This afternoon I was heading back to my office after an appointment when the sun finally came out and fluttered those coquettish lashes of hers just as 1901 came blaring over my car speakers. And Internet? In that moment, I was happy. The sun was only out for a few minutes — she’s been a fickle harlot lately — but it was enough time for those rays to tickle my nose with the promise of spring, giving me the resolve to bear winter’s end.
Yesterday morning on a local radio show I sometimes listen to, the DJ read a list of words and phrases that are overused and should be retired. He insinuated “that’s what she said” falls into this category but obviously was mistaken because really, truly, it makes me laugh every time. It got me thinking about what would be on my redundancy list and I came up with a few that are remarkably like nails scraping down a chalkboard:
- Like – This can be especially problematic among millennials. The other night I *cough* happened to catch an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County and wanted to pour scalding hot wax in my ears during a conversation between two teenagers. Every other word was “like” and I found myself focusing on each appalling instance instead of the point, which was so devoid of significance that it may as well have been surmised by watching a goat eat a lightbulb. I should note that I too am sometimes guilty of using “like” unnecessarily but I make an effort to be careful as I’m afraid it makes you sound like a dolt.
- Literally – Unfortunately some folks are using this word for emphasis when they mean “figuratively.” “I literally died laughing.” Really? Did you die? Because you’re right here telling me this story. Apparently I’m not alone in my irritation — there’s at least one blog and a Facebook group dedicated to its reparation, but now we’re in sort of a chicken/egg situation because I also hate the over-abundance of silly groups on Facebook and joined this one in protest. (God, this is making me sound like a crotchety old be-otch.)
- It is what it is – And finally the ubiquitous, inimitable poster child for useless cliches, so completely bastardized that you might very well convey your meaning by instead saying “ti-esrever-dna-ti-pilf-nwod-gniht-ym-tup-i.”
- Honorable mentions – “Dude” and tacking “right now” at the end of every sentence.
I’m sure I say many things that drive people bonkers. What sorts of words and phrases irritate you?