11 Overused Phrases Dumb People Say

Some of these everyday phrases make the speaker sound unintelligent because they lack originality, some indicate poor grammar, and others just connote mental laziness. But they all share (at least) one common thread: I hate them all.

(Author's Note: You may also enjoy installments II and III of the Overused Phrased Dumb People Say trilogy)

1. "It is what it is"

Here is what you just said: It is = It is. When was that in dispute? Did someone say, "Hey, it is not what it is.", or, "It is what it is not."?

Substitute with: Not making the definition be the exact words of the words being defined.

2. The formula of: "How X was Y??," How good was that steak?," "How random was that?"

Save us the stupidity and turn your interrogative sentence into a declarative one: That WAS funny. That steak was good. That was random. If you just truncate, and rearrange the original sentence you are left with stylistically fine, if uninspired, sentence. If a steak is truly great, an event truly random or funny, it would inspire you to actually devote an original thought to it. Such banality actually hurts your case, not enhances it.

3. "I don't give a rat's ass"

You don't give a rat's ass about what? Linguistic originality?   Did you think this whole conversation was a big lead up to my asking, "Do you have any rodent sphincters I can have?"

Substitute with: I don't care, or just silence.

4. "If someone would have told me a decade ago that in 10 years I'd be doing X, I would NEVER have believed it."

This assumes that it is a normal conversational convention for people to casually predict the future. If you met someone who said, "In 18 years you'll drive a yellow sedan that was manufactured in New Mexico." You would excuse yourself from the conversation.

5. "The dog wants out"

The dog wants what? Out? What does that mean? Either stop being lazy and just say, "The dog wants to go outdoors" or hand it a copy of Out Magazine.

6. "...it does. It really does."

When a declarative sentence like, "That makes sense", is followed with the meaningless, "...it does. It really does." it makes the speaker sound repetitive AT BEST, and unreliable at worst. Whenever I hear a sentence end with that I always think, "Wait, why do they feel obligated to tell me that what they just said is true? The last declarative sentence they said didn't end with that. So can I believe anything they say that doesn't end with, 'it does. it really does?'."

Substitute with: nothing.

7. "That is really unique."

"Unique" means, "one of a kind". Not, "different", or "unusual." It means there is only one of them. So if something is one of a kind, it cannot have degrees of one-of-a-kindness- it can't be VERY one of a kind, a little one of a kind, or pretty much one of a kindish.

Substitute with: "Unique", "Original" or "One of a kind".

8. "I could care less"

That means you care. What you MEANT to say means the exact opposite.

Substitute with: "I could not care less", "I have never cared less about anything"

9. "How do you REALLY feel?"

This is said after someone takes a stand, but maybe with a bit too much conviction. The latent irony is the passionate speaker clearly took a stand and made a statement, whereas the replier of "How do you really feel?" followed your originality and passion with a banal phrase that is linguistically worthless. The illocutionary force of that reply is simply, "I see you are passionate about that.", which is of no value because that is obvious.

Substitute with: "Say your thang, Doggy!", "Easy, big tiger", "Deep Breath" then demonstrating an exaggerated deep breath.

10. "You can't win for losing."

After some research I found that the "for" doesn't mean what it usually means. In this case it is used like, "I exercise, for I like a healthy body.". So all that sentence says is, "You cannot win because you are losing." It just says, you are not doing A because you are doing the opposite of A. Well, right. That's like someone asking, "Why are you fat?" and you answering, "Because I am not skinny.". "You can't win for losing" is a sentence without substance.

11. "I am NOT a happy camper."

What is this 20 questions? Wouldn't it be more efficient to tell me what you ARE instead of what you are NOT? All you've done is eliminate one of the innumerable possible nouns you could possibly be, which is extremely abstract, if you think deeply about it. If you kick me in the nuts I will say something like, "I am angry." instead of, "I'm not a Triceratops. I am not a baby white rhino. I'm not a combustion engine. I'm not a primitive cave drawing, nor am I a Rubenesque woman,..." etc.

