Speech Peculiarities That Make My Teeth Itch
* Lemme astcha question
Chris Matthews, the ebullient host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” prefaces every question to a guest with “Lemme astcha question.”
Some speakers use this in conversation and occasionally in speeches. They end sentences with “Okay?” as if to make sure everybody “got it.”
* once again, ladies and gentlemen
This is a line used by people that have to fill time so they repeat themselves a second and third time. On a cruise through the Baltic, the shore manager used this line 10 times and more in every talk.
* on the same page
* Ya know what I’m sayin’?
* Your call is important to us
The ultimate recorded oxymoron
* Well …
This is a word that is used constantly by interviewees on television. I would estimate that 90 percent of all answers to questions begin with, “Well …”
To me the most irritating and inane sentence to creep into constant use in the English language is:
“I mean it was like wow.”
The Plain English Poll
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Plain English Campaign surveyed 5,000 supporters in 70 countries. They voted on the most irritating phrase in the language. The results:
* 1. At the end of the day
* 2. At this moment in time
* 3. the constant use of like as if it were a form of punctuation
* 4. With all due respect
From the Plain English press release of 23 March 2004:
Spokesman John Lister said over-used phrases were a barrier to communication. “When readers or listeners come across these tired expressions, they start tuning out and completely miss the message - assuming there is one! Using these terms in daily business is about professional as wearing a novelty tie or having a wacky ringtone on your phone.