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Words And Phrases That Bug You

why do politicians and journalists say what they say?

     
7:42 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is it possible for a politician or news analyst to speak without using the word "fundamental" or other form of the word? And why do they have to emphasize each syllable with special emphasis on the first one?

I've got a bunch more, but rather than post a long list, how about we limit ourselves to one or two per post.
8:37 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Irregardless
9:30 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I don't if it is proper use or not, but the phrase

"as best as"

drives me nuts.

[edited by: ken_b at 9:54 pm (utc) on Dec 16, 2010]

9:33 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Buckworks stole mine.
10:27 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There are phrases that seem to come into vogue. Latley I've been hearing "kicking the can down the road". The airwaves and newsprint are loaded with such fads.
11:19 pm on Dec 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just the tip of the iceberg that I can think of right now...

Leverage : Use
Myself and Joe : Joe and I
Can I get : May I have
Pressurise : Pressure (an aircraft cabin is pressurised, people are pressured into ...)
For free : Free
Less : Fewer (for countable quantities)
Outside of : Outside
Burglarized : Burgled
Do wrapping : wrap (five-year-old use of the word "do")
He never broke the window : He didn't break the window

I hate bad English.

Kaled.
12:42 am on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's become almost universal, but I hate the phrase "servicing customers". Are businesses afraid to say they will actually "serve customers"?

As far as I'm concerned "servicing" is something that a gas station attendant does - or more commonly a member of the world's oldest profession.
2:57 am on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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QE2
7:30 am on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@kaled, agree withyou completely. I think that is a first :-;

@tedster, there is only one line of business in which the phrase "servicing customers" would be appropriate.
12:31 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Common phrase used in newsprint that bugs me:

"Don't get me wrong . . ."
12:43 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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". . . for everyone." As in, for the safety and security of everyone, or in the interest of everyone.

I feel left out, since I have never been consulted on these matters.
12:47 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In interviews (mainly football managers)

"I'm not making excuses, but....."
"I don't like talking about the officials, but..."
"They gave 110%"

...and using the present perfect when the match was clearly in the past and finished.

oh, one more thing, anyone using the third person when talking about themselves.
2:11 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Lessons have been learned ..... mistakes never to be repeated again"

Well not until next time at least.
If any politician was only vaguely familiar with history, whether the history of 2 months ago or 2 years ago or 200 years ago, they would know that the same mistakes have been made before and are now being repeated.
I just cannot stand the use of that line.
3:13 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What really rattles my chain is when people talk about having "issues"

The other things about news journalists that annoy me are:
1) Why do they all have to stand up instead of sitting behind a desk this is taken to the ludicrous extreme (I think by the BBC but it may be another lot)when they force their correspondent on military matters who is obviously of limited mobility to stand using a walking frame.
2) Why do the send their correspondents to stand impotently outside of buildings where something may or may not have been happening. What a complete and pointless waste of time. When the forthcoming Royal wedding was announced they had a man reporting from outside Buck House when neither the happy couple nor Queen Liz were in residence. Why?
3) Why do they interview each other? I don't want to hear one Journalist extract the personal views of another I want to hear facts.
4) Why hasn't the BBC's Robert Peston been sent to the tower for his complicity in exacerbating the down turn into a credit crunch then a recession.
4:25 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well, if you're talking about the recession (in the UK)
1) Greedy bankers - nonsense it was stupidity but the bankers would rather be thought of as greedy than stupid.
2) Gordon Brown being lauded for saving the financial system - he was far more the cause than the cure.
3) Robert Peston including Northern Rock with the likes of RBS and LLoyds when the NR's problems were entirely different - considering he broke the story you'd think he'd understand that!

Northern Rock financed mortgages with short term loans so when the crunch hit it could not renew its loans - it didn't touch worthless US loan bundles which is largely what caused the other UK banks problems. Northern Rock could have traded its way out of trouble if the Bank of England had continued to lend it the money and the risk to the tax payer would have been identical - so Gordon Brown got that wrong as well despite his interminable claims otherwise.