Substitute with: Saying what you are and saving everyone some time.

Recap

Quick vocabulary test: What does "Ephemeral" mean? It means ephemeral. I'm surprised you didn't know that, but I could care less. I really could. I really could.But you can't win for losing- and that is sort of unique, but not very- it is what it is. I guess that makes you an unhappy camper and if you would've told me in 2001 that I wouldn't be a happy camper in 2011 I'd say, "Wow, tell me what you REALLY think!!! And I don't give a rat's ass!"- how funny would that have been?!!

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Comments

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  • Good list - another one that I can't stand is..."It's a NO BRAINER" like that's a good thing!

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    That is a good one to add to the list.

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    Great list. With that I will try to stop using some of these. I'm just saying...

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    It's not a phrase, but I'm guessing you bristle at the use of "irregardless." What about the use of "in other news"? How annoying is that? Just saying. In other news, I think I went to middle school with the kid wearing the rubber glove. Irregardless, I still think our town was pretty cool, though only moderately unique.

  • In reply to ReadJack:

    Still, I really wish there was a "like" button.

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    Why are all the people in your silly slideshow up there male? Don't women say dumb things? This is just another anti-male Web site.

  • In reply to JustMeToo:

    Preach!

  • In reply to JustMeToo:

    There are three women featured in the slideshow. 1) woman with knee abrasion who continues to ride on a motorcycle sans protection 2)Scooter lady with child in a laundry basket 3)Crotch sweat woman

    #1 might also be silly because of the flames shooting out of her bum. I prefer to think it's the lack of protection.

  • In reply to JustMeToo:

    How did you work that out? There are women in the slideshow however the writer pointing out peoples errors is male. I really cant see how it could be sexist. Do you have an issue with yourself? Would you like to open up? Don't worry we're all listening.

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    If you are going to assume an air of superiority, especially when it comes to language, you might want to make sure your grammar and word use are correct. Otherwise, you loose credibility and seem only smarmy. Specifically, "I see you are [passion] about that," [.", ] In 18 years you'll drive a yellow sedan that was manufactured in New Mexico[." Y]ou would excuse yourself from the conversation.

    Finally, your entire premise is wrong. Dumb people are unable to say anything.

  • In reply to espian2:

    I would hate to "loose" credibility with you but people who are unable to speak are referred to as "mute" now.

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    In reply to TRSlyder:

    I can't tell, did you use "loose" as a sarcastic quote, a sarcastic remark, or an example of improper grammar?

  • In reply to espian2:

    Grammar is important to me, so to prove I'm not a hypocrite I fixed the errors you pointed out. Thank you.

  • In reply to espian2:

    Ouch! It's a shame when you try to insult someone's grammar & word usage & while doing so, you spell a simple word like 'lose' incorrectly! What a profound statement you ended your comment with. I always suspected that people who are deaf and/or mute are just dumb.

    Finally, you are a moron.

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    Not a single one of your "dumb" phrases is ever meant to be taken literally. They're all just idioms which have found their way into the current lexicon--we all know what they mean. They add a little extra flavor to casual speech. They're used by plenty of people, some of whom are actually quite intelligent. If in your own conversation, you never use a metaphor, a simile, or any other type of idiom, your speech must be exceedingly boring.

  • In reply to ltning7:

    None of the trite phrases I mentioned were metaphors or similes.

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    In reply to TRSlyder:

    Nowhere in his comment did he state that the items you listed were similies and metaphors. He clearly stated they were idioms.

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    In reply to ltning7:

    Replacing the formula "How X was Y?" with the formula "Y was X." seems to me a little counterintuitive. And speaking of formulae, why did you submit to using one of the most commonplace article formats?

    [title]
    [description]
    [list]
    [conclusion]

    ..How uncreative is that? The entire site of Cracked is literally typed in that format. So stop being lazy and do X!

    (I also abhor your straw-man arguments, it's literally [sosumi] annoying.)

