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Richard Nordquist

100 Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2011

By December 9, 2011

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The term logomisia (from the Greek for "word hatred") refers to a strong dislike for a word or phrase based on its sound, meaning, usage, or associations.

It's clear that many of you have experienced such word aversion.

Readers who contributed to our list of 200 Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2010 won't find many surprises in this year's collection. You remain annoyed (sometimes profoundly disturbed) by buzzwords, vogue words, malapropisms, redundancies, and clichés. You're vexed and perplexed by instances of bureaucratese, legalese, and journalese. And you're clearly exasperated by usage errors of all kinds--including a few that aren't errors at all.

Visit this collection of verbal peeves at 100 Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2011.

To add an annoying expression to our next list, go to 100 Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2013 and click on "comments" at the end of the post.

More Annoying Words and Phrases:


December 9, 2011 at 7:15 am
(1) Beth says:

A few more annoying examples of corporate-speak:
game changer

December 12, 2011 at 11:12 am
(2) Nicole Brown says:

I dislike the phrase, “went missing.”

December 12, 2011 at 11:34 am
(3) Jay Gordon says:

I’m satisfied the list is inclusive as long as “awesome” is there. Others might suggest the list is incomplete without “axe” for “ask,” but that could be regional.

December 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm
(4) Gail Madison says:

Where and when did “went missing” become something the media started using? I do not recall hearing that term when I was younger.

December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm
(5) AnnMarie says:

“You guys” annoys me, especially when I’m part of a group of women, all in our 40′s and 50′s. “Ladies” is good. “Gals” would be fine. “You” is never wrong. Sorry am I to say that waiters who put me into a group called “you guys” get smaller tips from me.

December 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm
(6) Paul says:

I’m with Jay. In my opinion “awesome” over-use is driving me insane! I am now on a lifelong mission to assign levels of “awesomeness” so that a person has to clarify how “awesome” something is and not leave me guessing (this, in turn, drives my kids crazy). Do you think levels 1-5 would suffice? I’m thinking that food items can only be first level of “awesomeness”. If this catches on, you can thank me. :)

December 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm
(7) Chalmers says:

‘Ticked-off’ should be on list. It really ticks me off…

December 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm
(8) Sally says:

The most annoying aspect of these phrases is the look of irritation when you attmept to rephrase these words correctly. They seem to become part of our culture so quickly that people don’t realize that the words are used incorrectly.

December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm
(9) Rob M. says:

In the world of Attorneys – “Boiler Plate”. Now theres an annoying one.

December 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm
(10) jaimie says:

“Epic” is a word that I hate. If my students use it in class, they have to write the definition of the word and read part of an actual epic.

December 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(11) Tom Lynch says:

“Take a listen.” Used by TV Anchors to introduce a video clip.

“Between you and I.” Used by the same people.

December 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm
(12) HillRunner says:

We are honing in on some truthiness here.

December 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm
(13) David Rynerson says:

When did “based on” become “based off”?
I also love when my elementary school soccer players talk about “versing” another team.

December 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm
(14) martha says:

“My bad”, should be at the top of the 100 Worst Phrases list.

December 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm
(15) Heinzie says:

What is numbers one through ten on the list? It is cut off by an ad for antonym dictionary. So i am not seeing numbers one through ten on the 2011 list.

December 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm
(16) Melinda says:

1. Absolutely!
2. Across the aisle
3. Agreeance (for agreement)
4. Analization (for analysis)
5. Anxious (instead of eager)
6. Are we having fun yet? (used sarcastically)
7. ASAP (especially when used in speech)
8. At the end of the day
9. At this moment in time
10. Awesome (and other overworked hyperbolic adjectives)

December 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm
(17) Jan says:

I cringe at “She graduated Harvard” instead of “from Harvard.” I hear this from both uneducated people and articulate professionals, including broadcasters. I’ve always wondered if it’s a regionalism, but I’ve never been able to pin it to one part of the country. I don’t even know if it’s techncially wrong, but it drives me crazy!

December 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm
(18) Jan says:

My impression is that “went missing” (or its past participle, “gone missing”) is a British idiom. I’m hearing more of those spoken by Americans as the world shrinks and global media blur our boundaries. (Note that “media” is a plural noun.) We’ve been exporting Americanisms for decades, so it’s only fitting (and charming, to my ear) that we import language from our international neighbors. (And don’t you hate writers who overuse parentheses?!)

December 13, 2011 at 2:39 am
(19) lacy says:

The word that has always, and will forever, make me grind my teeth in disgust (and I cringe even to type it) is boobies. I made it perfectly clear to my children that it is more offensive than most terms they’ll ever dare repeat. That should definitely make the list. And maybe “amenable” and “amicable”, as well, when used incorrectly.

December 13, 2011 at 8:41 am
(20) Barb says:

Baby Daddy / Baby Momma

December 13, 2011 at 9:34 am
(21) shelley says:

When used very sparingly and reserved for occasions that beg for the term, I find brain fart to be quite effective and appropriate, and the only way to be concisely descriptive of my activities as I near the age of 50.

December 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm
(22) Jen says:

Shoot me now! or Just shoot me now! is tiring.

December 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(23) Chris V says:

No 77: Staunch – The British comedian Billy Connolly once observed: ‘ Why is it always staunch protestant and devout catholic?’

December 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm
(24) mary says:

Has anyone mentioned the phrase, “I know, right?”

December 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm
(25) Marcus says:

Rock, misused as a verb. For example, “Jennifer Lopez rocks another bodysuit.”

Also, artisanal should have been on the list. Hate that one.

December 14, 2011 at 7:32 am
(26) gayle says:

when did people start arriving ‘to’ an airport?
Does anyone anymore know the difference between fungible and non-fungible in making word choices? What exactly is ‘tussling’?

