01 May 2016


Yes, English must be difficult to learn for some people but my grouse isn't with everyday idioms or even the language in general, it's the way people use it. Read on to find out what really gets on my nerves.

It's strange how people adopt or copy the same queer expressions. The latest to irritate me is the persistent use of the word ‘found’. You might think it strange that I pick on a single word to complain about but it’s the way it’s used that irritates. For example: he found himself on the settee, or she found herself walking into the shop. What worries me is the fact that these characters had somehow got lost. 

More worrying is when the characters suddenly find themselves, as if they've been searching without success for some time and then hey presto there they are, maybe playing tennis or robbing a bank. Okay, I know that’s an exaggeration but if authors and speech makers will use stupid and meaningless expressions what can they expect?

The other day I found myself at the shops! Had I gone out in a puff of smoke and materialised in the precinct? Was it an experience of time travel? Oh well, I suppose it’s better than losing myself.

I remember years ago a friend and I, having nothing better to do, had a go at creating a new word, using it when talking to same-age acquaintances, and seeing if it spread. I can no longer remember the word but it did spread amongst our own set. However, I’m pretty sure it never reached the dictionaries! Not the greatest success, then!

Another irritation is the repetitive use of the phrase ‘You know what?’ which very many people use to start a sentence. Some use it at the start and mid-sentence, which leads me to think it’s a way of mustering either brain power or memory. Now I come to think of it I guess they’re one and the same. You know what? It isn’t even used to answer a query, it’s just there, an opening, a lazy attempt at stimulating interest. And it’s not just once or twice, it’s almost every sentence. Imagine how a listener must feel after a ten minute session containing umpteen sentences commencing with ‘You know what?’

I am not the greatest orator in the world but I know what irritates and what doesn’t. You know what? It makes me want to puke.

Does anyone else get irritated by silly expressions? Want to tell me about them? 


  1. "I am not the greatest orator in the world but I know what irritates and what doesn’t. You know what? It makes me want to puke."

    HAHAHAHAHA! Valerie, that made me laugh out loud! And I know exactly what you mean about certain "words" and/or "expressions" that I find irritating.

    One big one for me is the word "dude", which many Americans use constantly while talking to each other. I've heard both men AND women use it. And what's really annoying is that they use it two and three times in a sentence.

    Example: "Like dude, what are you talking about?" "I mean, like dude, who the heck does she think she is?" "Dude, I got so drunk last night I almost passed out, dude." IRRITATES me to no end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great post, my friend! Hope you're having a faaaabulous Sunday!

  2. My DD1 University educated and a fine attorney uses Dude as well and makes me shiver every time she says it. (To) Find your feet, is another lost statement. I am in a new situation so I need to find my feet?

  3. Hi Ron. Thankfully the word Dude doesn't seem to have spread to my country. At least I haven't heard it. I have heard it in films and wondered how it originated.

  4. Katie, I have heard that expression but not for a long time. Finding feet is as bad as finding oneself, duh!

  5. They say English is the hardest language there is to learn. I think that should be qualified with the word WELL, at the end of that phrase.

    This is a very interesting post Val.

    Canadians are known for saying EH? a lot but in reality, that's mainly something the comedians here have a field day with, especially about our Maritimers. We are also known for being big on apologies, even when it's not our fault (when someone bumps into someone else and they are both apologizing!) Things like that comes to mind, reading this post.

    Food for thought, indeed! Thanks Val and have a super week, G

  6. Not a strange expression but just bad grammar in the words "I seen". My husband is very guilty of this and when I see it in print or hear someone say it, It feels like fingernails on a chalkboard. I think it makes people sound ignorant and I'm not too interested in what they have to say following those two words.

  7. How about, "Guess what?" or "You know". I've been guilty of these myself but thankfully I'm not one for giving speeches or in the position to. I'd be in a whole lot of trouble ;)

  8. Geraldine, I wish we were able to apologise more... the younger generation seems to think they needn't bother - ever. I have been told it's because of embarrassment but I can't see that.

  9. Denise, I think now I've raised the subject I shall find more and more expressions that irritate. I must watch what I say in future!

  10. kden, I know the feeling of nails on the chalkboard. Like you I dislike the misuse of words, and spelling thereof. There, instead of their, for example. Is this the product of new education systems, I wonder. I did hear once that spelling was no longer important.

  11. I know what you mean. As a non-native speaker, I get annoyed with the word "like", being used in almost every single sentence, twice or three times.

    Greetings from London.

  12. Hi Cuban, I'd almost forgotten the 'like' but I do find it irritating, especially when repeated several times. Perhaps schools should concentrate on the use of words.

  13. PS I'm all for good manners Val but Canadians really DO go overboard with the apologies. Better than none at all though, I agree.

    There are a lot of rude people out there but I don't find it necessarily age -related. Plenty that are older and should know better. ;-)

  14. I have been working hard on eliminating the use of "so" as someone pointed out to me it's an unnecessary filler. I have a rather long list of annoyances, but the biggest is when people call something a first-annual event. Have a good one, Val. Take care.

  15. Matt, I hear you on the word 'so' and wonder why we (yes, me too) use it so unnecessarily. It's as though we're laying out the plot and we want people to understand what we're doing. So, I will try not to use it so often! Maybe the word 'thus' would be better.

    OMG first annual-event, how crazy is that?

    Enjoy your weekend.


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