cat with an annoyed look on it's face with Say What? beside it, used as a header image

Simply Annoying Commonly Used Expressions

The following short story is meant to entertain and show you how annoying commonly used expressions (clichés) can be. As you’ll notice, I have highlighted some of today’s well-known jargon.

As I was walking through the park across the road with my dog Chloe, my good friend Wayne appeared with his dog Dusty. Clearly, he did not feel the cold, winter air this day as he was wearing a sweater instead of a coat.

When I asked him if he was cold, he simply responded with, “It is what it is“, as he bent down to pick up someone else’s dog droppings. Wayne is a good neighbour and a responsible dog owner.

Then I responded with, “Well done, Wayne!”

Wayne came back with, “Okie dokie … we’re good to go, right?”

I said, “Like, yeeeeah. Let’s go, eh.”
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As we walked our dogs along the pathway in the park, I said, “That project you asked me to look into doing for you is doable … if you’re still interested.”

All Wayne had to say was, “Whatever.” It’s my guess that something had dampened his normally positive mood.

My comeback was simply, “All things being equal, the sun will shine again soon, Wayne.”

Trust me.” Wayne said, “You don’t really want to know.”

To be honest Wayne, I do want to know,” was my response, “I totally get it.”

Used in excess and out of proper context, any cliché can become especially annoying.

Back in the early ’80s, I found myself constantly using “Okie dokie” instead of simply saying “Okay”. It was then that a friend commented on how many times he’d heard others using the very same expression, and he claimed it was annoying to hear.

From then on, I started paying attention … and you know what?

He was right … it IS annoying to hear.

From then on, I have made it my objective NOT to repeat commonly used expressions. When anyone brings my use of an idiom to my attention … or I catch myself, I find it easier to stop once I know where I heard the expression; though, I’m not sure why that works for me.

I wonder what makes us humans deviate from using proper grammar like this.

Are there any expressions like these that you find annoying? Please be sure to share them in a comment below.

About the Author Trish

Given my passion for genealogy, is it any wonder that I eventually wanted to publish my work? Learning to use a personal computer was a natural step once I was introduced it in the 1990s. Then the internet offered a second means to "publish" and now, here I am with a personal blog.

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20 comments
Sheri Baker says December 12, 2017

Hi Trish, I posted this on Alex’s FB post and saw that you posted your blog on the comments, so I thought I’d post here what I posted on his page.

“‘Sort Of’ and ‘Kind Of.’ I hear broadcasters and their guests say these ‘placeholders’ daily. A subject of discussion either IS or it ISN’T, and using ‘sort of’ and ‘kind of’ sound tentative, as if the speaker doesn’t believe what he/she is saying. When I hear these, I want to say to whoever is using them, ‘Go to a Toastmasters club and learn how to speak without using these placeholders!’ AARGH!”

Reply
    Trish says December 12, 2017

    Right ON Sheri … I agree with you!

    Reply
Vee N Ric says January 16, 2016

Hello

How are you?

Your post is very interesting. My wife and I live in India, a country with so many different languages…so we can very well understand how things can be said..meant to sound something…but the other person takes it in another way.

We are a husband and wife, from Mumbai, India and new to blogging. We started just a couple of weeks ago, but we know how important SEO is to the blogging process.

Also, we live in a world that is rapidly changing and loaded with people under all kinds of pressures. The language of verbal speech is no linger what it sued to be. Perhaps that is why we have what is known as SMS and texting.

Enjoy your weekend.

Regards.
Vee N Ric

Reply
    Trish says January 31, 2016

    Yes Vee, and with so much texting going on and abbreviations being used now, makes me wonder if communicating will soon need to be a new skill being taught in schools.

    Reply
Jackie Harder says January 14, 2016

The word I love to hate: “awesome.” Talk about overusing (improperly) a perfectly good word. Even worse — “awesome sauce.” Makes me want to puke.

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    Trish says January 14, 2016

    LOL, I do understand what you mean Jackie. Some sayings can truly grate on one’s nerves.

