Vol. III- 11 More Annoying and Overused Phrases Dumb People Say

Vol. III- 11 More Annoying and Overused Phrases Dumb People Say


In May I wrote a list of 11 phrases I find stupid.  Then I thought of 11 more in August. and I now have another 11.

To be sure– I’m not saying these are all cardinal sins of grammar or that my grammar is immaculate (to put it Christianly), but it just so happens these make me cringe.


1. To say the Least

How about you just tell me the appropriate amount, you lazy bastard. If water is boiling, don’t tell me it’s warm to say the least, tell me it’s boiling.

2. Per Se

If I remember my high school Latin correctly, Per se  translates to, “through itself”, and means “innately”, or “fundamentally”.  It’s proper usage would be something like, “I don’t hate all ugly people per se, but I hate when ugly people sit next to me on airplanes.”.  Graduate students at Moron University are taught that adding “per se” to the end of any declarative sentence makes that sentence sound 25% more intelligent. They’ll say, “I don’t think he is lying… per se!” .  Such usage is both incorrect and needless- notice I couldn’t even bring myself to italicize the incorrect “per se“? That’s how badly I hate it.


“Frankly my dear, I don’t give  a damn….per se”.


3. All I know is…

When you begin a sentence with, “All I know is….”,  I will take your words literally and assume you know nothing else.  Speaking of which….


4. Literally

This can be butchered two ways- the first is when it’s already clearly believable, as in- “Usually it takes me 20 minutes to get to work, but today it took me literally- literally, 35 minutes with traffic.”- no one was going to ask you if you meant that figuratively,  dimwit.  Secondly,  and more horrifically,  is when people use “literally” when it isn’t literal,  as in,  “my jaw literally hit the floor when I heard the news.”.  So you said,  “literally” but meant the opposite.  Got it.  Which reminds me…


5. “Not to interrupt…..” while interrupting

We all hate being interrupted,  but saying, “not to interrupt”, cushions the blow about as effectively as if I said, “not to kick you in the nuts….” before I kick you in the nuts.  Just be honest and say,  “to interrupt…” next time. Better yet,  wait your turn to talk.

6. Mind if I ask you a question?

You just did,  a-hole.  Aaaaand you didn’t ask if you could.  So just go ahead and ask your super humble question already.


7. Easier Said Than Done

Can’t we just assume everything is easier to say than to do?  If anyone ever heard, “Well that’s easier said than done!”,  and thought, “My God, you’re right. I never thought it like that.  But, make no mistake…..you are correct.  Wow. ”  they should be put to sleep.

8. Maybe, maybe not

The word “maybe” implies it may not happen, otherwise the speaker would use the word, “definitely”.

9. …..if you will

This phrase is also popular for Alumni of  Moron University to use in meaningless fashion. Unless you are taking a metaphorical leap of word definitions this phrase is unnecessary. While shameless alumni think  per se makes sentences  sound 25% more intelligent, most morons agree that “…if you will.” adds a mere 10%.  Why? B ecause it’s ah, well, annoying,  if you will.

And I hope you won’t.

10. Needless to say

When I hear that preface what I really hear is, “Hey, I know how to waste your time- keep listening….”.

11. Not to Mention

That’s funny, you are mentioning something you said you weren’t.  Oh wait I didn’t mean ‘funny’, I meant, ‘ignorant’.


My father advised me on this list and suggested I improve the first two paragraphs of the Gettysburg Address with the aforementioned phrases. The improved version appears below.

Literally Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation per se, conceived in liberty, and to say the least dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

All I know is, Now we are engaged in a great civil war, if you will, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure- maybe, maybe not. We are met on a great battle-field of that war, per se.  Needless to say, We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, which is easier said than done, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.  Not to mention, It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.



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  • Whew! I dodged some bullets! Very funny post!

  • I wouldn't make fun of you, siblingless! Thank you for reading!

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    Needless to say that was a great article! All kidding aside (another of my pet peeves) it was fun to read an article that made me smile for a change. Thanks

  • There should be a number 12 unless it has appeared on a prior list: "At the end of the day". Hate it. Want to kill people who use it. Whoa, I need to calm down.

  • In reply to teporama:

    Totally agree with you. What time of day do you think it is when the clock strikes and people just wise up? 11 pm, maybe? 10? Like people sit around ignorantly then it becomes "the end of the day" and their perspective clears and they have a whole new mindset. My guess is 11pm.

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    In reply to teporama:

    What about these words: Like, basically, obviously, honestly, to be honest, to tell the truth,it is what it is, actually,so,but,and so on,tooken v taken,shooken v shaken,stoled v stolen,axed v asked or come when its came,came when it's come..they can't seem to grasp that past tense..All day is another as in I could buy those all day..What do they all have in common.?They drive me nuts!!..to the point I'm no longer listening or in the conversation.. I'm too busy counting the number of times they use the word or phrase in a sentence..those are what I'm bombarded with on a daily basis.. Even when used correctly still makes me cringe.. Amazing reaction when pointed out to them..the fog lifts and they play dumb..denial takes over..And I shake my head in disgust.

  • What you object to are speech fillers. Most everybody uses them occasionally. Isn't it a bit harsh to label speakers who do use them as morons or with other pejorative names?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Agreed. "Mind if I ask you two questions?" I can already imagine the confused look I'd receive every time someone asks me what my second question is – and I'd have to explain that those were my two questions.

  • Well stated, Aquinas wired and yes, I can understand those who find my position a bit harsh. Thank you for reading.

  • Great article,
    Makes me think twice about using some of these sayings!

    Hopefully John Williams from WGN will pick up on this article.
    He says per se all the time.

    Great Job!

  • Oh my goodness, thank you for this wonderful article!!! You can add a few of my personal favorites....whole entire, tiny little, and great big....which one is it people, make up your mind.!!! Grrr :)

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    "Needless to say" also has evil spawns called "it goes without saying" and "not to mention." All are idiotic and should never be used.

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    This was a very funny article!
    A thing to add, I HATE it when people use "amount" when they're supposed to say "number." They would also use non-fitting adjectives. It's just so stupid! An example is "A large amount of people. .." I t i s s o o f f e n s i v e, you are insulting individual persons when you say that! IT'S TERRIBLE

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