A top 10 of irritating expressions has been compiled by researchers at Oxford University.
By Charlotte Bailey
Last Updated: 7:14PM GMT 07 Nov 2008
Steven Gerrard - Oxford compiles list of top ten irritating phrases England's Steven Gerrard is among the footballers who often recite the most irritating phrase: 'At the end of the day' Photo: GETTY IMAGES John Humphreys - Oxford compiles list of top ten irritating phrases BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphreys described the phrase 'I personally' as the linguistic equivalent of having chips with rice

Damp Squid - Oxford compiles list of top ten irritating phrases The phrases appear in Jeremy Butterfield's Damp Squid, named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib Photo: Oxford University Press

Heading the list was the expression 'at the end of the day', which was followed in second place by the phrase 'fairly unique'.

The tautological statement "I personally" made third place ­ an expression that BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphreys has described as "the linguistic equivalent of having chips with rice."

Also making the top 10 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, a type of firework.

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 database alerts them to new words and phrases and can tell them which expressions are disappearing. It also shows how words are being misused.
As well as the above expressions, the book's author Jeremy Butterfield says that many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and "synergy".
Other phrases to irritate people are "literally" and "ironically", when they are used out of context.
"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:
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

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency
the reputation which carried him into it.
-Thomas Jefferson
1 2
Well, they're list is what it is.
- Bill
For me, it's hearing the passive-aggressive "Whatever."
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For me, it's hearing the passive-aggressive "Whatever."

The one we get a lot (in the UK, at least): when a government minister or somesuch high-up is interviewed on the radio following some ghastly cockup: they inevitably defend themselves with:
"Lessons will be learned."
It's usually the case that the lesson is a blindingly obvious one: don't leave confidential documents on the train, or something that you really shouldn't have to learn a lesson from, because if you had an IQ greater than about 3 you'd have already understood it.
"We grow tired of anything that is repeated too often ­ an anecdote, a joke, a mannerism ­ and the ... science No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it. -Thomas Jefferson

Okay, you have effectively wiped out 90% of polite NY conversation. EVERYTHING here is a nightmare! And it's all open 24/7, if it's not, fugeddaboutit. AND a dear friend is actually the son of a real rocket scientist AND his Mom is a Holocaust survivor - no way my parents can top that. I don't even try. Well, I did until he dropped those bombs - whoa. Catch phrases are the oil of nice discourse.
For me, it's hearing the passive-aggressive "Whatever."

The one we get a lot (in the UK, at least): when a government minister or somesuch high-up is interviewed ... to learn a lesson from, because if you had an IQ greater than about 3 you'd have already understood it.

For the longest time "at the end of the day" seemed to be a Brit thing. It is now a here thing. Big time.
Oh, wait a minute... "big time."
Sorry.

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency
the reputation which carried him into it.
-Thomas Jefferson
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
I hate it when interviewers ask, "How does it make you feel..."

Others I am sick of:
"Gave it 110%"
"My passion is..."
"Our job is to add value"
"That's what it's all about"

Martin
@reader1.panix.com:
I hate it when interviewers ask, "How does it make you feel..." Others I am sick of: "Gave it 110%"

Amen.
"My passion is..."

Yep.
I hate it when interviewers ask, "How does it make you feel..." Others I am sick of: "Gave it 110%" "My passion is..." "Our job is to add value" "That's what it's all about"

World-class
Excellence
Passion

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency
the reputation which carried him into it.
-Thomas Jefferson
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