December 14, 2011 at 9:51 am
(27) Linda says:

Touch base

December 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm
(28) Damian says:

“Just as an FYI” – FYI is an abbreviation. Why extend it again, when just “FYI” suffices?

“FYI”. Awful in the first place.

“i.e.” when they mean “e.g.”

December 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm
(29) Ron'sEnglish says:

I hate it when people say “Enough said” at the end of a comment, I think it’s ignorant and rude

December 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm
(30) Marcus (Again) says:

Lock Down when used in reference to anything but prisons. This would be one of the top overused buzzwords by local TV “news” in my part of the U.S.A., and probably across the country since it’s all homogenized.

Jan, “Gone Missing” is on the top of my list. We used to say disappeared but that word has, sadly, gone missing.

Love all the comments. Nice to know I’m not alone.

December 15, 2011 at 7:37 am
(31) Beth says:

1. “Fail,” as in, “That was such an epic fail.”
2. I also hate politicians’ recent obsession with the word “look” in their responses to difficult interview questions, as in “Look, I’m not denying that we have a rough road ahead of us.” It seems rude to me, and now reporters who cover politics have latched on to it as well.
3. “Home invasion.” Why isn’t it a break-in anymore?
4. Anything that unnecessarily ends in “center,” such as “learning center,” “worship center,” or the aforementioned “wellness center.” We already have words for these things: school, church, hospital.

December 15, 2011 at 7:49 am
(32) Sophie says:

You are absolutely incorrect to identify “buck naked” as the
Correct term. It is exactly the opposite. “butt naked” implies that you are unclothed right down to your posterior.

December 15, 2011 at 7:55 am
(33) Sophie says:

lest we forget the ubiquitous “It is what it is”.

December 15, 2011 at 8:40 am
(34) Cathy says:

gosh I used whoa several times sorry my bad!!!

December 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm
(35) Casey says:

When TV anchors use “an” in front of “historic”. “an” instead of “a” should only be used if the H is silent as in “an honor”. Do you wear “an hat” or live in an house?

December 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm
(36) scotts758 says:

I hate the term.. “Do you know what I mean?”.. Like we are idiots an have a 36 IQ.. AGGHHHHH!!!

December 18, 2011 at 9:35 am
(37) Calderas says:

It bothers me when people say “should of” instead of “should have.”

December 19, 2011 at 10:59 am
(38) Ju says:

The one that annoys me most??? ” twenty-four seven”

December 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm
(39) Lynne Milsom says:

How about ‘went with’ or ‘go with’ instead of ‘went with her’ of ‘go with him’?

December 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm
(40) Shay says:

I’m constantly annoyed by people telling me they “never did nothing” on the weekends…or being told “I don’t know nothing”…

December 20, 2011 at 11:24 am
(41) Patrick says:

You’ve defined “whatever” as an exclamation. I use that word to blow people off. Or more precisely if I don’t like what you are saying, or you are longwinded it’s more like “I don’t care”.

December 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm
(42) cheryl says:

The phrase that annoys me most is “no brainer”.

December 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm
(43) Kayceed says:

I use the word “till the end of time”as a phrase to post appointments,facts and issues.

December 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm
(44) Patricia Burns says:

When did people who should know better (like sports commentators) start saying “verse” for “versus”? Another pet peeve — using “formally” when “formerly” is the correct word — how did that happen?

December 25, 2011 at 11:03 am
(45) Michael says:

‘mute’ instead of ‘moot’, ‘revitalization’ instead of ‘business downsizing’, ‘layoffs’ instead of ‘terminations’,

December 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm
(46) Graham Houghton says:

On the weekend. It’s at the weekend.

December 27, 2011 at 11:23 am
(47) Kay says:

“kick the can down the road” and “focus like a laser beam” These two phrases used mostly by radio pundits and politicians, by now, positively set my teeth on edge. I am promising not to vote for any politician who says the first phrase.

December 27, 2011 at 11:24 am
(48) Anjanette says:

Anything that Cahrlie Sheen says.

December 27, 2011 at 11:45 am
(49) Barbc says:

Anyways — there is no such word. I hear so many people use this word, even teachers who should know better. How are they supposed to teach correct English when use incorrect English.
LY at the end of numbers; firstly, secondly, etc., since when did numbers become adverbs.

December 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm
(50) David says:

Stakeholders, referring to faculty and staff at our university.

December 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm
(51) Ro says:

I hear news and weather casters using the word still at the end of the sentence, such as “it is raining still” Whatttt!! I hear this often even on the Weather Channel.

The other is the confusion over bring and take. I TAKE clothes to the cleaners and BRING them home.

December 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm
(52) Diomalco says:

Listen up
Watch my lips

December 27, 2011 at 10:52 pm
(53) Starla says:

I would say “expresso” is one I hear a lot and I always want to say “it’s eSpresso!”

December 28, 2011 at 10:18 am
(54) Fonda says:

Please add “no worries” and “beast” to the list.

December 28, 2011 at 11:21 am
(55) Becky says:

Thank goodness “connect the dots” has been left in the last decade!

December 28, 2011 at 11:41 am
(56) Carol says:

I have hated “went missing” for a long time. Why not just use the more descriptive “disappeared?”

Also, ” I says to him” instead of “I said to him.”

I am enjoying all the other comments.

December 28, 2011 at 11:58 am
(57) Joan says:

I hate the word “trending!”

December 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm
(58) Stuart says:

I can’t believe “spot on” (maybe another British import) didn’t make your list

btw, I heard a network TV anchor use “Absolutely” about 6 times in a 5 minute interview yesterday. It seemed as though it was the only word she knew how to use after her guest made a statement

December 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm
(59) Veda says:

I hate the phrase “give back.” First of all, it is really condescending, implying that the people you are giving to are soooo far behind (aka, beneath) you. And, secondly, how can you give something back if it was never given to you in the first place? Pay it forward is a little better, but still has it’s problems. Maybe we should say “give forward” or simply “give.”

