Irritating Phrases

Irritating phrases is the theme of this week’s Listography; Kate’s asked us to list the top five phrases that drive us crazy.

As soon as I mentioned it to Mike, he groaned. “I can see me being the highlight of this one.”

He’s astute. I’ll give him that.

1 – [Something] is as [something] does.  Like ‘handsome is as handsome does’ or ‘stupid is as stupid does’. This is a classic (and very common) Mikeism. From Lancashire, I think, although he claims it appears in Forest Gump.  I honestly can’t understand what it means; it sounds like absolute nonsense to me.

2 – Literally.  Apart from when people actually mean literally, this one really irritates me. Literally.

3 – Per Se.  This is another Mikeism, albeit a recent one. I think someone said it on the radio, I expressed my irritation with it and he’s been using it wherever he possibly can ever since. And I allow it to annoy me every time.

4 – I’m not being funny, but… Which usually comes before someone actually is being funny.  And not in the ha ha way.

5 – Thinking out of the box.  This irritates me for a whole load of reasons, but particularly because it was one of those business-speak phrases that was in vogue for a while and now just sounds tired and cringy.


And there we are. Quite enough irritating phrases for me. I’m sure I wasn’t in this poor a mood when I started writing this one.

10 thoughts on “Irritating Phrases

  1. My pet hates are ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘with all due respect’ which for me means ‘you havent a clue what your talking about so Im gonna tell you what we will do’

    1. Oh yes – these are good ones too. Sometimes, I think there are certain people who’ve done a course on playing at being in business and they’ve picked up all those things from there.

  2. I hate, at a coffee shop counter, ‘Can I get a coffee?’ . Wish the barista (another word I hate) would invite them to hop over and operate the cappuccino machne themselves. ‘Get a coffee to go’ is incitement to violence!

    1. lol – This is one of the things I say when I’m in London and pretending to be cool with all the cosmopolitan-ness and so on. I thought this was just the local lingo!

    1. This is a great one – I have someone at work who uses this. And the trouble with things like this is that they rub off on my, so I’ve started using it myself! Aarghh!

  3. Some great choices there, especially ‘I’m not being funny, but… ‘ it’s almost as bad as ‘ I don’t mean to offend you but…’ or ‘don’t take this the wrong way but…’

  4. Mmm, I HATE it when people refer to a ‘cold snap’. What does that even mean?
    I am also very bothered by ‘thanks for the invite’. It’s an INVITATION. You invite someone by extending an invitation. Grr.

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