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    thaaank you....thats one of the worst. and the next person who says "threw (so and so) under the bus"...."the takeaway here is"...."six of one half dozen of the other"....or prefaces a sentence with "you know what?" i would like to personally light on fire.

  • Great list-particularly the inexplicably socially accepted "I could care less". The almost invariably erroneously used term "literally" is quite annoying as well.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Thanks. I pointed out to my co-worker/friend her overuse of the word "literally" about a month ago and she has since reformed. I showed her your comment and told her to not take it personally. She was hurt, but will heal soon enough.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    English majors unite! Great list.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Also, "I'm not gonna lie" is waaaaay overused....and if you are clarifying that you are not going to lie now, should I assume that the speaker is ALWAYS going to lie any other time??

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    Very true. Same for, "You want the honest truth?"

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    How 'bout, "I know, right?" My kids say that all the time.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    I always say, "you know what I mean?" after everything to my husband. I'm sure it's listable, but if I don't ask it, I'm not cajoling him to respond. Agh. On my own nerves.

  • In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    What I find funny and somewhat ironic about this blog is that several very intelligent, successful people I know use some of the terms listed above on a regular basis. I don

  • In reply to Gusl24:

    I guess the whole point is that using trite phraseology makes an otherwise intelligent thought seem likewise trite. My mother taught me to use colloquial speech among friends, but in formal writing (or speech), use your own original thoughts. It is sad how such cliche and informality has invaded every aspect of our cultural communication. We are a society so afraid of appearing "elitist" or "smarmy" that we'd rather just sound stupid.

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    In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    This is in reply to the thread as a whole not specifically you.

    The use cliche phrases is, I admit, annoying to hear sometimes. One example from this list would be #4 ""If someone would have told me a decade ago that in 10 years I'd be doing X, I would NEVER have believed it.". This being said let me get to the heart of my comment.

    #3 is a slang phrase. Yes it's a phrase but I don't see how it is dumb, it's just something people say as with any language.

    Also many of the comments on this page are way over the top on criticism. Phrases like "Do you know what I mean?", ""I know, right?", "You want the honest truth?", "I mean", and "I'm not gonna lie" are conversational stalls and fillers.

    In no way do these statements make you ignorant. Like all languages conversational stalls and fillers exist in speech. Now using it in writing is a different subject.

    As for people who are dropping "IQ" around as if they are somehow more intelligent since they avoid fillers and stalls, are blind to their own ignorance. Intelligence quotient is always dropped when people who feel they are somehow superior to another it seems nowadays.

    What you guys need to do is to avoid your bigotry and hate in which you are ignorant of the fact of fillers and conversational stalls in linguistics.

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    In reply to Andrew Johnson:

    Fillers and stalls they are (normal) but sometimes people want to have a real conversation and these fillers and stalls just (maybe unintended) imply that you don't know how to add to the conversation but just want to say something anyway. That's fine but people need to understand that there is nothing wrong with not having something to say....just be honest about it. Nobody wants to have a conversation with a brick wall.

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    In reply to Stephanie Durant:

    Overused is overused.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Do you actually "hate" when people say these things? Wow. I could see how it might be bothersome, or even mildly irritating, but hate. That is strong. If everbody stopped using those sayings would the world be a better place in any measurable way? I do hate when people complain about what they hate.

  • In reply to cmotisi:

    This was quite disappointing. I have read lists like this in the past and actually thought they were funny. Somehow T.R Slyder found irredeemable fault in a phrase like "That is really unique."

    And is just sounds so god damned like condescending self righteous WHINING. All I'm saying is...left a bad taste in my mouth. You can quote that on your next list because that phrase probably caused the holocaust, right?

  • In reply to Epiper4:

    You might not have noticed yet but language changes massively over time. Whilst change is good and new words and phrases are also good, using old words/phrases wrong is BAD. Some of these sayings would not bother me at all, however the phrase you have referenced is a clear example of a word being misused and misinterpreted on a daily basis which eventually leads to the loss of the true meaning of the word. Very sad :(

    I know we might annoy you as much as bad English annoys us, but please, dont kill 'unique'. Think of words as endangered species on the verge of being lost forever. Language is missing so much already, but who knows, maybe long ago it was possible to accurately describe qualia.

