Oxford Researchers List Top 10 Most Annoying Phrases

By John Scott Lewinski EmailNovember 07, 2008 | 5:59:17 AM

ExeterscarfNot all University of Oxford researchers are uptight and humorless, “irregardless” of what you might think. In fact, a bunch of them compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Irritating Expressions in the English language — just because we needed one.

Though maybe “you could care less,” the scholars in question keep track of linguistic mangling and overused buzzwords in a database called the Oxford University Corpus. The voluminous record keeps track of books, magazines, broadcast, online media and other sources, watching for new overused, tiresome phrases and retiring those that fade from use (or misuse).

The great hierarchy of verbal fatigue includes:

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

The list appears in a new book, Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare, by Jeremy Butterfield. Since it’s always possible for the Oxford brainiacs to “borrow you” space on the list for your own complaints, you’re invited to offer your favorite overused or abused phrases in the comments section below.

As for this Oxford-educated reporter (that’s my scarf over there), I’m going to include the examples I already seeded into this report — and the internet buzzword “snarky,” because “sarcastic” is good enough to get that job done (if that’s not being too snarky).

Image courtesy John Scott Lewinski

Source: http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/11/oxford-research.html

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