Things People Say

Vicki and I sat in a pub having a Sunday roast talking of all of those annoying habits that people have when they are just talking. Here’s some of them:

ACTUALLY – As Vicki calls them, this is a sentence filler. It’s normally said at the start of the sentence, or sometimes the last word. Generally, people who use this word are aware of the overuse of the word ‘basically’ and have been known to use the word ‘incidentally’ as a replacement. I used to suffer with this until someone pointed it out. Now, when I feel myself about to say it, even if the context is perfect, my brain skids to a halt.

AHHH – Thanks to Emma for this one. Certain people, you know who you are, when they lean in to give you a hug, can’t help themselves and say: “Ahhh.”
Why? What are they really saying?

AT THE END OF THE DAY – This phrase is still quite popular but no less annoying. It’s normally used by folk who are not familiar with more acceptable expressions like: ‘in conclusion’ or ‘therefore’ and ‘ultimately.’

BASICALLY – Here’s the Godfather of all unneeded expressions. This is the most hated word by anyone who cares about the English language and its use. It’s a word that is not only the most over-used and superfluous word, but it can also be deemed as offensive. To imply, that what follows after its use, is a more simplistic way of describing something, is to suggest that the recipient is incapable of understanding anything more technical! Lol. My cure for this: stop them mid-sentence and say: “actually, I think I’ll get the more technical version, so go for it.” 

CAN I GET A… – Typically said by people at the front of a queue in Costa or Starbucks, or somewhere equally revolting: “Can I get a vanilla latte and a white chocolate mocha?” NO. Why ask that? You don’t work there, so it just sounds like you’re asking to help yourself. It’s “Please, may I have…” – Now come on! The only time “Can I get a…” may be used is when someone follows it with “hallelujah” because that’s funny, especially if you’re saying it in an exaggerated impression of the American politician, Sarah Palin.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? – Always at the end of something said and used purely to gain acknowledgement of what they’ve said. The cure for this is to simply not reply to the question. Don’t so much as nod… maybe a sarcastic smile to acknowledge their unnecessary question, but that’s it.

GUYS – Just a generic term for a group of people, regardless of gender, apparently. NO. Just stop it. Thanks to Zoe for this one. Her example: 

I was once out with a hen party and was greeted by a waiter with a “hey guys!”

“No guys here! We’re not on the set of Friends!”

I’M NOT BEING RUDE, BUT… – This line is always followed by something said that is highly offensive or rude.

I’M NOT EVEN JOKING – Hahahaha. Cos we thought you were just a comedian who ever only talks when they’re being funny.

I’M NOT BEING FUNNY BUT… – This is a more unusual one and is only used when someone feels that what they’re about to say may be deemed inappropriate, unhelpful, wrong or even offensive, but they still feel the need to say it anyway! What is certain is that what they go on to say is not funny!

I’M NOT GONNA LIE – it’s sort of replaced the old ‘to be perfectly honest.’

INFLEXION (tone changes higher towards the end of the sentence) – We believe that this is totally unacceptable. It gets worse the more someone does it in succession. I listened to a female caller who rang a show on LBC, and she used the ‘higher towards the end of each line’ no less than 8 times. And… being Australian does not make it any more acceptable.

KINDA – This single word is used for absolutely no reason at all. It’s totally unnecessary and should even be banned. It either is or it isn’t. The same applies to ‘LIKE.’ 

LIKE – This word seems to get added to every sentence… at the beginning or the end and sometimes in the middle just for a pause… AAARRGGHH. Just stop it! The offender tends to be young, say between 12–29 years old, or any age at all if they’re from Manchester.

LITERALLY – Arrrghhh… and worse still, it’s normally said with a line that isn’t even possible… “I literally jumped out of my skin,” “I literally died on the spot.” See, it doesn’t look right written down… so it certainly isn’t going to sound OK, either.

MWAH – Love this one. A friend posted on Facebook their objection to this habit of people that say MWAH when they kiss. Lol. (Thanks to John). It’s bloody annoying and unacceptable. I’m now thinking… we don’t do this with other signs of affection, do we? Someone doesn’t greet you with a handshake and then suddenly say: ‘Shake.’

OBVIOUSLY – This one only got added to this list in 2018. It’s been around for a while, but is incredibly over-used. Often starting a sentence, or ending one… like basically, for me the word ‘obviously’ starts the automatic tally counter in my head. I counted how many times the word was said in a single episode of ‘Love Island.’ It was 43. My cure for this: simply say: “it’s not obvious” or “that wasn’t obvious.”

OMG and TMI – Ok… now these maybe trendy and a tad amusing, but just stop it! It’s lazy! Just because you may use them in a text message is not justification to say the letters out aloud in conversation. The offenders here are also people who say things like A-SAP to mean as soon as possible. And now, “obvs” has crept in. It’s used when someone is avoiding the word, obviously. The only exception to this rule is TTFN to mean ta-ta for now… that’s still quite endearing.

PRAY, PRAYER – Typically used when someone, remotely religious, says: “Oh I’ll pray for you, tonight, dear.” Or, “our prayers are with you.” They’re never a solution and if it turned out they were, it’s just a coincidence. It means nothing, has no real comfort and is just nonsense. Religion… stop it… you sound silly.

SICK – No, no, no, no, no. Stop it. What’s the matter with you? Used when something is amazing or unbelievable. Sick isn’t amazing or unbelievable. It’s pretty much the opposite of amazing. 

SO – here’s a new-ish one (2015) – the word SO is being used at the start of a sentence. I first observed this when people were being interviewed on the telly, but now I see that it has spread to people’s statuses on Facebook. Stop it! Now! It’s not necessary.

TURNS TO ME AND GOES… (or turns round and goes…) – Only used when someone is recalling a conversation that they’ve had with someone before. But nobody turned around! If they did, then they were speaking to one another with their backs turned until it was their turn to speak.