Participants in a Plain Language Campaign survey concluded that the most irritating phrase in the English language is “at the end of the day.”
Second place in the vote was shared by “At this moment in time” and the constant use of “like” as if it were a form of punctuation.
“Like” as punctuation is so 1987, and if you do the math you’ll understand why I use it that way all the time. It also works well in place of “said”: “So he was all like, ‘What a bitch!’ And she was like, ‘I know.'”
In honor of the survey results, BBC readers pitched in to write a story of clichÃ©s. It opens:
Giles flew in on the red eye from the Big Apple, knowing he was caught between a rock and a hard place.
He’d been drinking like a fish the night before; still, in for a penny…
Drew Jagger, UK
(Via Breaking News.)