More generally, of politicians...
1) Avoiding the question.
2) Telling bare-faced lies (and not being called out as liars when they tell bare-faced lies).
3) Stating that they have repeatedly made their position clear before avoiding making their position clear.
4) Journalists, when interviewing politicians, not getting to grips with any of the above.

Kaled.
1:57 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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At the end of the day . . .
2:35 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"MO"
2:42 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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'Having said that..'
2:52 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Have you ever noticed the inverse relationship between use of the word "democratic" and belief in "democracy".

For instance, wherever a dictator is to be found, the word "democratic" will be sprinkled liberally in his speeches. Even the names of countries such as "German Democratic Republic" (East Germany before reunification) follow this rule.

Here's a challenge...
Can anyone name a country that has "Democratic" in its name that actually is a democracy? There are probably a few but I wonder how long it will be before Venezuela changes its name to the "People's Democratic Republic of ...".

In the UK, union leaders are the worst offenders followed by their political lackeys.

Kaled.
3:11 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"...make no mistake..."
3:44 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Having said all that..."

Which of course means there's more. "All that" hasn't even come close to being said yet.
3:51 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In interviews (mainly football managers)

"I'm not making excuses, but....."
"I don't like talking about the officials, but..."
"They gave 110%"

In interviews (mainly football players)

"well I just did the best I could, you know. I went out there and gave it my all and we've got a good team this year and it's not just me you know it's the rest of the team as well and me and coach are on the same page now and I just tried to do the best I could you know and I'd like to thank our fans and all our supporters you know and I think with this team we'll be going to the playoffs for sure and to all you playerhaters out there - 'Eat Me!' and a strong shout out to my boy 'easy-D and my baby's mama Taquanda and I'm going to Disneyland baby!"
4:04 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"I didn't mean to interrupt, but . . ."

"To the extent that . . ."
6:46 pm on Dec 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Often placed at the end of an internet forum post; usually written by someone with limited brain capacity:

"Nuff said"
10:02 am on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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My head literally explodes every time somebody misuses "literally".
3:06 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I hate it when TV news personalities think they are being fair when they throw the hand grenade of the day to two opposing partisans and then let them speed-talk their talking points. I suppose the winner is the one who is able to out-shout or is best at over-talking the other.
9:56 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I hate it when TV news personalities think they are being fair when they throw the hand grenade of the day to two opposing partisans and then let them speed-talk their talking points

There was a brilliant example of poor guest-control on (the usually excellent) Newsnight. I believe it was in the UK election buildup, and starred John Prescott.

The worst phrase, endlessly repeated by Newsbeat (the "News" team featured on BBC Radio 1), is "It's come out..." as in "It's come out that there are health concerns over acme widgets"

Re: Football phrases
"At the end of the day"
"In the final analysis"
Giving anything over 100%

Motor racing:
"for sure"

Message boards:
"an endless stream of nonpunctuated dross usually of a flaming nature to be honest this is probably my biggest hate its often pointless trying to guess where sentences end of course bad grammar compounds the problem"
2:26 pm on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"In a nut shell"
and
"Assuming"
4:31 pm on Jan 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hahaha!

@Shaddows

I'd have to add to the football phrases:

"A stonewall penalty"

Why is it just penalties that are stonewall? I've never heard this word used except in relation to penalties and stone walls. Sometimes I wonder if Alan Shearer was a parking attendant if he would give out 'stonewall parking tickets'

The biggest thing that pisses me off is when news reporters use "allegedly" when it's not appropriate to do so. The BBC are particularly egregious offenders. Eg, last month I read a story where a flat had been destroyed in a gas explosion. But according to the BBC it was an 'alleged explosion'. How can an explosion be alleged? Either it happened or it didn't, unless no one was around to witness it or the damage afterwards.
2:14 pm on Jan 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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"on a go forward basis"

"synergy"

Corporate speak drives me crazy.
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