December 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(60) joann says:

ending a sentence with a preposition ! like where is it at ? instead of where is it ? that really grates on my nerves !

December 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm
(61) joann says:

i hate when anyone ends a sentence with a preposition, example,
where are you at ? instead of where are you ?

December 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm
(62) Janet Birckhead says:

The word that ticks me off the most, in 2011 or any year, is disinterested, used to mean uninterested. This mis-usage is more commonly heard spoken by individuals, but I see it in print from time to time.

December 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm
(63) Alison says:

Can’t believe that “change up” is not on the list. And I’m with Anne Marie on waitpersons who say “you guys.”

December 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm
(64) Chris Babcock says:

I’m with Anjannette…anything Charlie Sheen says…when I hear him say “winning” I just want to punch him…..”ok”….starting or ending a line with “ok”….and there is “sick”….”dude, that’s sick!”

December 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm
(65) Kelly says:

I dislike the phrase “Heads-Up” as in an office setting and your giving you boss a heads-up about an issue.

December 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm
(66) Patricia says:

Our Weatherman says IN YOUR NECK OF THE WOODS while pointing at his big map……Every forecast!

December 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(67) Clive says:

What a rubbish list. Put together by idiots because half of the so called bad things are used as metaphors ie (Is ie on the list? I bet inverted speech commies should be) penned by.

December 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm
(68) Jo-Anne says:

This list, while fairly comprehensive, does not include the erroneous phrase, “the both of them”. This phrase drives mad. Totally.

December 30, 2011 at 2:13 pm
(69) Laura says:

I challenged my teenaged daughter to post 10 consecutive Facebook updates without the words “awesome” or “amazing”. She did pull it off, but it wasn’t easy!

December 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm
(70) Carol says:

OMG….Hated It !!!!!

December 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm
(71) Papa says:


I agree on “went missing” where did that come from?

December 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm
(72) Cathy says:

I hate do the math.

December 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm
(73) Meredith says:

Use of “utilize” when “use” is probably my top peeve pertaining to writing. I’m in a doctoral program in higher education and its use is frequent in the writing of both classmates and writers of journal articles. You’d think with a teaching job and study that I’d have better things to worry about but it drives me crazy and is soooo pretentious. After months of daily irritation while completing course reading I finally looked it up. “Use is a perfectly good word. Thanks for including it on your list.

December 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm
(74) CrustyPickles says:

I must admit, I have been known to use over half of these in the last year. Some of them with EPIC proportions. Now that I have been schooled about what drives one nuts, crazy, batty, to drink, I shall endeavor to be more awesomely cautious as to the overuse of said words and phrases. But I fear, no one will understand me. Axe me later.

December 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm
(75) Charlotte says:

“In my minds eye” and “do you want to go with” are my 2 pet peeves.

December 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm
(76) Denise says:

“Amazing” — used to describe anything from an ice cream flavor to a ski trip.

“on accident” instead of “by accident”

Yes, agree wholeheartedly with others who say one of their peeves is:
“versing” instead of team x “versus” team y, or which team are you playing against?

I’ve got a classroom full of fifth graders (ab)using it!

Also, agree concerning use of “It is what it is” — what the ?!@#$ is IT?

Love this column — am sending it to (ABSOLUTELY ;) everyone!!

December 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm
(77) Hanes says:

I hate when people say “walk the talk”…….I think the proper phrase should be..”walk the walk”….or “talk the talk……sounds reasonable……

December 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm
(78) James says:

The fact of the matter is that list is just so awesome! At first the list was under the radar, then I was like Whoa, my bad! Kudos to the auhor!!!

December 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm
(79) Peeje Perry says:

I so agree with Barb….”baby mommy” and “baby daddy” are THE most annoying examples of poor grammar to me!! Either phrase brings to mind a street-corner group of thugs who only completed third grade!!
To see the phrases in print….which is happening more and more, to my disgust!…and hear it from newspeople is even more irritating. We’ll have young people growing up with no sense of proper grammar at all, ‘know what I mean’????

December 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm
(80) Mary says:

Two of the most overused and misused words in the English language are “magic” and “miracle”. Both literally mean something that cannot be explained by normal means, but they are so grossly overused in ads to describe any new product or any mediocre product with a new label.

If you read the real estate ads, you willl surely notice how the word “charming” is overused.

December 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm
(81) Larry says:

“Temp a chur” Instead of “TempER a chur”

December 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm
(82) Dudley says:

Brilliant. Please add “Legacy” – much overused and often wrongly used

December 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm
(83) Mel says:

My number one is: Fair Share.
As in “everyone must give their fair share,” especially when used in connection with raising taxes and class warfare!

December 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm
(84) Carol says:

In the South when asked if the store has such an item, the salesperson often responds “We surely don’t”.

December 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm
(85) Cay Cooke says:

“Athleticism.” It may be a good word, but sportcasters really overuse it. I cringe when I hear it now. Also, when did “went” take the place of “gone”?

December 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm
(86) Carol says:

One expression that drives me mad is “It’s so fun”. Do they mean it’s so much fun or it’s so funny? I guess so fun “covers
all bases”, which is fine if you are at a baseball game.

December 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm
(87) Abner says:

Please add to the list; “Lets’ agree, to disagree” & “legit”.
Happy New Year!

December 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm
(88) Kathy says:

I grit my teeth when I hear “between” being used referring to three or more people. (Just between the three of us.)
“Between” two people or objects, etc. “Among” three or more.
And I’ve been informed by my grandchildren that “ain’t” is now in the dictionary. Sorry. It will never be in mine!

December 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm
(89) Andrew says:

Whenever an advertiser says “Best in class” or “Best in its class” What does that mean? Someone please define who else is in class. Car ads do this frequently.

December 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm
(90) Kim says:

I personally am tired of the phrase “are ya kiddin’ me?”.