  • In reply to cmotisi:

    "Needless to say, ..."

  • In reply to cmotisi:

    Great call, CowboyTim. That and "it goes without saying" before saying. Maybe I should say, "needless to say, it goes without saying" more often.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    You should have totally added when people say "do you really hate X"? or "hate is a strong word." Thanks, Emotion Police. I hate people who do that. And, no, I don't really mean "dislike".

    Great list, brah. Now I gotta get after my DVR full of "Cougar Town" eps

  • In reply to DanTello:

    I am totally fine with hyperbole, I just hate banality. And as a longstanding rule, I take writing advice only from people who have screen names named after Rob Zombie albums.

  • In reply to TRSlyder:

    Yes, you are much better off having a buddy who watches "Cougar Town". So anyway.....no advice was given in my post. I asked questions which you didn't answer......

  • In reply to DanTello:

    My dad's been harping on "really unique" since I was born but you know what's worse in social settings? Correcting people who say "really unique". They could give a rat's ass.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I only use "rat's ass" when I'm really, really angry. Does that count?

  • In reply to siblingless:

    I will give you a pass. Everyone has their one phrase that means they are as pissed off as they get. When rage takes over, I'm more flexible with grammar and linguistic originality. Thanks for reading

  • In reply to TRSlyder:

    I feel compelled (because I am compulsive),to point out my grammar pet peeve: the use of the word their when it does not agree with the subject. Everyone has "his" one phrase which means "he" is pissed off. I believe that people started to replace the universal "he" with "they" so as not to appear sexist. I'm just sayin...

  • In reply to grammargirl:

    I will give you a pass. Everyone has one's own phrase that means they are as pissed off as one could get. Haw haw, yarrsss.

  • In reply to siblingless:

    This is why I like this blog.

    There's always 5-10 people that want to add to the list.

    There's always 2-3 people that hate the very premise of a list.

    There's always at least 1 douchebag, like myself, who doesn't really add anything to the conversation.

  • In reply to siblingless:

    Stupid list

  • In reply to DanTello:

    I'll go to college, & I'll learn some big words, and I'll talk really loud, goddamn right I'll be heard. You'll remember the guy who said all those big words he must have learned in college.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Shit! I mean, feces, I forgot to go to college!

  • In reply to DanTello:

    See how it "totally" works much better when you say things exactly how you mean them? The person who wrote this list.. well, not so much. Don't you hate that expression too? The person that wrote this put it out there for all, not just the intellectually superior like youself. What fun would that be? The "list" if anything is lame, and has been done to death (and better) by people like George Carlin to name one.

  • In reply to cmotisi:

    exactly, after Carlin this is not really unique

  • In reply to cmotisi:

    What a waste of energy this was. I was hoping it was going to be funny but this jerk is serious about this list? The moron who wrote this list just wants to feel smarter than other people. I'll tell you what smart guy let's compare W2s for the last few years and see who feels smart then.

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    TAX BURN!

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    You better be careful man, Dan Tello is gonna get you. He may even give you a free psychanalysis of you screen name!!!
    I tend to agree with your assesment though. I don't know if the guy is a moron. But it was written with that whole "I am the superior intellect" vibe.

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    Seriously, bro, Cougar Town is amazing. So are W2s. And so was Rob's version of the movie Halloween. I am sorry, bro. We are all joking around. I am sure your dad is totally cool. Maybe its my dad I really hate...

