Speech patterns that irritate the daylights out of people

Common speech patterns and fallback phrases can permeate your conversations and drive friends, colleagues, and clients absolutely bonkers. Are you guilty?

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Years ago I worked for the poster child of buzzwords.

He loved using terms like “cones of precision” and “silos” and “drill down” and… let’s just stop there. (He also bought one of the first Palm Pilots, which meant a roomful of people often sat waiting while he laboriously entered stuff on his calendar. Yep, he was that guy.)

One of my colleagues maintained a running list of this guy’s buzzwords. Whenever he whipped out his pad to jot down a new one, two things happened: (1) Our manager looked smug because he thought he had just said something so insightful my colleague wanted to capture it for posterity, and (2) the rest of us tried not to laugh because we knew what was really going on.

Unfortunately, Palm Pilot aside, we all have a little of that guy in us. We use the same words too often. Or we use irritating speech patterns. Or we simply fall in love with certain expressions. When we do, whatever we hoped to say gets lost in the noise of clichés or continual repetitions.

See whether you’re guilty of any of these:

1. The Double Name: Using a person’s name twice (worst case using your own name twice) in a sentence to justify unusual or unacceptable behavior.

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