The Telegraph reports that researchers at Oxford have compiled a list of the Top Ten Irritating Phrases:
"The researchers who compiled the list monitor the use of phrases in a database called the Oxford University Corpus, which comprises books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the internet and other sources. The database alerts them to new words and phrases and can tell them which expressions are disappearing. It also shows how words are being misused.
"As well as the above expressions, the book's author Jeremy Butterfield says that many annoyingly over-used expressions actually began as office lingo, such as 24/7 and 'synergy'. Other phrases to irritate people are 'literally' and 'ironically', when they are used out of context. "
The top ten most irritating phrases:
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
A few I would add:
* Verbed nouns like "access," "dialogue" and "task" (as in "I've been tasked with stopping you from verbing nouns.")
* Confusing "further" with "farther" (as in "Drive a couple of miles further.")
* "Obligation" is a noun derived from the verb "oblige." "Obligate" is a verb that was somehow derived from the noun "obligation." (Proper usage: "Your doing a favor for me does not mean that I feel obliged to return the favor.")
* Saying "hopefully" instead of "I hope"
* Saying "thankfully" instead "I am thankful that."