  • In reply to DanTello:

    Ok, Dan there is no apology necessary, it is just a discussion. I think it is all my fault. If I had just said originally that the list is lame, repetitive (Carlin), and comes off all high and mighty, well things may have went differently. Maybe not for the better? I asked the orginator a few questions to try and see if it was really that big of a deal. I find that people (myself certainly included) say these kind of things all the time. It is hard to make every thing we say correct in terms of logic, grammar, and etc. I have also found that the more I nitpick people the closer I feel to insanity. Also I would like to add I have never seen any of Rob's movies, but out of all of them I did want to see "Halloween". Now you hating your Dad.........I hope not. Anybody think the Bulls will win tonight?

  • In reply to cmotisi:

    I don't think anyone on ChicagoNow claims to be funnier than George Carlin, I am positive he is funnier than I am, but I think language humor can be done by more than one person. Last night I thought, "what kinda list would I enjoy reading" so I wrote one. I'm more of an English than Math kinda guy, so I wrote what I knew.
    More importantly, I hope the Bulls play dirty tonight and

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    "I'm just sayin'" makes me cringe. No one is ever "just sayin'."

  • In reply to Odd1:

    Totally agree. My take on that is of course you are JUST saying. It wasn't like you were saying that, juggling knives, riding a unicycle and singing. You were JUST saying. I got understood that- from you talking and doing little else. That saying is really played out too.

  • In reply to Odd1:

    right on!

  • In reply to Odd1:

    Why, what else are they doing?

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    Ooooh, I loves me a pissing contest. No one wins!

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    I also clicked on the link to this list expecting it to be funny. The only word that came to mind while reading it was douchebag. It's very obvious how hard this douchebag is trying. He doesn't sound smart, he sounds like a complete loner living in his parents' basement, trying to get back at the world for all the time he spent shoved in lockers back in high school. This list & the person who wrote it reek of desperation.

  • In reply to Joie727:

    1. My thanks to Joie727 for saving me the trouble of writing that.
    2. It is what it is. = Although I am dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, I believe that addressing that particular issue is beyond the scope of this conversation. In light of this, I would prefer for us to focus our energy on topics that allow us a greater potential to be productive.

    In the end (<--feel free to add this to your list) I would rather use a short, albeit banal, phrase and rely on the user to infer meaning, than risk sounding like a pretentious douche nozzle by overworking every sentence for the sake of linguistic originality.

  • In reply to tuanlane:

    Sorry, my message was cut-off

    In the end (<--feel free to add this to your list) I would rather use a short, albeit banal, phrase and rely on the user to infer meaning, than risk sounding like a pretentious douche nozzle by overworking every sentence for the sake of linguistic originality.

  • In reply to tuanlane:

    Really struggling with this for some reason.

    In the end (feel free to add this to your list) I would rather use a short, albeit banal, phrase and rely on the audience to infer meaning, than risk sounding like a pretentious douche nozzle by overworking every sentence for the sake of linguistic originality.

  • In reply to Joie727:

    Joie, you should probably check out his parent's basement before saying that. It is really sweet, you wouldn't move out either.

  • In reply to DanTello:

    Leave a comment...

  • In reply to DanTello:

    Big words from a guy who obviously hasn't seen Cougar Town. I mean these single over 30-year-old women livin' in the 'burbs find themselves in some pretty hilarious situations. What two and a half men is for the divorced dad, Coug' Town is for the divorced mom.

    In sum, sorry I didnt hate my dad enough to like white zombie. And, learn how to pick up on sarcasim.

  • In reply to DanTello:

    What exactly was "big" about my words? Big like too many letters in them? I doubt it. I am not that smart. Big like intimidating? Hey - you were the one who wanted to be clear, and stated you hate people like me? Those are big words:

    "I hate people who do that. And, no, I don't really mean "dislike"."

    So hate me.

    I have seen "Cougar Town". Meh. I don't want to debate likes and dislikes over what TV or music you like. It's endless and we would all be correct. I appreciate your attempt at psychoanalyzing my like for Rob/White Zombie but you are wrong there.

    Finally, as for "learning" about sarcasm, I didn't detect it, other than the "Emotion Police" reference.

    You are kind of like the secuity guard on this topic I guess. All I asked was a few questions to the originator.