December 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm
(91) WINGS47 says:

What does it really mean when someone says, “I love him/her to death!”?

December 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm
(92) Jobeds says:

I can’t believe that someone else says ‘pitcher’ instead of picture. I just thought it was a family trait. She also says ‘sec e tary’ instead of secretary.
Drives me nuts!!!!

December 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm
(93) Sharon Plessier says:

(35) Casey – ‘An historic’ – this is correct in British English. If something is historic the ‘H’ is spoken. If somewhere is ‘an historic property’ for example, the ‘H’ is silent. No idea why.

(49) Barbc – LY at the end of numbers making them adverbs – I just checked the dictionary, this is also correct in British English.

Like Jan (18) says the world is shrinking and global media are blurring boundaries. Hope this clears up a few things.

I also dislike the use of ‘disinterested’ (meaning having no interest – what a Judge must be in a court situation) where they mean ‘uninterested’ (bored).

December 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm
(94) Mac says:

“myself” instead of me. e.g. you get an e.mail from your boss which says reply to myself.

December 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm
(95) Lew says:

Well. at the end of the day, the bottom line is that “whatever!” is the worst. Am I right!? Or what?

December 30, 2011 at 6:37 pm
(96) Susan says:

The ‘Y’ generation use the word “like” as if it’s a comma. They also pronounce ‘you’ as ‘chew’ as if they have all of a sudden become rappers. Dumb arses!

December 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm
(97) Mary says:

1. supposably, 2. fith and twelth, for fifth and twelfth, 3. ect for etc, 4. ekspecially and ekscape, 5. Where you at?, 6. At this particular point in time. 7. Say what?, 8. Does that make sense? (usually said after a long drawn out explanation) 9. Really? and HELLO!! in an annoyed manner. 10. There ya go!

December 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm
(98) Kirsten Kraft says:

I don’t hate the words as much as I hate the word usage. I live in California and I have been numb to dude, awesome, whatever, etc. for a very long time now. I do dislike “like” as a place holder. It makes it difficult for me to use the word when I mean to use like. It was pretty bad in the “Valley Girl” days. It is used significantly more today and makes it more grating to the ears. Some of the words on this list are regional dialects and not misuses of the words. In that case, I just keep in mind that I probably sound strange to people who come from a different region of the country or world and try to be patient about it. This is definitely a good list and I am guilty of using about half of them in my conversational speech. It depends on who I am having a conversation with as to when I use “slang” or the common vernacular of my area.

December 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(99) DavidA says:

Here’s another one……Get Oughta Town! Used in place of…
You Can’t be Serious.

December 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm
(100) Sheilagh says:

I dislike “trending”, which is used by television news anchors to describe nearly every news item they are talking about during the segment.

December 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm
(101) Paul says:

The term “organic”

December 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm
(102) Nancy Evns says:

Using me and him or her as subjects of sentence. such as Me and him went to get groceries.

Using a person’s name follwed by proper noun after a verb such as They invited Sarah and I to their party.

December 30, 2011 at 9:17 pm
(103) Richard says:

Nucular, mispronunciation of nuclear. Geez!

December 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm
(104) Larry says:

There are two misuses that I have fought against for al long time but now feel that I have to give up and admit defeat.
The first is the use of the word podium to refer to a lectern. A podium is the low platform that a conductor stands on. It seems though that through repeated usage that the meaning has changed as I hear national news anchors now using the word podium for lectern.
My second protest is the word ketchup used instead of catsup. I used to only purchase Hunts as it was the only brand that correctly labeled their product, “Catsup”. But they too have finally caved in and I can no longer purchase catsup.
In truth though, I do enjoy being peeved. It makes me feel intellectually superior.

December 31, 2011 at 12:27 am
(105) Lynda says:

“True that”

December 31, 2011 at 1:35 am
(106) Linda says:

My contributions to this list are: #1-pre-owned- whatever happened to saying something is used and #2 disrespected me-I cringe every time I hear these words uttered by someone. It would be more informative to say you were hurt or angry or upset by something that was said or done to you than to hear he or she “disrespected me”.

December 31, 2011 at 1:51 am
(107) jan says:

everyone always does the thing with their tongue before saying something (make a noise – can’t describe it, but very annoying. Also, not saying “ING” after words that need it, like ‘shopin’, goin, eatin and so on. “pitcher” for picture was said, but it is also very annoying.

December 31, 2011 at 6:00 am
(108) Kiara says:

I know that it probably doesn’t affect people who dont live in South Africa, but here we have some Afrikaans people who have the most irritating direct translation… Instead of saying ‘you people’ they say, ‘you’s people’ that irritates the living daylights out of me.

December 31, 2011 at 9:24 am
(109) US limey says:

I agree with so many of these peeves, even though I must admit to using some of them. I drive a school bus, and ‘guys’ is so much more direct than ‘boys and girls’ or even ‘ladies and gents’ when trying to control the students. My contribution is one of pronunciation; it’s DISsect, not Dyesect. I think the misuse comes from the similarity to BIsect. Note that bisect has only one consonant – s – between the vowels i and e, making the i long as in ‘strike’; dissect has two making the i sound short, as in ‘dissent’.

December 31, 2011 at 10:53 am
(110) Steve says:

Across the isle fault for all the problems…

Tea Party

Republican Party

Democratic Party

CNN News fault

MPG (miles per gallon)

Electric vehicles

December 31, 2011 at 11:07 am
(111) tjmarti says:

Why does “across the world” replace “around the world” in chat and sometimes news? Has the world gone flat?

December 31, 2011 at 11:36 am
(112) Anonymous says:

When people pronounce the word “Especially” as “EXspecially”

December 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm
(113) Izzy says:

Number one is using “I” instead of “me”, as in “He asked John and I to join him”. Used by broadcasters and others who should know better.