    Reply
Kristen Wilson says January 9, 2016

This was cute and reminded me of when I was doing a video – screen share for a blog I was writing to compliment it. I passed it along to my friend and asked her to give me feedback and she said I said actually a lot… so it made me think about it the next time.. urgh.. and I swear I said it more and kept thinking about it. But.. it got better… but the one thing that annoys the crap out of me are uhhhhhs when a speaker speaks.. seriously? lol

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    Trish says January 10, 2016

    You’re so right Kristen, I’ve recorded myself in the past and deleted my work because I had far too many “uhhhs” in it. Recording ourselves be it video or audio, is a great way to be able to listen to what we sound like 🙂 to others.

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Joan Potter says January 9, 2016

Trish – Sometimes, I think my daughter-in-law is a little harsh by insisting that my 3 year old granddaughter say “yes” instead of “yeah.” I never say anything because I want to save my credit rating for unsolicited advice of other things, and because when I was in the military, if we answered a superior’s question with “yeah,” there was hell to pay. I guess my daughter-in-law may actually be saving my granddaughter from accidentally offending someone, someday, by being lax or too informal with her speech!

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    Trish says January 10, 2016

    This wasn’t about being formal verses informal Joan, so much as over using comments that most time don’t even relate to what was said. However, “hats off” to your daughter-in-law for making sure her daughter learns the proper words that could save her future embarrassment. My mother taught us that the Volkswagen Beetle was a peanut car. In grade 5, I used that label to describe a car that was still outside the school house, and was thoroughly embarrassed by the roar of laughter of the students that followed.

    Reply
Patricia Weber says January 9, 2016

One of my favorite words that might fall into annoying expressions for me is “how hysterical” in reply to a funny story or situation I might hear or see.

On the receiving end, I sigh when someone says to me, “have a good one.” I get so annoyed I usually reply back, “Yes, have a good rest of the day,” or something like that. Thanks for the reminder.

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    Trish says January 9, 2016

    Hey, thank YOU Patricia, you just pointed out one I’ve used (have a good one) when I don’t know what else to say. And, you’re right, it IS annoying.

    Reply
Teresa says January 9, 2016

Your post is very entertaining to read. I have to admit, I have used many of those expressions myself and can become more conscious of my own language.

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    Trish says January 9, 2016

    Thankfully Teresa, we’re here to help each, as I too am guilty of using many of these, 🙂 thus my using them in a “story”.

    Reply
Sabrina Quairoli says January 8, 2016

Thanks for bringing these words to my attention. I got into the habit of using the word “thing” when I didn’t know a word to use. So I force myself to find a more specific word to make the writing clearer to understand.

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    Trish says January 8, 2016

    That’s funny Sabrina, in speaking with others I’ve been known to say “thingie” when I cannot think of the proper word, but I’ve not come across that issue when writing. If I cannot think of the proper term or label, when writing, I literally walk away from the project until I can think of the it. Or, I leave a blank in my writing where the word belongs, and then come back to it later. It can be very frustrating to have what I like to call a “brain fart” 😉 so I find this method works best for me.

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Roz says January 7, 2016

My pet peeve is sprinkling the word ‘LIKE’ in between every other word. Famous, educated people do this. The other one that fits my sentence perfectly is, ‘Give me a break’.

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    Trish says January 8, 2016

    I’m with you Roz, “like” used that way is very grating on my nerves, though, for me, “give me a break” doesn’t seem to be as overused as others.

    Reply
Beverley Golden says January 7, 2016

There was recently a post I think on ThinkExist, that highlighted a lot of commonly used phrases that people need to stop using. The only one I think I am guilty of is “win/win”, which apparently is not a win/win if you use it now. I love some of the words from the hippie era and still use “cool” at times and enjoy when other people use it too. I also use “awesome” frequently, yet don’t think that irritates people. One small anecdote. I did a radio show a while ago and after everything, literally everything, I said, she replied in her deep southern accent, “Absolutely!”. It really stood out as being overused and strange. There are so many “urban” words that young people use now and I honestly often have little idea of what they mean. Thanks for the great post, Trish!

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    Trish says January 8, 2016

    Thank YOU Beverley for taking the time to comment. You’re so right, “absolutely” is another annoyingly overused comment. You and I come from the same generation and I too use “cool” or sometimes “kool”. In the 70s, our elders were trying to break us from using that and “man!” 🙂 Now, we tend to NOT over use “cool” (and now “awesome”) as much.

    Reply
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