What are your language pet peeves?

Here are some phrases that drive communicators up the wall.

Language pet peeves

“Mom, Bryan’s using potty words. He said ‘utilize.’”

We’ve reached the stage in my house where my kids use bad grammar and language gaffes to annoy me. Whether it’s saying “utilize” over and over at the dinner table or referring to their homework as “deliverables,” they know how to exasperate the word nerd in me.

Here are some of their favorites. How many of these make you cringe?

Worthless verbs

  • “Please utilize your hands and pass me the pepper.”
  • “I think we should implement a policy of dessert first.”
  • “If you get me an Oculus, I can leverage it to hang out to my friends.”
  • “He is chewing too loud and it’s impacting me.”
  • “I finished my report and I just need to PowerPoint it.”

Overused business terms

  • “I don’t have the bandwidth to clean my room right now.”
  • “I chose ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ because it was the low-hanging fruit on the reading list.”
  • “Grades shouldn’t be my only key performance indicator.”
  • “Can’t you just tell me the key takeaways from ‘Great Expectations?’”

Words that aren’t words

  • “Irregardless of what he says, Bryan hit me.”
  • “Just follow the signage to the parking lot.”
  • If we can use ‘ain’t’ in a sentence, doesn’t that make it a word?”
  • “This performance is really impactful.”
  • “Sorry I’m late. I misunderestimated how long it would take to get here.”

Slang and acronyms

  • “IIRC you said you would take us to play paintball this weekend.”
  • “That game is the GOAT.”
  • “Don’t be cheugy, Mom.”

Readers . . . care to share your language pet peeves?

COMMENT

4 Responses to “What are your language pet peeves?”

    Jessica Tiller says:

    I have had more than one client say to me over the past few years, “Let’s PR this.” What I found is that they usually mean they want to issue a news release on something happening within their organization.

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