particularly prevalent in blog comments. Um. Thats very nice what youve done there but have you thought about doing what I did which is more affordable and organic. Just sayin.

  8. ‘to tell you the truth…’
    – hate it because it implies someone does not always tell the truth!

    also, the more cutting version of ‘just sayin’, which is ‘i’m only saying this because i love you’ – immediately followed by something hurtful and nasty!

    also i hate ‘at the end of the day’ too, bugs the hell out of me, maybe because footballers say it so much?!

  9. I live in a dry-ish state in the USA, and whenever it rains, people say, “Rain. Hm. That’s okay, WE COULD REALLY USE THE MOISTURE.”

    Nails on a chalkboard. Seriously.

    Nikki, I have cut back on my use of “brain fart” and have been saying “acute intermittent pneumocephalus” instead. 🙂

  10. Maybe it’s the teacher in me but I hate anything pre-fixed with proper e.g. ” Ooh, he was proper naughty, he’s proper spoilt!” (Is this a regional mangling of English? I live in Hull where it’s use is rampant). My husband has a reaction to the word “bespoke” used on property/interiors related telly, he damn near busts a gut and spits venom at the screen, “BESPOKE?! BESPOKE?! It’s f***ing HOME MADE you idiot!!”

  11. “I’m not racist, BUT …”, “I’m not homophobic, BUT … ” and so on.

    “of a morning” also annoys me.

  12. The one I hate hate hate the most is (and variations of) “16 going on 17”. DUH. You’re not going to skip years or go backwards, are you?

    Healthful (healthy!) and addicting (addictive, damn it!)

  13. I second “At the end of the day.” Jillian used it about 100 times per podcast.

    I have been watching too much The Biggest Loser, because what comes to mind is “my journey” to refer to weight loss and “For once in my life, I have to do something for me” to refer to something really crappy that the person is about to do.

  14. Kalita – every time someone says “healthful”, I am reminded of Ignatius Reilly in the book “A Confederacy of Dunces” and his hideous hat. And “addicting” really annoys me too!

  15. i’m about to date myself but frankly, i can’t stand to hear most ppl under the age of 29 talk.

    a) i dont’ understand them most of the time and
    b) they use works like “sick” for “amazing” or “cool” as in “nigga, that dance move you busted was sick”!
    c) oh, and as a black woman, i detest the use of the word “nigga” as used in the phrase “my nigga”. look, why don’t you say “brotha” and call it day? given the choice between “groovy” and “nigga”, i’ll take “groovey”, “swell” and “nifty” anytime of the day.

    but hey, that’s just me.

  16. It irks me when people use “We” when talking about the company they work for.

    “We are going public next year” (on the stockmarket), etc.

    One I am yet to hear is:

    “We decided we just had to let me go.”

  17. Similar to Dr. G’s hating the word space, I hate when people refer to a painting or sculpture or other art as a “piece” — as in, “She paid $50,000 for a fabulous piece by an up-and-coming artist”. That is the worst, so pretentious and annoying.

  18. For some reason I can’t stand “going forward”. And “property” instead of “house” also drives me made.

    And don’t get me started on the Fashion Singular… ugh.

  19. “Whatever!”

    It’s the rudest, most insulting thing you can say to someone. Especially when they do that hold their palm up in your face thing and turn their head aside. It’s negating everything you are, everything you just said, and–{starts frothing at the mouth}

  20. Biggest Loser has its own loathsome language. You know what helps you take that bad taste out of your mouth and also stops you from snacking? Extra sugarfree gum!

  21. Thanks for the link to the BlogHer post. I like the idea of thinking of stock phrases as placeholders for something more original.

  22. I quite like “whip smart”. I think it describes a lot of us lovely ladies quite well.
    Other bad one “no offence…” yeah, right.
    Extra sugarfree gum, and in fact all other evil things with artificial sweetener in them have the evil effect of increasing my appetite for the proper stuff. Boo.

  23. @Cilla – i’m not a fan either but Extra is one of the most painful product placements they have on Biggest Loser USA. do they do that in the Oz version?

  24. My hubby, after hearing this, said I had to tell you his story. Recently, when talking to his boss-he said “That’s above my pay grade”. She replied – “I hate that phrase!”. He said-“Oh, my new favorite saying!”.

