Posted by: Carolyn ODonnell | March 12, 2013

Words that wind me up

This is not about physical travel per se, but as I seem to spend most of my life at the computer either fiddling with this website, getting distracted by Tweets and junk email or organizing to actually go somewhere, I am roaming far and wide.
And while I am doing this, I am getting annoyed. Very annoyed.
Bad writing makes me annoyed. Sloppy sentences make me annoyed, and there are some phrases that have me chewing the keyboard in disgust.
Let me list some so I can get them out in the open and annoy other people with them in a constructive way. We could go interactive on this; I’d love to know what words or phrases get others frothing at the mouth. venting is so soothing.

Floods of tears
Dear God, anyone using this hoary old cliche should be strangled with the cord of their smartphone charger to give them something to really cry about. Tears don’t flood, they trickle mainly. It’s the literary equivalent of hiding a pizza box under a cushion.

Trendy. Not

Many of the worst offenders seem to be generated by someone trying to describe just how unbelievably groovy something is. But when these expressions are used my eyes just glaze over. Instead of saying why it’s raising the bar on what you can stuff into a chicken cavity they torture me with:
Bang on trend. Is a trend a drum? I don’t think so.
Achingly hip. This makes me think of the kind of operations the elderly complain about.
Unapologetically hip. Don’t apologize for being hip, just apologise for being annoying.
So hip it hurts. Does this happen when minimalist design attacks someone?

The Anti-Fashionalist

This was the name of a shop I saw in Tokyo once. They know how to put English to good use in Japan. Whereas these expressions just make me want to stab myself in the eye with a stiletto.
Killer heels. Kill me now.
Putting on the glitz. This is always trotted out for features on what to wear at office Christmas parties. Give me those high-heeled shoes.
Fashionista. Anyone who seriously uses this word should be forced to wear nylon for the rest of their life.

Food crimes
Veggie. Don’t vegetables deserve some respect?
Yummy. No one over the age of five should use this word when writing about consuming something pleasing. It’s what I would expect from someone who thinks wearing bunny ears makes them more attractive.

There will be more.


  1. I totally agree…..whilst I do not claim to be perfect in my writing, I have an aversion for double negatives and abbreviated words such as “bicky”for biscuit and “miky” for microwave…….I detest strangers calling me “dear” don’t particularly like people I know calling me dear either.
    The phrase that always amuses me is “she had a beautiful little baby girl/boy”…….does any woman ever give birth to a huge ugly youth!!!!!

    • Ha ha, yes. Last time I looked no one was giving birth to large, unattractive adults.

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