BBC’s Magazine has posted a funny list of its readers’ most hated cliché phrases.
To be honest and fair, going forward, this is basically something that, at the end of the day, we’re likely to touch base about again.
Let’s face it, the fact of the matter is that literally all of us succumb to the use of these stock phrases — even when bringing our A game and giving 110%.
What are your most hated clichés — and how do you avoid them?
According to an online survey, cliches like “at the end of the day”, “24/7” and “literally” are among the most reviled. Here are 20 more that particularly irk Magazine readers.
1. My vote for most irritating cliche has to be “basically”. I even manage to irritate myself by using it, although I do try not to.
AS, Salford, England
2. A few minutes ago I said “basically” was the most irritating cliche. I’ve changed my mind: “To be fair” is the most awful thing anybody can ever say, particularly since it is invariably followed by a biased and utterly unfair comment.
3. My most hated expression has to be “to be honest”. What does it mean? Are you normally dishonest then? To my shame you might even catch me saying it.
John Airey, Peterborough
4. It has to be “going forward”, used by business people/politicians, as in: “Going forward, we need to do…X.” Since time is irreversible, it’s totally unnecessary. No one experiences life “going backward”.
Alex Brodie, London
5. As far as irritating cliches go, the phrase “the fact of the matter is” must top the list. The fact of the matter is, that it rarely is the actual fact of the matter. It is usually just the speaker’s own opinion.
C Starkey, London
6. Overused cliches I dislike are “let’s face it” and “let’s be honest”.
7. The worse cliche I hear is “touch base”. If anyone knows where that came from please let me know so I can go back in a time machine and stop it from ever being said. I have a feeling it was a 1980s invention.
8. I was looking at your well-worn phrases and although “at the end of the day” is a bad one, I absolutely detest anyone saying “110%” or “150%” or any other variant. It is 100% and nothing more. You can’t get more than a whole. I’m glad I got that off my chest…
9. My old boss used to tell us that everything was “in the pipeline”. One disgruntled staff member commented that this pipeline seemed to be a very long and very clogged-up sewer.
Al, Wellington NZ
10. The phrase I hate is “the reason being”. Particularly when used by people who are trying to sound educated. They invariably show off their lack of education with the next phrase.
Alex Knob, UK