    Me-I hate “It is what is is” & “Know what I mean?”

  25. Here, we say “smart as a whip,” and it’s equally annoying. I also hate the word “sick” being used as a good thing. How does this happen?! I do, however, enjoy the word nonsensical in written form.

  26. @SSBelle – Nice one 🙂

    Dr G just arrived home from the Hebrides and agreeing with the “piece” and “bespoke”… hehe!

    thank you bazillions for the comments everyone. makes my day 🙂

  27. I hate the misuse of words. The current one which makes me yell at the television is ‘literally’. Example: recent coverage of the London marathon ‘It literally killed me’. Really? You are doing well to be giving this television interview then.

    All time award in the misuse of word category goes to ironic, constantly misused. That infernal Alanis Morisette song still makes me froth at the mouth when I hear it!

    Despised buzzwords include the staple of brainstorm sessions in my workplace ‘Let’s park that’. Code for: ‘Let’s pretend we will come back to it but actually your idea is sh*t and I am too polite to say so.’

  28. Ah, “space”, now – I’m fond of that because it’s an architecty word and my daughter and her friends use it a lot. But not just for “room”, unless it’s particularly large. It has to be when you’re particularly aware of the … space of it. Rather than just the walls.

    I get annoyed when the BBC say that someone died “after an accident”. Of course, this could be true. But usually they really mean “in an accident”.

  29. ‘Utilise’ is the linguistic equivelant to Times New Roman – both making me shudder. Why not use ‘use’? When I went to do some postgraduate study, the lecturer pointed out that the use of the word ‘utilise’ where ‘use’ was sufficient would automatically fail her course. A women after my own heart.
    As far as phrases:
    ‘Touch base’
    ‘Let’s workshop that’
    and the list goes on…

    I used to work with a particularly bad culprit, one day during a meeting I saw some of the senior engineers giggling like schoolboys – they were playing ‘buzzword bingo’ hilarious. You can download lists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzzword_bingo

  30. Hate, hate, HATE all that management-speak, ‘moving forward’ in particular. And definitely ‘At the end of the day…’ SO irritating.

    I also hate when I ask a question and am answered “Yes and No”. Which is it, yes or no? Make a freakin’ decision!

  31. I work in publishing so my “favourite” is POP, as in, “that colour makes the typography just POP” or “oh that’ll make it POP”.

    And I agree to a global hatered of “at the end of the day” but I admit to using it… Oh those clichés are such crap but oh so useful dammit!

  32. This one mostly refers to the Home Decorating kind of magazines…

    Here’s my top 10 words that I’m sick of seeing:

    Whimsical (stupid)
    Eclectic (things that don’t go together)
    Vintage/Retro (because it’s not new, it MUST be way cooler)
    Inject (eg “inject some colour blah blah”)
    Pretty (anything that’s pastel or has flowers)
    Enchanting (as above)
    Transform/Re-vamp (this is always happening)
    Found (as in Found Object)
    Rustic
    Bespoke (Customised, whatever…expensive!)
    …and I could go on.

    And I’m tired of reading about people that “like beautiful things/objects”, as if this somehow justifies spending extreme amounts of money on them.

  33. I found myself constantly saying variations of ‘to be truthful/to be honest’. It annoys me so much but for ages, I was completely stuck with those phrases. But now I am a little better.

  34. With all the reality cooking shows of late, it seems that food just ‘Pops’ in the mouth all too frequently !??!

  35. I’m very behind the times, but “webinar” and “breakfast nook” make me want to go on a rampage and projectile vomit all over whoever said it.

  36. I think you’re right with the ‘pop of color’

    ‘that’s so cherry’ makes me think of 15 year old metal head boys. It sounds dirty. Is it? I don’t know. I’m all for the real dirty words but would be worried if I accidentally threw hyman-slang at my mother.

  37. My former boss just LOVED all that management speak bollocks – so I enlivened our team meetings with some good old fashioned buzzword bingo using phrases such as:
    Boiling the Frog
    Dead cat bounce
    Plucking the fruit off the lower branches
    Blue sky thinking
    Let’s run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it.
    etc
    Then I used to make up buzz phrases and see if I could get him to adopt them… I loved it when he did!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *