minimalize annoying words

this is not so much for you.  it is really more for that one guy at work, that one friend of yours, or your teenage son or daughter.  but, most certainly, it isn’t for you.  it’s for the other guy, really…

in an attempt to do my part in minimalizing annoying words, here is a list of some recently released polls ranking the most annoying phrases in the english language:

marist poll, 2009

  1. whatever
  2. you know
  3. it is what it is
  4. anyway
  5. at the end of the day

oxford, 2008

  1. at the end of the day
  2. fairly unique
  3. i personally
  4. at this moment in time
  5. with all due respect
  6. absolutely
  7. it’s a nightmare
  8. shouldn’t of
  9. 24/7
  10. it’s not rocket science

lake superior state university, 2008

  1. green
  2. carbon footprint
  3. first dude
  4. bailout
  5. wall street, in comparison with main street
  6. <3 (yes, the emoticon meaning “heart”)
  7. iconic
  8. game-changer
  9. desperate search
  10. not so much
  11. staycation
  12. it’s that time of year again

i would like to add, “i have a headache.”

which word/phrases would you like to add to the list?

related posts:

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    -like- the #1 word that -like- makes me -like- super annoyed.. and which is -like- very, very often used by -like- american girls is -like- the word LIKE!

    *lol* -like- I mean.. how many times can you -like- stick that in one sentence? ;)

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  2. says

    circle back
    skill set, skillset, skill sets (they should just say skills)
    value proposition
    sort of
    adding an i to mischievous and pronouncing it mischievIous
    mispronouncing virulent. they say virIAlent.
    never learning difference between subjective and objective case

  3. Dan says

    staycation was mentioned, but I would add more stupid buzz words like it: “bromance,” “murse” (man purse), “moobs” (man boobs), and others I can’t think of at the moment….

  4. Erika Johnson says

    It looks like you could stick all five of those words in the marist poll in a row and a semi-coherent sentence, or totally coherent on a college campus.

  5. Christy Z says

    I’m all for de-cluttering, particularly the folks who talk about “losing” something and spell it “loose”.

  6. says

    “I hate Mondays”

    If you hate Monday’s at your 9-5 so much, then choose a different life path already. You shouldn’t hate any day of the week.

    Thanks for letting me air my frustrations….

    David Damron
    The Minimalist Path

  7. caitlyn says

    the one thing i absolutely cannot stand is the use of “LOL” in text. once you are past middle school, this should not appear in your writing. EVER.

  8. AM says

    Wow – I must the most annoying person on the planet. I’ve used all of these at some point, including LOL.

    I guess it shows you that what’s annoying is different to everyone. I generally find the lack of capitalization in writing to be annoying because it leaves me with the impression of immaturity, lack of confidence or laziness. When the content is good enough, I don’t worry about it. :)

    I also have no idea what the difference is between subjective and objective case is and I wrote for a living for several years. Odd..

  9. says

    I never really thought of “fairly unique” as annoying, but then again I never really noticed it. It’s ridiculous. How in the crap can something be fairly annoying? It either is, or is not, unique.

    I won’t speak on the rest of the list, as I’m guilty of quite a few. (Goes off to hide in the corner shamefully)

  10. says

    I would like to add:

    “To be honest…” (implying that at all other times, this person is lying)
    “Get over it…” (simply being dismissed), and
    “I/we would like to -verb goes here-…” (either do it or don’t)

    Fun post, thanks for sharing!

  11. weph says

    RE: i would like to add, “i have a headache.”

    … is minimalizing causing a dryspell? lol ;)

    /omg i used lol! and all lowercase. whatever, at the end of the day this comment is still amusing.

  12. says

    @Kahnrad “To be honest” is one of my pet peeves! On the rare occasion i catch myself saying it, I mentally slap myself. As soon as someone says it, he is calling himself a liar up until that point. Ugh!

  13. Anonymous says

    “I was just wondering if”- I hate this phrase. In every instance it can be replaced with “do” or “will”.

    And the following words are unnecessary in every circumstance: only, just, still, basically, anyways, though.

  14. Jasi says

    I’m tired of “epic” and “fail” already. Gamers have been using it for at least 5 years now. To hear it on TV just makes the novelty of it, well, “epic fail”.

  15. Melinda says

    “Wildly popular”, “if you will”, and “bottom line…” All of these are “wildly disturbing”, and I’ve made it my work to eliminate them wherever I can.

  16. Erin says

    How about “irregardless” – it’s not even a word! I also hate when interior designers on those design shows repeatedly say “space” instead of “room” – what’s wrong with “room”!

  17. tammy says

    at one point, every journalist or “expert” interviewing or being interviewed continually used the phrase “if you will.” If you will WHAT! Believe what I’m saying? Also…the use that is now totally accepted I guess… “and he goes” and then “I go” and “I went like Hey man!” Instead of he said, I said, she said. A certain age group has totally stopped saying says or said! Amazing. Sorry. I’m venting.

  18. Lesley says

    Ending ALL sentences in “or whatever” and inserting “like” into every possible place in a sentence, such as:

    “I think she’s like going to like finish that job first or whatever”

    And this is coming from a 50 year old’s mouth, not a teenager’s! :)

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