  • In reply to DanTello:

    1. You have a great Dad

    2. You have no children

    3. You are a dude

    4. Your profile picture is fished

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    In reply to DanTello:

    I like the concept of "Emotion Police". After reading your comment I realized that unknowingly I was one. I habitually say to people who use the word ~hate'- that "hate is a strong word". And worse, I don't stop there, I suggest better word choices (some example: dislike, repulsed, annoyed, disappointed, bewildered, shocked, sickened, and even `creeped out by').

    When you write "I hate people who do that. And, no, I don't really mean `dislike'. ", I think you really mean that you feel they are being condescending to you. And some people, like myself think that there does exist in vocabulary words that convey a shading of emotional response. For example, you can hate the person who brutally planned out and murdered your best friend, and you can be offended by someone who corrects your grammar. To use `hate' to describe both reactions (to the killer of your friend and a person who corrects your grammar) is to belittle your true emotional range (not to mention belittling truly hateful things by comparing them in an equal stature to petty occurrences).

    The situation/ condition (of emotional relativism) could be worse, for example a person prone to continually answer : `whatever'.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    I was looking for the use of "literally" on this list. I work with a guy who literally says literally all the time. (OK...I hope all realize that was a weak attempt at ironic humor.)

  • In reply to koolking83:

    In England we say 'couldn't care less', only recently have I been hearing this version from American friends. It's very strange =p

    A saying I hate: "Everything looks better in the morning". I feel like I should explain what morning is.

  • Good call on that one. Plus, it isn't like anyone has ever said, "That was a real brainer" about something thought provoking.

  • Mom who drinks and swears,

    Here at Lists That Actually Matter we've always loved your blog and, generally, moms that drink and swear. Unfortunately, due to husbands and restraining orders, we cannot fully act upon that love.

    Sincerely,
    The dudes at LTAM (Lists That Actually Matter)

  • In reply to DanTello:

    You both have solid blogs. So live it up, juice those obliques, drink the tang, go down the big boy slide, fully explore brazilian softcore porn, f-ck the salad bar, etc etc etc....

    As someone who has verbally tangled with, and been censored by, Mom Who Drinks and Swears on at least three different occasions on Chicagonow, I can vouch that she doesn't need a restraining order...the woman can take care of herself just fine.

    Both your blogs have inspired gwill to join the blog team here, so I can perhaps finally quit my addiction of looking at pictures of models smoking heroin.

  • In reply to gwill:

    Nice, gwill. We look forward to reading it.

  • htc-I agree with your statement about people pointing out errors to feel superior. Everyone makes mistakes and we all need to get a grip and get a life.

  • I was a grammar-nazi, too, when I was 23, bitter and getting mad about irrelevant things. As it turned out, it was a poor choice in emotional energy investment. I'm just sayin'.

    If you can actually "hate" phrases and judge those who utter them as being less intelligient due to the phrase's lack of originality, why not hate your own vocabulary and make up new words every day to replace the old ones? This is communication, Slyder, and honestly, in most cases, your substitution recommendations are far lower on the originality scale.

    Reiteration - or as you call it more pejoratively, redundancy - is how people learn. Criticism of it is like getting mad at the use of bold in type, a refrain in a song or a recap at the end of an article about hating phrases you've heard. It is a matter of stressing a point.

    Figurative speech is the mark of intelligence; a demand for literal is not. Oddly, you criticize some for figurative speaking ("rat's ass"), while making figurative recommendations for those you've criticized for making use of irony ("how do you really feel"). In fact, your substitution suggestions for the "really feel" phrase end up achieving exactly what you criticized the original for: a mildly amusing commentary on the obvious disposition of a passionate speaker.

    Intelligent human communication is loaded with abbreviation, paraphrasing, irony, sarcasm, reiteration, alliteration, hyperbole, exaggeration, various other forms of color and... mistakes. The only things that should likely be corrected are phrases that confuse ideas and therefore detract from message comprehension. That's why, the only one here that has any real value is...

    "I could care less."

