Monday, November 10, 2008

Most Annoying Phrases--Plain and Presby

Thanks to Mike Kruse at Kruse Kronicle for tipping me off to the list of the 10 most annoying phrases compiled by Oxford University researchers. Here's their "great hierarchy of verbal fatigue":

1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science

Nice list from the Brits, but we Americans might have a slightly different list. After the late campaign, I would have included hope, maverick, change, working families and family values.

It seems to me we could compile a list of the most annoying Presby-Phrases--our own hierarchy of verbal fatigue, as it were. Here are my nominations--add yours in the comments and later this week I'll post our results.

QG's Nominations:
  • Live into
  • In the fullness of time
  • If the way be clear
  • Connectionalism, connectional
  • Missional, unmissional
  • "Post" used as an adjective meaning "so yesterday" as in post-denominational, post-connectional etc
  • "Jesus,we just" prayers
Add your votes and additional nominations in the comments!


robert austell said...

YES - QG.... Amen to your list!

robert austell said...

sorry - I didn't add...

"a new thing"
use of Table without "the"
dialogue as a verb

Gannet Girl said...

Oh, QG, I just pray that you personally in the fullness of time are able to live into the post-missional post-contextual postmodern -- now, where was I?

Oh, maybe I was going to say something about "the unchurched" - my most despised phrase, right up there with "missional." I suppose the post-unchurched are perhaps the churched?

AS to your first list, I can still hear Miss Palmer, 11th grade English: "Girls, if you use the word 'unique' in your papers, you has better be certain that what you are describing is, in fact, unique. In other words, the word 'unique' is almost never accurate, and your grades will reflect its misuse." So burned into my brain that I would be surprised if you ever heard me describe anything or anyone as unique - although Miss Palmer herself may have come close.

Gannet Girl said...

Of course, Miss Palmer said, "You HAD better be certain . . .".

Christine said...


"biblical Christianity" (a redundancy if ever there was one)

"heresy" and its twin sister "orthodoxy"

"fellowship" used as a verb

"reference" used as a verb (a general rather than Presbyterian phenomenon, of course)


ROBERTA said...

oh...this could be fun...i'll have to think about it...but if i hear someone start a sentence with the word "BASICALLY" one more time i would just, you know, basically, lose my mind!

ROBERTA said...

and "actually" is right up there with "basically"

Singing Owl said...

Here are some Assemblies of God ones:

1. intentional
2. Lord, we lift ___ before you
3. speak into their lives
4. new beginning
5. We thank you for this day...
6. bless the hands that prepared it (food)
7. _____ and his lovely wife
8. slain in the Spirit

Rev Kim said...

Amen to your list, QG! I heard at least two "live intos" in a sermon a couple of Sundays ago at my home church.

This is may not be a church word, but I sure heard it alot in seminary - unpack. As in, "let's unpack Calvin's Doctrine of Election."

Singing Owl, I think I'm guilty of 2 & 5.

zorra said...

I just want to be intentional in unpacking how I feel about this paradigm.

Presbyterian Gal said...

With all due respect, I personally find it's a nightmare when, at the end of the day, those who are absolutely far more educated than myself use language that they believe to be fairly unique colloquialism, when they know they shouldn't of, especially at this moment in time. After all, it's not rocket science. (I think I got them all!)

Here's some just from my own former Presbyterian Church:
~Bubble up ministry (used for replacing paid staff with member volunteers)
~We can do it. We can do it. *We*can*do*it (as in raise 24 million dollars to make posh new buildings on the church grounds the last three and the next year while missions gets about $250k and 1% congregational participation)
~That pleases me greatly (from any of the pastors when someone does something like - attend worship, go to a choir rehearsal. That being the reason anyone in the congregation does anything at the church)
~I'm sorry to hear that (as in that will be the end of any congregational care you will receive upon: death of a family member, family tragedy, broken bone, neighborhood criminals, nuclear holocaust)

Denis Hancock said...

"It should be noted that..."
This is a phrase devoid of meaning. It can be excised from any sentence in which it appears without changing its meaning.

"This is an issue over which reasonable people can disagree"
Hmmmm. Do we really believe that? Well, perhaps some of the time, like infant versus believer baptism. But when it is used for deep divisions that cut to the heart of our faith, then it trivializes the debate. (ok -- that last sentence has at least three cliches, but I'm too tired to edit it).

Althea N. Agape said...

once you get the list, I'll put them on cards and we can sit together at presbytery. Just remember not to yell BINGO too loudly!

Anonymous said...

'essentially' and 'Jesus, we just...'

Don't mind 'with all due respect'...


Anonymous said...

In the spirit of Christian love.... - that one should ALWAYS set off alarm's as much a harbinger of a judgmental remark as "bless her heart...".

Red_Cleric said...

Great list, I'll add my vote for "living into" but one of my favorites is "conversing with one another" which seems to usually mean having someone tell me what should be.

Senior English Miss. Best would flunk us if we used "a lot" in reference to "many". "A lot is a piece of property on which one builds a house", i can still hear that and I get afraid...


Anonymous said...

Dear QG- Awesome list (actually, I would like to ADD awesome to the list, but I err in using it myself sometimes)
As a seminarian, these are my least favorites:
"liminal"- wait- isn't all of life liminal- between birth and death?
"context"- all right, all right, we get it- everybody and everything arises out of a particular context- I refer to it as the "C" word
and for the "F" word? "flourishing"- as in, "where is life flourishing? That is where God is found....."
and, all the "Jesus we just want to..." (although here in teh South, it comes out as "Jeezus, we jis' wanna..."
hee hee Ellen