The Ear of the Beholder

The other day I stumbled on a list of Top Ten Irritating Phrases, as one does when one is searching for yet another synonym for “looked.”

At the end of the day
• Fairly unique
• Hashtag blessed
• At this moment in time
• With all due respect
• I’m just being honest
• Shouldn’t of
• 24/7
• It’s not rocket science
• I could care less

I would like to add ironically and literally to the list because so many people don’t understand their meaning. And let’s go ahead and include air quotes, too. I’m not “kidding.”

While we’re at it, let’s axe underage woman—which I believe is a child—and its corollary, boys will be boys, which usually refers to men, come to think of it.

I personally is another phrase I hate because it seems like the linguistic equivalent of having toast with your pancakes. (Which I have done on occasion and for which I’m still ashamed.)

But my ultimate pet peeve word is arguably. First, coming from a large argumentative family, I learned as a wee bairn that EVERYTHING is arguable. A seemingly innocuous sentence like Abraham Lincoln was arguably the best President makes me sputter in fourteen different directions, none of which have to do with history. Why can’t they say “I think Abraham Lincoln was the best president, “ or “Abraham Lincoln was the best prez because he wore that awesome hat” or even the weaselly “Many people think Abraham Lincoln was the best president”?

But at the end of the day, I personally am fairly unique in thinking this. With all due respect to Lincoln scholars, it’s literally a nightmare to be subjected to “history” 24/7. After all, it’s not rocket science.

Oh, I probably shouldn’t of said that, but I could care less. I’m just being honest.

image from giphy

What’s your numero uno most irritating phrase?

Quick heads-up … if you know anyone attempting National Novel Writing Month in November, alert them to this. I put my book on sale for 99c until Monday. They can prepare for NaNoWriMo and get their 60k words completed to snag the coveted “I won!” certificate.

35 thoughts on “The Ear of the Beholder

      1. Oh, and “irregardless” is just so dopey! Not even a word! Do people use it thinking it makes them sound smarter because of that extra syllable? I’ll be judgy and say it does not.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Lol, Becky! That’s mine. Lol. And I’m ashamed to admit I use it ALL the time.

    BTW, did you find any new synonyms for looked besides gazed? Finding alternates for looked, shrugged, and smiled will be the end of me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The one phrase that sends my brain into orbit, is “shoulda did” I had a boss and 2 coworkers who used that constantly. Just thinking about that sets my teeth on edge.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. My #1 is irregardless because if you break it down, it simply doesn’t make sense. Whatever the OED says about its acceptability.

    The inability to use “fewer” and “less” correctly makes me sigh – especially from people who ought to know and have editors (like journalists).

    Liked by 6 people

    1. My normally very calm and controlled husband startled me the other day by yelling at the TV during a commercial, “IT’S FEWER, YA IDJIT!” So he (and I) completely agree with you, Liz!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Can’t stand when people (mostly TV reporters) say something is “past history.” Or when someone “over exaggerates.” But I just smile and nod. Not gonna stir up that hornet’s nest. After all, you get more flies with honey…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Those are both good ones! It’s funny you mention “more flies with honey” because just yesterday I put that in a manuscript and someone voiced the thought [perhaps my own] that they never understood that phrase because “who wants more flies!” ha!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Irregardless is high on my list of most hated words. And I found it pretty cringe (can you say that?) when everyone started using “flammable” (a made-up word) because they were afraid folks would think “inflammable” meant “not inflammable.” Sigh….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting, Leslie. I hadn’t realized that’s how *that* started. Makes perfect sense though. Perish the thought they actually educate people on the correct definition! Sigh is right.


    1. Actually, both are worthy contenders. (See what I did there?) I don’t technically hate the word “actually” but usually what follows is something truly obnoxious like mansplaining or know-it-all-itis, which are peeves for a different post!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A top contender for eradication from the dictionary is “suddenly”. Sometimes it can simply be removed, others, a passage must be rewritten to indicate that an event occurred quickly or unexpectedly without using an adverb.
    A fave of newscasters is “this point in time”. What’s wrong with “now”? “In this/that particular place” is a runner-up. How about “here” and “there”?
    Finally, there’s Natalie McMasters’s fave word. Begins with “f” ends with “k” , can be used as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb, and an interjection, and is not “fire truck”. I’ve recently introduced a new character into the mix who working to get Nattie to clean up her language. We’ll see how that goes…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You just reminded me of another phrase I hate, Tom, and no, it’s not cursing because I have quite the pottymouth myownself. “She was ten years his senior.” Why not just say she was ten year older? Why must they make me think so hard about it??


    1. Supposably, yes! My dad used to say “droughth” instead of “drought.” I don’t know if it was a regionalism or what, but whenever I asked him about it, he’d just give me the Dad Look over the top of his glasses and I’d hightail it outta there.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t understand “fairly unique” (isn’t something unique or not?). Going to ponder that one!

    And I always mean “with all due respect” to signal a great deal of respect, but technically I guess it doesn’t actually specify whether a lot or a little respect is intended, does it…hmmm.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, I’m guilty of “fairly unique,” but of course I was a “little bit pregnant” at one time too!

      I don’t think I’ve ever said “with all due respect” and didn’t mean it sarcastically. Blame it on the pregancies, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “I should of…” AARGH!!! But my pet peeve (and I know it’s a popular regionalism): “Wanna come with?” or “You coming with?” No no no no noooooooo!!

    Liked by 2 people

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