Number two is “twenty-four-seven”. If I hear it again I think I’ll scream.

December 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm
(114) Jackie says:

I’ll get back to you “at my earliest convenience”

December 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm
(115) Bunny says:

I can’t believe no one is offended by sucks, as in “That sucks.”\

December 31, 2011 at 8:26 pm
(116) Swarley says:

“Finna” needs to be on there.

December 31, 2011 at 9:07 pm
(117) Leigh says:

I can’t believe “prolly” (instead of probably) didn’t make the list.

December 31, 2011 at 9:10 pm
(118) Leigh says:

I don’t like the use of “troops” in reference to individual soldiers.

January 1, 2012 at 10:35 am
(119) Colleen says:

I know never to trust anyone that says “Let me be honest with you!”

January 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm
(120) belle pierce says:


January 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm
(121) Brian says:

That said or that being said – yeah, we know, we heard you!

Looks to be as in “Wow, that looks to be a real bad accident.”

Our poor, butchered language.

January 2, 2012 at 9:05 am
(122) Niki says:

What about brilliant? How can food be brilliant unless it shines or is super intelligent?

January 2, 2012 at 10:08 am
(123) sue says:

Our company invented a new verb this year: riffed. We had layoffs, which they called a Reduction in Force. So people who were layed off, wered “riffed.”

January 2, 2012 at 10:54 am
(124) GrayWolf says:

My pet peeves are the overused phrases “as well”, and “as well as”. What happened to: additionally, also, and, including, plus, too?

If I had $1.77 every time “as well” was added at the end of a sentence in print, or TV, I’d be rich!

January 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm
(125) Scott says:

overused is commentators stating that someone “called out” another individual.
such as, pres. obama was “called out” by the repubs.

another, “this is just wrong.”

January 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm
(126) Sharon Plessier says:

109 – ‘dye’sect is correct British English.

113 – ‘I’ instead of ‘me’ (He invited Sarah and I) is also correct British English; ‘old school’ I agree, but correct.

January 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm
(127) Liz (English Teacher) says:

“Based off” is the phrase that gives me a rash. A “base” is something upon which one places something else. A lamp is placed ON its base. A ball player landing “off” first base would probably be tagged “out.” A soldier who is “off” his base without permission is AWOL.

January 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm
(128) Marcus Once Again says:

Chatter ! : Oh, how this one grates me. Our worthless US news sources dutifully repeat this word and generally, entire stories, that the U.S. government feeds them. Once, just once, I’d like to hear (or read) them saying: “The U.S. government claims 57 Izbickistan soldiers were killed yesterday in an early morning raid by unmanned zeppelins.”

Why is it always that the US government says and the rest of the world claims some bit of information?

I’m really enjoying all of the comments here. Thank you to everyone.

January 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm
(129) US limey says:

(126) I don’t know where you got that information; I’m from England and many years ago I was taught the rule as I stated – the double consonant bit. Understanding that English has an exception for almost every rule, this still holds true most of the time.

As for ‘He invited Sarah and I’, that’s never acceptable, because he didn’t invite ‘I’ he invited ‘me’, therefore he didn’t invite Sarah and I, but Sarah and me. Old school or not.

January 3, 2012 at 3:55 am
(130) Norma says:

I am calling my kids to come here and all I hear from them and the cashiers at the stores is: Huuuaa? Is that even a word? Can’t they say yes, no, I don’t know or I am coming? Did you take the trash out? uhh uhhaa. Maybe the word no could be used.

January 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm
(131) LMR says:

Too many to comment on, but almost all of those phrases rub me the wrong way!

January 4, 2012 at 1:56 am
(132) RENEE says:


January 4, 2012 at 6:22 am
(133) Lou Duignan says:

Think outside the box

January 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm
(134) Retaflady says:

Baby mama and baby daddy
conversate instead of converse or just “talk”
Ground Zero

January 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm
(135) joe t says:

“sustainable” has become over used
“Listen”(when used to preface a sentence)
“All Right People”or “Listen Up People” (when addressing employees at a pre-work communication meeting)

January 5, 2012 at 9:56 am
(136) joe t says:

Ask pronounced “Akx”

January 7, 2012 at 9:45 pm
(137) Tim Bradley, Writer says:

I agree with Janet about “disinterested,” which means “unbiased,” not “uninterested.” Also, to the writers of “Criminal Minds”–I’m begging you, could you please stop using the word “unsub” so much? I once set out to count the number of times it was said in an episode and gave up at 21, even though the program was not even half over.

January 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm
(138) Amy says:

I absolutely hate it when a journalist uses the word “nosh” for eat. Drives me insane!

January 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm
(139) Richard says:

My worst in order of bad.
1.That being said.(or having said that, that said)
2. At the end of the day
3. Went missing or gone missing
4. Back in the day.

January 27, 2012 at 3:52 am
(140) Mary Helen says:

When and why did “price point” replace “price” or simply “cost.” A what exactly is the meaning (other than those above) of “proce point,?

February 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm
(141) marta says:

Prolly (for probably)
Supposably (for supposedly)
Axed (for asked)
Where are you AT?

April 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm
(142) JB says:

Amy (138) I HATE ‘nosh’ too! Also, when people type ‘Nom, nom, nom’ to show they’re eating! No one (save the Cookie Monster) makes that sound when they eat.

This one is used all the time by weather people on any given station: “… The fog is ‘socked in’ ….” I don’t know why, but it irritates me!!! Why can’t they simply say “…San Francisco is ‘fogged in’…” ??

Mispronounced word that is too common: sherBERT instead of sherbet. There is NO second ‘R’ in the word.

Agree with the ‘Baby mama/baby daddy’ hip-hop jargon. Right along this annoyance is ‘baby bump’!!!! The media are guilty for starting these uneducated-sounding phrases.

April 19, 2012 at 10:51 am
(143) Tao says:

How about “personally-” when used as a preface.

