At The End Of The Day: Feedback

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - October 12, 2011
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Well, I asked for your feedback and I got it. A lot of it. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column bemoaning the use of the phrase “at the end of the day” and then went on a rant about all the hackneyed clichés we (all of us) overuse and abuse on a daily basis. I invited you to share your pet peeves and wow you have a lot of them.

My inbox was inundated with replies from very nice people with very big grievances. You railed against the hated clichés, as well as the verbal tics, throwaway phrases and grammatical errors that assault you every day.

I get your irritation. I can almost see your eyes rolling. And, my fellow curmudgeons, I feel your pain ... er ... I mean ... well, you know.

The following are excerpts from some of your responses. I cannot share them all because there were just too many, and they’re still coming in.

keysmanII: Can’t stand when you hear on TV “It’s the first time since ... .” It can be the first time since yesterday, last year, 10 years ago, etc.

What’s up with that? (Another one!)

Just saying! (Grrrrrrr!) LOL! (OK, I’ll stop there!)

(keysmanII, EPIC response. LMAO! FTW!! And great name, BTW.)

Joan Bedish: A pet peeve of mine is when someone says “me and him.” That just sets my teeth on edge. “Me” doesn’t do anything; “I” do or did. It’s surprising the number of people who say this. Maybe you could do a column on grammar.

(Joan, me and you feel exactly the same way about this.)

Ann Reed: My pet peeve phrase is “it’s amazing!” I grit my teeth when I hear that phrase. You could probably do a whole article on alternatives to that phrase. In the past phrase peeves have been “the bottom line” and “EXCELLENT!” Oh! The peeve list goes on. Thanks for the humorous thoughts.

Dottie Rosinsky: Probably the worst one in present common usage is “like” as in “I was like ...” etc. meaning I “thought,” or “about (approximately, or sort of).” This is used by nearly everyone, including highly educated people, and sometimes it’s nearly every other word in a sentence; it really grates on me.

“Went” “I went ... .” meaning I said. Or “s/he went”, etc. Same for “go.”

(I, like, agree with you. Like, really.)

Clay Bobisud: My personal “pet peeve” is from your world (journalism). I would be eternally grateful if news reporters and editors would eliminate all forms of the word “skyrocket” unless the subject of the piece is actual fireworks.

(Ouch. I feel your pain. As a journalist, I apologize.)

Gillian Burgess-Sallee: It is what it is.

And that’s the bottom line.

(But is that your final answer?)

Sumiko Carrol: “You know,” if I did know you wouldn’t be telling me, you know.

(Yeah, yeah, I know.) John: What about someone having “a lot on their plate” as opposed to simply saying that they had a lot to do?

Regarding “at the end of the day,” would you accept “when it’s all said and done” as a replacement?

You do know the origin of the phrase “jump the shark,” don’t you?

(I had to look it up, John.)

Lionel Parker: I found these retorts to have especially long lives: “Having said that ...” “Going forward ...”; and “A wide variety ... .” I wish they would die. I often wonder where they start, and found that many seem to begin in Washington, D.C. Once the pundits pick it up, they spread quickly throughout the media, to local politicians, who tend to use them in their communities.

(Good idea, Lionel! Just blame it all on the politicians and pundits, they probably deserve it.)

Bob Bacchi: Getting rid of THE WHOLE NINE YARDS of these nasty clichés SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN. I know it WORKS FOR ME.

(Me, too.)

Jennifer: My most hated cliché is, without a doubt,

dare I say, in my book, “(with) all due respect.” Especially since respect is usually the last thing on the speaker’s mind. Great column, by the way.

Readers, your responses had me grinning and sometimes laughing out loud. I also grimaced a few times when I realized I’ve been a repeat offender of some of the most hated phrases. But, hey, we can’t all be perfect 24/7. Am I right?

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