PR Daily’s 12 most annoying words and phrases


Say it like Russell Brand does: “literally.” (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

The English language has been melting down for years and the 2010s doesn’t seem to be the decade where the breakdown is reversed. If you’ve communicated with anyone recently, you’ve probably heard someone say something that has grated you.

On Friday, PR Daily’s Sharon Greenthal released her list of the 12 most annoying words and phrases of this decade. Some might make you cringe, while others might be surprising. Take a look at the 12 selected by Greenthal, and if there are any blatantly-awful phrases that got snubbed, feel free to leave a comment.

1. It is what it is

After years of interviewing athletes and coaches in college and post-grad, this phrase worked its way into my dialogue because I was hearing it almost daily. I think we can all agree it has run its course.

2. Man cave

I guess this is an obnoxious phrase, if you look at it from a woman’s point of view. But as a man, I use it frequently.

3. Amazing

We live in a world of hyperbole. Apparently, we aren’t just talking like two-year-olds these days — we are two-year-olds, because everything we see amazes us. We stare on with wonder and amazement, or we at least tell stories like we do.

4. Baby bump

Quick — what’s the first thing you pictured when you read this phrase? Giuliana Rancic standing at the desk on E! News, talking about a celebrity? You totally did! Yes, that’s why it’s obnoxious when your friends say it.

5. Awesome

See: world of hyperbole described in No. 3.

6. Whatever

Translation: “I just lost the argument, and this is my pissy way of accepting it.”

7. Literally

The next time you hear someone end a story with, “I literally died,” you have my permission to de-friend that person. In life. On Facebook. Wherever. But please limit your conversation with people who don’t understand the meaning of a word as simple as “literally.”

8. Think outside the box

Oh, is that where you’re supposed to think?

9. It’s all good

This is my own personal tic at the end of sentences. I hate awkward silences, and I do whatever I can to avoid them. Thus, when I’ve finished my sentence(s) and nobody else is speaking, this is what fills the silence all too often. Yes, I am making a concerted effort to fix it.

10. Process

Everything you do in life is a process — hell, life itself is a process. I don’t have issues with this one, but I can see why people do. There are some words that remind you of work, and nobody wants to be reminded of work during their off-hours.

11. Just a thought

“Just a thought, you look beautiful today!” There, now you’ve seen it used in a compliment. I bet it’s the first time you’ve ever seen this phrase precede a compliment. It’s always something negative that follows it. Maybe that’s why it’s so bothersome.

12. Virtual

We get it — the Internet is a virtual world. We’ve all used it. Stop it.

My own picks that didn’t make the cut: Totes (instead of “Totally”) and Just sayin’.

(MORE: Read Greenthal’s thoughts on each of the 12 phrases)

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