  • In reply to Hellvis:

    So, are you still 23?

  • In reply to Hellvis:

    Another that bugs me is "At this point in time." Think about it, it doesn't exist because the second you start speaking the point of time has passed. At a future point in time is okay or even past point in time, but not this.

  • Right on, htc. BTW, you missed a comma before the, "and," in your first enumerative statement. I feel so awesome, now.

  • In reply to Hellvis:

    The comma before "and" in a list is actually optional. Both versions are correct. (It's my impression that British English tends to leave it out, but Americans can't decide...)

  • Somewhat late, my take, or offering, on Ephemeral:
    Ode to New Year's 2011

    Each moment ticks by, it cannot stay
    Present becomes Past thoughout the day.
    Hearkening to fleeting, unadorned bliss
    Elusive as a farewell kiss
    Making memories without delay
    Ere precious time slips away
    Ruminating in this way
    As we read and sing and play
    Let praises ring this New Year's Day.

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    Any overused cliche catchphrase is annoying! I remember when "You go girl" was popular. That is just one of many! People that overuse the word "actually" bugs me. I started to notice this recently. People try to sound more intelligent by throwing in more Actuallys! One thing that is sad is to see inner city dialogue/behavior seep into mainstream America, giving white nerds a license to try to be hip. That's where the "how x was y" came from. If I see any more middle-aged white guys fist-bump at the gym, I'm gonna puke!

  • One of the things I notice that people over use it the phrase I don't care or I could care less. When people you phrases like I don't care what you think of me, what they are really thinking is I disagree with your assessment of me or I am annoyed with how you view me. Another example would be: I don't care what you think of homeless people. Most of them are not lazy. What they should really say is: I disagree with your point of view that homeless people are lazy. I happen to believe that most of them want to work but gave up out of sheer frustration. People will sometimes say, I don't care, when they are bored with the topic that is being discussed. What they should really say is, you are boring me to death, can we move on to a different subject or I don't share your enthusiasm with the topic that is being discussed. I would rather talk about someone else. If the person is interested in the topic but believes it is being presented in a dull manner, then they should try to persuade the person to present it in a more interesting and creative way. They should not say I could care less or I don't care. If the person really didn't care, they would not even be listening to what was being said. Not caring is being indifferent. Being indifferent is not the same as disagreeing, or being irritated, or bored. Virtually every time someone says they don't care, they really do care. The phrase, I could care less, is contradictory is what the person is trying to say but more accurate of the person's true feelings because it really means I care.

  • In reply to batman:

    That is not true, Man of Bat. No, "I could care less..." is actually saying "I could care less if I really cared, so obviously I do not."

    Maybe if you had a username closer to Rob Zombie .... maybe...

  • In reply to Educated Horses:

    No, batman is correct. People are so stupid that they have no clue that they're saying the opposite of what they intend to convey. They mean that they care nothing about it and therefore could not care less, but because they first learned it from other stupid people, they just follow along.

  • How about the most stupid thing ever, the biggest cancer on the English language? Its the phrase "I was like"... This is a bubblegum chewing, mall rat valley girl phrase that for no sensible reason has spread to so many stupid people, or people who are not stupid but don't mind sounding juvenile and dizzy.

  • Here's something I had to have correct by about the 3rd grade: "You should of". No such thing. This comes from stupid people hearing other people say 'should have' but because they're dumb and lazy, they just repeat what they think they heard - no "h", so the easiest thing to do was to be dumb and just assume that the second word was "of".

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    What I find interesting is that even though your assessment of each annoying phrase is grammatically true and that these are sentences without technical meaning; you fail to take into account that these phrases are not said because they have an actual meaning, they are said as a type of slang or jargon. It is what it is for example, is not stating that there was debate about whether or not a situation is in fact what it is. But instead saying "the situation is out of my control, and so I accept it as it is"

  • In reply to Daniel Ray:

    Amen! "I could care less" was the only valid complaint on the list. I'm guessing its presence on the list was a fluke. The rest were written by someone who clearly doesn't understand the language.

