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20 of your most hated cliches

Hands over mouth
According to an online survey, cliches like "at the end of the day", "24/7" and "literally" are among the most reviled. Here are 20 more that particularly irk Magazine readers.

1. My vote for most irritating cliche has to be "basically". I even manage to irritate myself by using it, although I do try not to.
AS, Salford, England

2. A few minutes ago I said "basically" was the most irritating cliche. I've changed my mind: "To be fair" is the most awful thing anybody can ever say, particularly since it is invariably followed by a biased and utterly unfair comment.
Ian, Sheffield

3. My most hated expression has to be "to be honest". What does it mean? Are you normally dishonest then? To my shame you might even catch me saying it.
John Airey, Peterborough

4. It has to be "going forward", used by business people/politicians, as in: "Going forward, we need to do...X." Since time is irreversible, it's totally unnecessary. No one experiences life "going backward".
Alex Brodie, London

5. As far as irritating cliches go, the phrase "the fact of the matter is" must top the list. The fact of the matter is, that it rarely is the actual fact of the matter. It is usually just the speaker's own opinion.
C Starkey, London

6. Overused cliches I dislike are "let's face it" and "let's be honest".
Clive, Nottingham

7. The worse cliche I hear is "touch base". If anyone knows where that came from please let me know so I can go back in a time machine and stop it from ever being said. I have a feeling it was a 1980s invention.
Hazel, Notts

8. I was looking at your well-worn phrases and although "at the end of the day" is a bad one, I absolutely detest anyone saying "110%" or "150%" or any other variant. It is 100% and nothing more. You can't get more than a whole. I'm glad I got that off my chest...
Par, Dundee

9. My old boss used to tell us that everything was "in the pipeline". One disgruntled staff member commented that this pipeline seemed to be a very long and very clogged-up sewer.
Al, Wellington NZ

10. The phrase I hate is "the reason being". Particularly when used by people who are trying to sound educated. They invariably show off their lack of education with the next phrase.
Alex Knob, UK

11 and 12. "I'm not being funny but..." is one of THE most annoying things that a person can say, and is usually followed by a highly irritating and officious remark. Beginning a sentence with "You know" is another one, especially popular with sportsmen such as David Beckham. Please make these and other irritating cliches illegal.
Rosie Spectacle, Tunbridge Wells, UK

13 and 14. I hate, hate, hate it when people invite me to "touch base" with them at a later date. Or how about when someone announces that they'll have made a decision "by the end of play today"? However, possibly the most annoying of all cliches must be when those misguided amongst us declare the importance of "singing from the same hymn sheet". "Go do one", I say...
Kristian Turner, Cambridge

15. "Can't get my head round it" - a ridiculous thing to say!
Kay Rhodes, Sutton Coldfield, UK

16 and 17. Cliches to hate: 1) Basically 2) A raft of proposals 3) To roll out (new initiatives etc).
Steve Barnett, Sunderland

18. "Don't just talk the talk, you got to walk the talk". How annoying is that?
Richard Bridges, Barnet

19. "Lessons will be learned". Most pointless and annoying cliche ever.
Laura Albins, Ipswich

20. The use of the word "actually". I find it so annoying when listening to reports on the Today programme that I end up "actually" counting the times the word is used.
Peter McGregor, Dunblane

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