May 7, 2012 at 6:19 am
(144) interest calculator says:

Hello everybody, here every one is sharing these kinds of experience, therefore it’s fastidious to read this website, and I used to visit this blog every day.

May 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm
(145) Maggie says:

“Let me be clear.”

May 14, 2012 at 11:24 am
(146) Meta Lhaid says:

I still hear ‘irregardless’ (which drives me INSANE) and ‘nucular’ (for ‘nuclear.’) If you use these words around me, I *will* correct you, even though I know I am like Cassandra screaming into the wind about Troy….my efforts are as futile as hers, but I cannot help myself. And another thing – is ‘futile’ pronounced ‘few-tile’? That bugs me as well. I always heard it as ‘few-till.’

May 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm
(147) Michael says:

Your closest relations probably use a myriad of cliches to barrage your sensibilities on a daily basis, but nonetheless you’ve probably found a way to overlook most of them over the years. However, in your meaningful pursuits for knowledge while listening to NPR, or your favorite news program, there are six words that you’re praying you’ll never hear – “AT THE END OF THE DAY.”

You’d rather someone just stick their tongue in your ear, as nothing else said would be of any relevance. There’s a connotation of absolute truth/wisdom that aligns itself with that phrase, that it’s not a something to be used frivolously. Anyone using it, is speaking from a point of authority, and finality (It is being used pervasively throughout the media). It may not be their intention, but there’s a good chance it is the perception being left with those hearing such a phrase. It is offensive, condescending, and at the very least annoying.

May 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm
(148) MO says:




June 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm
(149) Kate says:

“Impacted” is firmly established as an adjective with dental and gastrointestinal color. [ ! ]

Even so, the good people of the Weather Channel (and a plethora of other venues) cannot offer a report without using the word this way: “The hail impacted rush hour traffic in Cincinnati.” [ ow ]

“Plethora” is a word that evokes all the excitement and auditory flavor of dryer lint. Every 14-year-old with an expanding vocabulary latches onto this word with enthusiasm, I suppose because it’s one not often heard in casual conversation. I wonder why.

Jew•LER•ry instead of Jew•EL•ry… Who did this!

June 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm
(150) Andrea says:

Adding “As well” and I want to beat someone when they say “love me some”

July 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm
(151) sarah says:

i hate-HATE! 1.”GIVE BACK”, the proper term is simply, “GIVE”. 2.”FRIENDLY” kid friendly, wallet friendly,dog friendly,stomach friendly-UGG!3.”UNDOCUMENTED” no,” ILLIGAL”

August 5, 2012 at 1:03 am
(152) Jasmine says:

‘Heighth’ instead of ‘height’ and ‘nauseaus’ instead of ‘nauseated’. And moist is a HORRIBLE word- it turns my stomach!!

August 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm
(153) Paul Randall says:

The ones I hate the most are “Exactly” and “Not a Problem.” I think the English language has more to it than the too often used word and phrase.

August 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm
(154) Randy says:

“How are you?” “Good” So common that I even find it sounds awkward to say “Fine”

Perhaps my number one language peeve: Using “data” in the singular, as in, “I evaluated the data and it shows that…” instead of, “I evaluated the data and they show…” Data is plural of datum! I fear this is a losing battle though as it seems to be acceptable even in scientific journals. Likewise, memorandum/memoranda, agenda/agendum, curricula/curriculum and the worst offense of all: media/medium.

Then again, language is fluid. Before instant global communication existed it occurred slowly. But the internet has created a language free-for-all where evolution occurs rapidly (or perhaps de-evolution?)


August 21, 2012 at 9:15 am
(155) Susan says:

24/7 really bothers me. The first few times I heard it spoken, I didn’t know what it meant.

The misuse of lay and lie always makes me wonder if the person who is laying down is a goose with extra feathers.

August 22, 2012 at 4:32 am
(156) Mayuram V.Sankaran says:

The comments are equally interesting — should one say, “raised the bar higher”?

August 27, 2012 at 2:41 am
(157) MisTBlu says:

“Dude” when used by 16 year old surfers or skateboarders is fine. But when a 20-something male begins every sentence with dude when conversing with a 60-something female? Nalis on a chalkboard. Adding “cal” to many medical terms where it is superfluous. Neurologic anything vs neurological anything. Gynecologic anything vs ghynecological anything.

I want to put in a good word for “went missing.” It identifies the speaker as being from Great Britain, which includes Canada. An American using “went missing” is just showing off. The British equivalent of the word awesome is brilliant! — always with an exclamation point. I’ve read English literature for years and it wasn’t until just a few years ago, about the time that awesome debuted in America, that one finds brilliant! in every day conversation and in the arts.

September 2, 2012 at 8:07 am
(158) Tom says:

Like, I hate “Like”. It raises the hair on the back of my neck. Puts me in the mind of hillbilly Canadians, eh, for sure. I was like whoa and they were like wow, then everybody was like woohoo. Know what I’m sayin’?

September 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm
(159) sbdfw says:

What, no “irregardless”?

September 10, 2012 at 9:41 am
(160) Dave Boon says:

Can’t believe ‘FOR FREE’ isn’t on your list. (And is used in your ad at the start ) Bad Grammar! I used to get a smack round the ear from my dad for using those two words together. Something is either FREE, or For nothing. ‘For free’ still drives me mad, and is being used more and more.

September 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm
(161) social sites says:

This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Thanks!

October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(162) Kimberly says:

- “behaviours” (behaviour is not a countable noun!)
- “how ______ is that?” (are you asking me, or telling me?)
- “7 A.M. in the morning”
- ‘around’ as a preposition.. (“issues around ..”)
- ‘chase after’
- ‘crave for’
- ATM machine, SIN/SSN number
- revert back

October 8, 2012 at 6:14 am
(163) Shankar R says:

Another one is “God bless” without an object. Similarly, “Please excuse.”