    My better half would agree with this list, but her excuse is that English is a second language, and she just doesn't understand the nuances of our language (she's getting better, but she hates things like "it is what it is" and "six of one, a half-dozen of the other" with a passion). I hope, for his sake, that the author's reasons are the same.

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    If I want to say the cat wants out because my mother said it and her mother said it why the @#$% should I change because you don't like it? I could care less that you don't give a rat's arse for these rather unique sayings that people come up with, I could, I really could... excepting that would be so callous, I won't do it. So there, maybe people mean it when they say they could care less, but you see, they couldn't be bothered caring less, the amount of care they are giving it is the one that keeps them happy.

  • As if the use of words were a vulgar way of expression.
    Could've easily agreed with these "words or phrases."
    -F*ck You!
    -A**hole
    -Sh*t
    -G*d D*mn!
    -Tw*t!
    -P*ssy
    You've taken it far too seriously, are you the foremost authority on language? I do partially comprehend your incompetence to maintain a clear head with a human being making conversation. No one is speaking to impress, I tend to find the people who speak with eloquent terminology to have their noses pressed to the clouds.
    Let them live on their own terms, wouldn't anyone with an ounce of decency do the same?

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    its all good.that one is for all the losers!.............

  • Nice list. However, the word "dumb" does not mean stupid. It means incapable of speech," or to employ another cliche, "People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

  • In reply to bhayden:

    Merriam Webster, refer to definition 6a: http://i.word.com/idictionary/dumb

    Oxford dictionary, refer to definition 2: http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/dumb

  • I go nuts when people say "OK?" after every two or three words. Don't know if that's caused by low IQ but it's certainly obsequious....they are continually asking for your approval, and that denotes a need for YOU to be right instead of them. So how smart could they really be?

  • "throw (so and so) under the bus". "six of one half dozen of the other." "the takeaway here is..." prefacing any sentence with "you know what"? anybody uttering these idiotic phrases needs to be set on fire.

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    The use cliche phrases is, I admit, annoying to hear sometimes. One example from this list would be #4 ""If someone would have told me a decade ago that in 10 years I'd be doing X, I would NEVER have believed it.". This being said let me get to the heart of my comment.

    #3 is a slang phrase. Yes it's a phrase but I don't see how it is dumb, it's just something people say as with any language.

    Also many of the comments on this page are way over the top on criticism. Phrases like "Do you know what I mean?", ""I know, right?", "You want the honest truth?", "I mean", and "I'm not gonna lie" are conversational stalls and fillers.

    In no way do these statements make you ignorant. Like all languages conversational stalls and fillers exist in speech. Now using it in writing is a different subject.

    As for people who are dropping "IQ" around as if they are somehow more intelligent since they avoid fillers and stalls, are blind to their own ignorance. Intelligence quotient is always dropped when people who feel they are somehow superior to another it seems nowadays.

    What you guys need to do is to avoid your bigotry and hate in which you are ignorant of the fact of fillers and conversational stalls in linguistics.

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    Alot of the replies have the saying "just saying", while still saying why they agree with this post. That should been added in replace of #1 for me. The phrase "It is what it is", is akin to "Que sera, sera" and shouldn't be included in this list of *clears throat*...cherry picked phrases.

  • I really dislike when someone tells me something is not brain surgery or rocket science. UGH. Just because something is not brain surgery or rocket science doesn't automatically make it easy.

  • In reply to slumberingdragon:

    Lol, great call. Also, those aren't the only two complex tasks in existence.

  • I can't stand the words "ginormous" and "guesstimate". I know people who say ginormous all of the time and it gets so annoying. I don't know if something that is ginormous is bigger than something that is gigantic or something that is enormous. I think those words are pretty synonymous, but maybe it is a balance between the two. Same thing with guesstimate - are you guessing or estimating? When you are guesstimating, I would argue that you are leaning towards guessing or estimating and you might as well be doing one of those. So so annoying.

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