The following is a list of the Most Annoying Words or Phrases of 2011 (according to me). This has been done many times, just Google “most annoying phrases 2011” to get the complete list of blogs and websites that have contributed to outing the phrases that make your teeth hurt.
I know. 2011 isn’t over yet, but I doubt much will change in the next three months.
The list is in descending order, like David Letterman’s Ten Reasons list, with the least offensive at the top.
- Whatever – I think this is funny if said with the proper amount of disdain and sarcasm. But what is annoying is the Valley Girl version: what-EV-errr. That gets my eyes a-rolling.
- I’m just sayin’ – This is also funny, though I don’t know why. We say it all the time around my house, and I doubt it will ever really annoy me enough to generate even a blink, let alone an eye roll. When someone tells you, for instance, that they think what you write is “vomit on the page”, but adds, “I’m just sayin’”, that somehow makes it better.
- Not so much – This one isn’t too bad either, I’ve been known to say it myself, but now that it is on The List, I’m refraining from that. You lovin’ bowling? Not so much.
- That’s a good question – This is said when the person to whom the question was directed, doesn’t know the answer. And the problem is, that person is supposed to know the answer. So he is in danger of seeming unprepared, but if he says “That’s a good question”, it makes the asker feel smart, and so takes the pressure off the answerer, who is probably not smart, or he’d have been better prepared.
- No doubt – A meaningless phrase which is usually said when the person to whom the question or request or general statement is directed wants to get you out of his face. Example: “I would like you to leave me alone.” “No doubt.” What? Does that mean you will, in fact, leave me alone?
- Don’t get me wrong – If you are requesting that I not get you wrong, then maybe you should rephrase whatever trivial blathering you are currently attempting, so there is no question as to your real meaning. You might be the dumass here.
- Just kidding – Usually not. This is said after a cruel, or “honest” appraisal is made, and then the speaker feels guilty, as if he needs to tone it down some. Such as, “That color is awful on you. Just kidding.”
- 110% – Look. There is no such thing as 110%. I know, when you are sucking up to the boss, it is tempting to say “I agree with you 110%” but you can, in fact, only agree with someone 100%. I believe 110% might belong in the Theory of Everything category, which mere mortals can’t understand anyway. And can you ever agree with someone 50%? Isn’t it a matter of I do, or I don’t?
- Do you know what I mean? – Well, if you could speak the English language without saying “um” and/or “like” fifty times in one sentence, I might get your drift. But I got lost in a sea of babblespeak five minutes ago.
- Shit happens – I never understood this one. Is this literal? Or does it mean, bad things happen? Whichever the case, I guess it’s an understatement.
- I’ll be honest with you – You have been lying to me all along, but NOW you’re going to finally start being honest? Aren’t we lucky!
- Going forward – Is there a better way to go? Backward? That sounds difficult.
- So to speak – This generates a three quarter eye roll. I confess to not knowing why anyone would say this.
- If you will – I won’t! Won’t! So don’t ask me if I will, because, no, I am not going to. This is said by pompous political pundits a lot. And the answer is always the same. No. We’re getting to the full eye roll section here.
- Let’s not go there – Where are we not going? This is said in business settings, when someone has the audacity to bring up a negative reality that does not fit in with the solution that is currently being proposed. Let’s ignore it.
- Gottcha – Gen X speak. Ah. Before, I was speaking a foreign language that you did not understand, but now you comprehend what I am trying to tell you.
- Actually – Filler word that is meaningless. For some reason, this seems to be said by children a lot. “Actually, I have to go to the bathroom.” It’s kind of like “like”, said unconsciously without actually thinking about it. Oops.
- It is what it is – Okay. “It is” equals “it is”. Can “It is” not equal “it is”? How can it not be what it is? This used to be funny, sort of a business speak shrug, as in, “Yeah, it sucks but we can’t do anything about it”.
- Amazing / awesome – Getting to serious eye roll territory. Watch one of those awful Entertainment Tonight shows, or the Grammys, or the Oscars and try to count the number of times you hear the word “amazing”. It has no meaning, it doesn’t answer any questions. How do you feel about winning this here Grammy? It’s amazing. Oh, I see.
- Have a nice day/afternoon/evening/weekend – I don’t know you, so please do not presume to tell me what kind of day to have. If I want to have a crappy day, I’ll have it. How many times have you been in a Target checkout line and the surly clerk tells you to “have a nice day”. No eye contact, no smile. It’s a matter of, I have to say this, according to Cashier Rule #3 but get out of here, it’s time for my break. And another thing, I have been told when I pay for lunch to “have a nice evening”. Wait a minute. Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? What about my afternoon? Don’t you care what kind of afternoon I have? How could you be so indifferent to me and what kind of afternoon I have, and only care about my evening? That’s just cold.
- My bad! – Groan. Another Gen X saying. It’s your fault! Because of you, this thing/project/whatever is hopelessly screwed up. But saying “My bad” somehow acknowledges it without taking responsibility for it.
- At the end of the day – I first heard this five years ago and it is still being said. Again, the counting thing. I have been in business meetings where it was said upwards of twenty times by the same person. Yes, it was kind of cute when the first person said it, but do you know how dumb it sounds to say it before every sentence? At the end of the day, we want to go forward with this. Puh-lease.
- That being said, having said that – Someone, please tell me what the purpose of saying this could possibly be. People used to say “it goes without saying”. Which is confusing enough. So before you didn’t have to say it, now you have to tell someone that it has been said. What?
- LOL – Number One, all time triple eye-roller. This is never spoken, but appears in text messages and emails. I text, “I am stuck in traffic, and I’m running out of gas, and there’s a guy behind me with a gun rack who keeps shaking his fist and ramming my bumper and I have to pee” and the response is “LOL”. People who respond with the lone LOL, should be sent to a Happy Place where they can’t hurt anyone.
Please feel free to vent! What’s your favorite, or maybe that’s least favorite, Most Annoying Phrase?