October 8, 2012 at 7:22 am
(164) Shankar R says:

Another improper usage is “As far as *something* , it….”
where the “goes/is concerned” or some other equivalent phrase is left out.

October 10, 2012 at 1:40 am
(165) J Hanumantha Rao says:

English is an ever green language.
it is ever enriched by these types of experiments and coining.
It is very useful to writers and print media.
I too started thinking in a different way after going through these words
by going through these words one can save time.

October 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm
(166) Kim says:

A few:

My bad
Love me some
We’re preggers
Baby bump
Myself : “She gave it to Jack and myself.”
Gone viral


October 18, 2012 at 4:40 am
(167) Shankar R says:

Myself : “She gave it to Jack and myself.”

is not wrong. Anyway, much better than “She gave it to Jack and I”.

October 18, 2012 at 11:45 am
(168) patricia says:

myself is a reflexive pronoun, as in I’ll get it myself. or I’ll see to it myself.

Myself does not receive anything, you cannot give things to myself. But you can give them to me.

also fewer and less
fewer is for items that can be counted; less is for that which cannot be counted
you can count drops of water, buckets of water, gallons of water, but you cannot count water
therefore, fewer buckets of water, but less water

October 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm
(169) Shankar R says:

How about “Copy me on the email”? This is fairly common usage nowadays. But does not refer to a cloning machine, even if that is what it seems to imply.

Also, “He reports into him” rather than “He reports to him”. The former sounds like fingernails on a blackboard.

October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm
(170) icky says:

Went missing? How silly. Gone missing would be more accurate. Simply say, “. . . is missing.” to be grammatically correct. This phrase wasn’t around until the young woman disappeared from a hiking trail in Washington. I can’t remember her name.

October 30, 2012 at 11:47 am
(171) John Doe says:

As far as…

That one is the worst of the worst. Stop saying it. You sound pathetically uneducated.

November 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm
(172) Babzp says:

“It’s between you and I” is very often used incorrectly. Among us, “It’s between you and me.”

November 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm
(173) Kaitlyn Rose says:

The use of which to begin an independent clause, heading off in an entirely new direction, rather than a dependent clause: “I drank a cup of decaf coffee, which I like coffee, but I want the real thing.”

November 14, 2012 at 9:41 am
(174) Robert Lancaster says:

I can stand just about all of the phrases above in fairly large doses … except one … GOING FORWARD!

Every time I hear these inane words being uttered I feel smashing the source of the utterance in the face with a frying pan.

Others I really hat:
1) I will meet you there by the cinema.
2) I am going to buy me a shoe (or a pant)

November 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm
(175) sean says:

“nowadays” is awful i cringe whenever i hear that word

November 27, 2012 at 6:34 am
(176) PE Dant says:

Sorry – but your use of ‘ticked off’ sets my teeth on edge…

To tick someone off is to reprimand them, not annoy or irritate.

November 27, 2012 at 9:52 am
(177) Shankar R says:

Ending every other sentence with “or something” is also quite annoying!

November 28, 2012 at 6:19 am
(178) grammar says:

Dear PE Dant:

Another definition of “tick off” is “to make angry or annoyed” (American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed.). But I give credit to James Thurber, who inspired our first collection of peeves in 2008: What Expressions Tick You Off?

In any case, thank you for your contribution.


November 29, 2012 at 10:01 am
(179) NJ says:

When someone says “Oh My God!” over and over again. Or even worse, when they say the letters O M G instead of “Oh My God!” Yuck! Makes me want to slap the person.

December 2, 2012 at 11:07 am
(180) Babs says:

“wheelhouse” or “skill set”

December 3, 2012 at 8:15 am
(181) Babs says:

Also, “optics.” This is overused when describing how an action or event “appears” to the public.

January 23, 2013 at 10:22 pm
(182) Harold Vandooda says:

Gone viral
Baby mama
My bad
Back in the day.

February 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm
(183) The Eza says:

Not sure how “just saying” never made the list.

February 7, 2013 at 1:04 am
(184) martmann says:

Standing on line,
no dumbass, you are standing IN line (unless there really is a line under your feet :^).

“Price point” drives my nuts, these are the same idiots that say “high rate of speed” …so you mean “high speed” then?

I may be in the wrong here, but UNconscious being used when SUBconscious should be used. Unless you’re sleeping, or passed-out, you aren’t doing anything unconsciously.

February 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm
(185) Gary says:

I absolutely CRINGE whenever I head “Awesome!” Why won’t
this tired, juvenile expression die??? It really bugs me when I
hear it used by over-40 professionals or in TV advertising.

March 6, 2013 at 6:44 am
(186) Diomalco says:

If I hear the word ‘robust’ applied to anything else I will robustly plot all manner of unkind things to do to the offender.

March 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm
(187) Alex says:

I, for one, hate people using the phrase “I for one!”

could care less (instead of couldn’t).

pronouncing “negotiate” with an “s” morpheme instead of the “sh” morpheme that goes with the “ti.” The word is not like “appreciate,” which I suppose could use either, but still should be “sh.”

March 26, 2013 at 7:54 pm
(188) Mark Fraser says:

When people say that “I will try and see if someone …..”? Shouldn’t it be “try to see”?

April 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm
(189) Sam says:

(49) Barbc -

Not trying to flame here, but one of my pet peeves is when people end a question with a period. Normally I don’t point it out, but I can’t help myself when the context is a complaint about people using poor English.

May 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm
(190) Denise and Reed says:

It drives us CRAZY when people say “look it”…seriously??? It should be “look at it” or “look”! People please stop saying “look it” especially if you are in a professional setting!

June 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm
(191) Glenna says:

“No Problem” is my biggest peeve!
What happened to “You are welcome”?

July 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm
(192) Chris says:

Thinking outside the box….ARGH!!

