Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Friday 7 November 2008

Oxford University Acts on Horrid English

A view of part of Oxford University
Image source: here

Wired.com reports today that a group of researchers at Oxford University has compiled a list of "The ten most irritating expressions in the English language."

The list is as follows:

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

Readers are invited to add their own choices in the comments section.  My contribution to this most satisfying project are as follows:

"Parenting", and even worse "birthing" - one bears children, one does not "birth" them.

"Gifted"(in the verbal sense): pathetic: What's the matter with "given"?

"Having said that" or "that said". Irritating.

"Chair" meaning "chairman"; "actor" meaning "actress"

Finally "innit" as in e.g. "I'm goin' dahn uh pub, innit". Horrible.

More have come to mind since I posted my comment:

"Going forward" e.g. "I should like you to take more responsibility going forward."  Rubbish.

"Negative growth"  Pathetic euphemism.

"To grow one's business"  Stupid.

"Logistics" - meaning transport; grossly affected and pretentious.

There'll probably be more...

Meanwhile how about a comment or two from some of you?  I am sure you have your own pet hates.

Until the next time.


cm said...

My knowledge of English is not very good, as you know, but for my understanding there is a big difference between "gifted" and "given" the first term being mostly used in a psychological context.


Paul said...

Yes,do you mean "gifted" as in "she was an exceptionally gifted child"? This of course is fine.

What I object to is for example from sports commentators who will say e.g. "Hamilton was gifted the win by Massa who spun off at turn 19."

Paul said...

My objection was fundamentally the same as that to the horrible verbs "birthing" and "parenting"