The top ten irritating phrases to avoid at the office

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Oxford University has compiled a list of the top ten irritating phrases that people use. The compiled the list by monitoring the use of phrases in a database which included books, paper, magazines, broadcast, the Internet and other sources.

Many annoyingly over-used phrases begin as office lingo, such as 24/7 and "synergy," and then enter the mainstream. Regardless of their origin, you will have more credibility if you avoid the following:

  • At the end of the day...Come on, can't you think of a more original way to summarize your thoughts?
  • Fairly unique...Not even sure what this one means.
  • I personally...Of course, it is you. You are the one talking. Who else would it be?
  • At this moment in time...It is the only moment we are at, so why do you have to point it out?
  • With all due respect...Anyone listening knows that the next words out are a criticism so just get to the point.

    • Absolutely...Overused for emphasis.
    • It's a nightmare...A lot of things fall in this category.
    • Shouldn't of...Sounds like censoring to me.
    • 24/7. Can we all agree to bury this one?
    • It's not rocket science...Most of us do not even know what rocket science is.

    I would like to add a few of my own:

    • Thinking outside of the box.
    • Literally
    • Perfect Storm
    • Proactive
    • Pushing the envelope

    I'm sure you can come up with a few of your favorites to add to the list. But if you want to be taken seriously, you will avoid the cliches that should be banned from the English language.

    Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro.

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