July 10, 2013 at 1:53 am
(193) Paul says:

The term “diva” is derived from the aria “Casta Diva” from Belini’s “Norma”. Its use should be limited to coloratura soprano leads in Bel Canto Italian operas. Any term appropriately applied to Maria Callas should NEVER be used in the context of Lady Gag-a or Beyonce. Only a death-defying run of 16th notes in the upper register warrants cries of “Brava Diva!”

July 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm
(194) Robert says:

I have the phrase: what had happened was!!!

July 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm
(195) Lila says:

When was it deemed ok to use:
“so fun”. When I was in school our English Teachers would have been horrified. We were taught “so much fun”. “A great deal of fun”, “lots of fun”. Is this slang or used in the American English books? I am so confused because Professionals use it on TV a great deal.

Am I just so “Old” that anything and everything is acceptable these days?

August 6, 2013 at 4:37 am
(196) Steve says:

“World Class” I’ve never understood what that means.

August 6, 2013 at 4:40 am
(197) Sreve says:

“This day and age”

September 12, 2013 at 4:12 am
(198) Cocteau says:

I hate “off of”.
Why add “of” to a sentence that already suffices without it? For example. “I got off of the bus”. This reads perfectly well and makes complete sense as “I got off the bus”!
Why the American insistence of using z instead of s in words such as utilised, specialised etc.
Finally, the insistence on shortening words through laziness. For example:
Color instead of colour, aluminum instead of aluminium!

September 14, 2013 at 11:49 am
(199) Penny says:

I need clarification from an expert, please, because it really bugs me when people use “as well”, especially while holding their nose up in the air. Why don’t they say “also?” And if using “as well” is correct, when is it correct? Shouldn’t “as well” be used to describe a comparison of someone “doing” something with equal skill to someone or something else? And is it supposed to be “as well as?” Is “as well as” an adverbial phrase, if there is such a thing?

Bugs me also when Americans say “Brilliant!” as if they are English. That is annoying.

And isn’t “whole entire” redundant?

Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts. I obviously have a lot of work to do to clean up my bad habits.

September 30, 2013 at 9:21 pm
(200) Penny says:

“Reaching out” “I reached out to him/her.” These phrases bug me. Whatever happened to “I gave him a call.”

October 21, 2013 at 11:28 am
(201) Julia says:

Saying “pitcher” instead of “picture” isn’t a mistake. It’s an accent. I say “pitcher”. I say that my little brother likes to “drawer”. It’s not a mistake, it’s simply the way I speak.

October 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm
(202) Judy says:

I despise the phrases “going forward” and “moving forward.” They are at the top of my list. I have to laugh at the British blaming the Americans and vice versa, as the originators of the virus. I also hate the misuse of lay and lie. Appreciate the input of others on this blog–I too can’t stand “baby bump” and for some reason “veggies” drives me crazy. Others that stand out: “Jimmy and myself ” is used by people who don’t know that they can say “me” so they think this is playing it safe. Also why many say “Gave the book to Jimmy and I.” They think “I” is more dignified. Also, writing on a blog such as this is risky: I want to make sure that I say things correctly here, or I will be the pot calling the kettle black. For ex., someone in an earlier comment used “its” incorrectly. He/she should have left out the apostrophe in that instance.

October 27, 2013 at 7:21 am
(203) Michaela says:

To the lady who hates the use of disinterested, you may be surprised to know that disinterested and uninterested have different meanings. Disinterested IS a word.

My pet hates are ‘an historic’ when it should be ‘a historic’, ‘you guys’ and ‘there’s’ when ‘there ARE’ should be used. It seems ‘there ARE’ has gone AWOL, never to return again.

I have no problem with idioms and colloquialisms as they are a specific type of language usage and should not be compared to correct grammatical standards, in my opinion.

December 4, 2013 at 3:34 am
(204) Anonymous says:


An overused cliche by those who lack imagination and a vocabulary.

December 8, 2013 at 8:59 am
(205) John Griff says:

‘Why don’t you’ … go that way / do something else / etc
BECAUSE I’m going THIS way / doing it THIS / etc

April 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm
(206) Nadia says:

Saying “having said that” all the time and then making another point.
this is an unnecessary lead-in and is totally overused.

“Optics” is a branch of physics, not “how things appear to others”

Another one that’s wrong and very common is saying “healthy food” or “healthy lifestyle”, or misusing “healthy” to describe something that promotes health. The correct word is “healthful”. By definition a non-living thing cannot be healthy.

“I wish I was” or “if it was true”. These are contrary to fact conditions so they should use the plural, “were”.

April 14, 2014 at 3:16 am
(207) Vivien Counsell Mitchell says:

Why do we hear ‘in back of’ instead of ‘behind’ (we met behind the wood shed)? Why do people say ‘off of’ when they mean ‘off’ (I fell off the chair)? Why do people say ‘burglarise’ when they mean ‘burgle’ (my home was burgled last night)? I could go on….KISS!

April 14, 2014 at 3:35 am
(208) Vivien Counsell Mitchell says:

A few more….
‘Lay’ as in ‘I went to lay down’ instead of ‘I went to lie down’.
‘Visit with’ instead of ‘visit’ as in ‘I went to visit my mother’.
‘Your’ (possessive) instead of ‘you’re’.
‘Its’ meaning ‘It is’ as in ‘It’s clearer now’, and conversely ‘It’s’ instead of ‘Its’ (possessive) as in ‘Its bark is worse than its bite’.
And then there’s ‘respect’. This is something that is earned and not an entitlement. In most instances people are seeking ‘courtesy’ or ‘consideration’ (as in old fashioned good manners) rather than ‘respect’ if it relates to perfect strangers. We can respect concepts or ideals, but we afford people courtesy, until they respect is earned.
And if I ever hear ‘catch the awesomeness’ ever again it’ll be too soon.

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