Wasted Words


As writers we are told to avoid clichés, to come up with a new and better way to describe and characterize.

Here are some of my pet peeves:

  • Irregardless. It’s just plain regardless.
  • We’ll meet at 9 a.m. in the morning. As opposed to 9 a.m. in the evening?
  • The good doctor. Maybe he’s a bad doctor.
  • Very unique. Unique is a word unto itself. It doesn’t need any qualifiers. What is fairly unique? Uniquely unique?
  • At this point in time. Where else would it be?
  • At the end of the day. Probably a good phrase the first 5 times it was used, but now…sick of it!
  • Think outside the box. Again a good one the first 10 times, but…
  • I personally believe. As opposed to I impersonally believe?
  • It is what it is. Huh?
  • To be honest. That makes me think you might NOT be!


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?



Published in: on September 21, 2012 at 6:30 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think unarguably (or inarguably) and arguably are often used incorrectly. I believe unarguably means data supports the fact and arguably means you can debate the fact. So, that’s my pet peeve.

  2. Great post, Heidi! The 110% one grates on my nerves but there are a lot of them equally as annoying. Some, of course, just make me laugh.

  3. My pet peeve is “a whole nother”. How can you break apart a word and stick another one in the middle?

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