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200 Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2009

Slang, Jargon, Clichés, Usage Errors, Redundancies, & Mispronunciations


When invited to submit expressions that ticked them off, readers responded enthusiastically--with clichés, usage errors, redundancies, misspellings, mispronunciations, and specimens of slang, jargon, and textspeak. Here (with readers' comments in parentheses) are 200 pet peeves submitted in 2009 by some very ticked-off defenders of the English language.

To add an expression that ticks you off, visit 100 Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2013 and click on "comments" at the end of the post.

  1. @ (instead of "at")
  2. actually
  3. added bonus
  4. ain't
  5. aks (instead of "ask")
  6. all I’m saying is
  7. all-new
  8. alot (instead of "a lot")
  9. appropriate and inappropriate
  10. asterick (instead of "asterisk")

  11. ATM machine
  12. at the end of the day
  13. at this point in time
  14. awesome!
  15. baby bump
  16. back in the day
  17. back to you at the studio
  18. basically (as a sentence adverb)
  19. beautiful (a favorite of real estate agents, writers of travel brochures, and Martha Stewart)
  20. been there, done that

  21. between you and I
  22. birthing
  23. bling and bling-bling
  24. boots on the ground (News readers, politicians, military men, congressmen, bureaucrats--they’re all guilty of this idiotic tautology.)
  25. bottom line
  26. breaking news
  27. breaking weather
  28. buy one, get one
  29. cain’t
  30. change (political talk)

  31. comprised of
  32. couch potato (favorite phrase of the woman whom my husband left me for)
  33. could care less (instead of "couldn't care less")
  34. crisis
  35. cruisin’ for a bruisin’
  36. cutting edge
  37. decimate (to mean the total annihilation of something, rather than a tenth)
  38. defensing
  39. definly, defaly, and definally (misspellings and mispronunciations of "definitely")
  40. devastated (as in "I was devastated," meaning I was very upset)

  41. different than (instead of "different from")
  42. dog do-do
  43. dress it up and dress it down
  44. drill down (as in "look further into a situation or document")
  45. dude
  46. due to the fact that
  47. efforting (instead of "making an effort to find")
  48. empathetic (instead of "empathic")
  49. end result
  50. Enjoy! (as used by waiters and writers)

  51. estate homes (when describing new housing developments with 1/4-acre lots)
  52. exact same
  53. ex cetera (instead of "et cetera")
  54. executive driven (when referring to used cars)
  55. expresso (instead of "espresso")
  56. facilitate
  57. fire me off one
  58. fixin’ to
  59. folks
  60. fresh baked bread

  61. from day one
  62. from now (redundancy after time phrases, as in "The game starts in 20 minutes from now")
  63. future plans
  64. give 110%
  65. Give it your best.
  66. going forward (as in "We will adopt the new policy going forward”)
  67. go out there (sports talk)
  68. got (using "they’ve got" instead of "they have")
  69. graduated college (instead of "graduated from college")
  70. ground zero (for the shabby start of any project or idea, as in “I’ve been hungry for pizza from ground zero, dude”)

  71. guesstimate
  72. guys
  73. harm's way
  74. has (for "have," as in “There’s been two accidents”)
  75. Have a good one.
  76. Have a nice one.
  77. healthy food (instead of "healthful food")
  78. hisself
  79. hopefully (and other so-called sentence adverbs)
  80. *Hugz!*

  81. hunker down
  82. I (as in “The gift was given to Tom and I”)
  83. ID (for "identify" and "identification")
  84. I’d like to be perfectly honest
  85. If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!
  86. I mean
  87. I’m going on break now (instead of "I’m going to take my lunch break now")
  88. I’m just saying
  89. I’m not gonna go down that road
  90. I’m not gonna lie

  91. impacted (instead of “affected,” as in "The delay impacted our project")
  92. incent (an example of corporate-speak)
  93. infer (instead of "imply" when the meaning is "to suggest")
  94. In my opinion I believe
  95. irregardless
  96. irrespective
  97. I seen
  98. issues
  99. iteration (used in ways that have nothing to do with math)
  100. It is what it is.

  101. It’s heavenly.
  102. I’ve came
  103. just as soon
  104. keep everyone in the loop
  105. keepin’ it real
  106. lab-ul (for "liable")
  107. Leave it be.
  108. like (as abused by the young)
  109. likely (as in "The senate will likely spend tax dollars on . . .)
  110. literally (as in "I was literally at the end of my rope!” when there is no rope)

  111. load shedding (instead of "blackout")
  112. LOL
  113. make no mistake
  114. market basket of goods and services (when used to calculate the consumer price index)
  115. me and him (as in "Me and him are going to the movies")
  116. mitigate (instead of "militate")
  117. momentarily (instead of "in a moment," as in "The plane will land momentarily")
  118. move forward
  119. must have
  120. my bad

  121. near miss
  122. next steps and best practices (examples of corporate mindshare speak)
  123. no problem (instead of "you're welcome")
  124. nucular (for "nuclear")
  125. Nuff said.
  126. of (for "have," as in "I should of . . .")
  127. oh (instead of "zero"--especially in telephone numbers)
  128. okay
  129. on accident (instead of "by accident")
  130. one less (instead of "one fewer")

  131. OMG
  132. on the same page
  133. over-achiever
  134. paradigm shift
  135. parent (as a verb)
  136. PIN number
  137. preggers
  138. prioritise/prioritize
  139. proactive
  140. Punxatawney Phil (a phailed attempt at alliteration)

  141. pushing the envelope
  142. raising the bar
  143. reach out
  144. reiterate
  145. repeat again
  146. return back
  147. sackerfice fly (sportscaster-speak for "sacrifice fly")
  148. shoulda
  149. situation
  150. so . . . (instead of a period at the end of a sentence)

  151. spend the night
  152. stand on line (instead of "stand in line")
  153. stood in bed (“I shoulda stood in bed,” instead of "stayed in bed")
  154. Sup? (instead of "What’s up?")
  155. supposibly
  156. team player
  157. temper (as in "He has a temper")
  158. temperature (instead of "fever," as in "I have a temperature")
  159. there, their, and they’re (commonly confused)
  160. That’s what she said.

  161. thing (when used instead of something more specific)
  162. think outside the box
  163. think the unthinkable
  164. This tastes refreshing.
  165. those that (instead of "those who" when speaking of people)
  166. to be honest with you
  167. tolerance
  168. tons (as in "tons of stocks")
  169. troops (when referring to individual soldiers)
  170. 24/7

  171. uhhh
  172. umm
  173. Understand what I'm saying?
  174. undocumented workers (instead of "illegal aliens")
  175. unique
  176. unsweet tea
  177. up or down vote
  178. upmost (instead of "utmost," as in “I have the upmost confidence in your abilities")
  179. utilize (instead of "use")
  180. veggies

  181. very (as in "very overwhelming")
  182. very unique
  183. vision (political talk)
  184. vow (instead of "say")
  185. wait on (instead of "wait for")
  186. whatever
  187. whatever it is
  188. What were you thinking?
  189. whenever (instead of "when")
  190. Where are you at? (instead of "Where are you?")

  191. Where is it at?
  192. without further ado
  193. would of (instead of “would have”)
  194. yell-o (instead of "hello")
  195. You feel me?
  196. You follow me?
  197. You got gas?
  198. you know
  199. You know what I’m saying?
  200. your and you're (commonly confused)

Since posting this article in 2009, we've continued to collect your verbal peeves. Here are the results:

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Grammar & Composition
  4. Words
  5. 200 Words and Phrases That Ticked You Off in 2009- English Language Pet Peeves - Use and Abuses of English

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