Words & Phrases You Never Want To Hear Again

cycleboy2

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May have been mentioned before, but I detest the phrase "price point", ie "it's too expensive at that price point". Another phrase seemingly adopted by interviewees answering a question "So, going forward in the future....." makes me switch off to their answer.

Inane question every interviewer asks "how do you feel?" and leading question "how important is it....?".
I write for cycling magazines and they seem to have a thing about using 'price point' when price or cost will do and, another one I don't like, 'colourway'. While it may be correct, this is not a word I've ever heard in real life. Perhaps some people do use it. I don't get really wound up about these as I'll write to the magazine style but both of them jar just that little bit.

I do like the phrase 'get go', though, as in 'from the get go', which I know has its detractors here. I like it because of how one can get it to flow rhythmically (he says, going all Pseuds Corner) in a sentence in a different way than 'from the start' etc.

My parents' big bugbears are 'train station' and the use of 'actor' rather than actress. I prefer the sound of railway station but train station makes perfect sense; you catch a bus from a bus station and a train from a train station. And as I point out regarding actor – there aren't female-specific terms for doctor (okay, the term 'doctress' exists but nobody uses it), or scientist, or teacher etc etc, so why should the acting profession be any different.

A phrase that does annoy me and which has been commented on in a different thread is 'from an anonymous source'...
 

EnolaGaia

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I write for cycling magazines and they seem to have a thing about using 'price point' when price or cost will do ...
"Price point" is a marketing term, and it's not identical to (e.g., retail) "price". A price point is a point or range on a scale of pricing that is presumed to support demand rather than provide resistance to purchasing. It supposedly answers the question "How much can I charge before customers won't pay it" rather than "How much are we currently charging for it."
 

Mikefule

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"Price point" is a marketing term, and it's not identical to (e.g., retail) "price". A price point is a point or range on a scale of pricing that is presumed to support demand rather than provide resistance to purchasing. It supposedly answers the question "How much can I charge before customers won't pay it" rather than "How much are we currently charging for it."
My understanding of "price point" is similar and I consider it to be a useful expression. There are perceived thresholds: landmarks that the customer uses when deciding how much to spend, and which the manufacturers therefore work towards when designing products.

For example, some people looking for a bicycle think it is sensible to pay "up to £500" and others "no more than £1,000" not because they have any particular idea of what components and quality of the bike make it worth, but because that is their perception of a sensible amount to spend.

Taking this crude artificial example of "up to £500" or "no more than £1,000" the manufacturers will tend to build bikes to these prices and there will be lots of models for sale at £499.99 and £999.99, and very few at £524.99 or £931.99.

Of course, in real life, some will try to snatch market share by coming in £25 lower, and a few will try to upsell to something £50 more, but even in those cases, the landmark figure ("price point") is a determining factor. (Price point less £25, or price point plus £50.)

So price point is not a synonym for price.

Moving on, there is an expression or idiom that I have only noticed in the last few years. "...of a".

We just to say "That's not too big a problem," and now we hear, "That's not too big of a problem."

That little "...of a..." put into a range of phrases, normally following "Too..." (Too big of a, too long of a) is new enough that it still catches my ear like a familiar record suddenly skipping. Nothing wrong with it, of course; it's an idiom, and idioms change.
 
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EnolaGaia

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Moving on, there is an expression or idiom that I have only noticed in the last few years. "...of a".
We just to say "That's not too big a problem," and now we hear, "That's not to big of a problem."
That little "...of a..." put into a range of phrases, normally following "Too..." (Too big of a, too long of a) is new enough that it still catches my ear like a familiar record suddenly skipping. Nothing wrong with it, of course; it's an idiom, and idioms change.
The extra "of" is primarily encountered in American English and / or informal speech (as opposed to formal writing).

In these contexts it's usually considered a dialectical option rather than something that's an outright error. However, its usage is usually considered most (if not solely ... ) acceptable in connection with adjectives of quantity rather than degree.

Many references, like you, cite it as being relatively recent in origin. In the contexts noted above, it's definitely not of recent origin.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage summarizes this dialectal construction as “a fairly recent American idiom ...”

The usage guides traces its appearance to the early 1940s, but says it’s probably “somewhat older.”​
I can attest to the added "of" being common in colloquial / casual speech in the American South as early as the 1950s.
 

PeteS

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"Price point" is a marketing term, and it's not identical to (e.g., retail) "price". A price point is a point or range on a scale of pricing that is presumed to support demand rather than provide resistance to purchasing. It supposedly answers the question "How much can I charge before customers won't pay it" rather than "How much are we currently charging for it."
Yes exactly, it is a marketing term, but it's become simply a substitute for price, and you seem to see it a lot on forums. Another marketing term which seems to have crept in to common usage is Q1, Q2, etc when referring to parts of the year! Marketing has a lot to answer for and not just language.
 

escargot

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Moving on, there is an expression or idiom that I have only noticed in the last few years. "...of a".

We just to say "That's not too big a problem," and now we hear, "That's not too big of a problem."

That little "...of a..." put into a range of phrases, normally following "Too..." (Too big of a, too long of a) is new enough that it still catches my ear like a familiar record suddenly skipping. Nothing wrong with it, of course; it's an idiom, and idioms change.

Growing up in NW England in the 1960s I heard 'of' in that too big of a, too long of a context all the time.

If someone needed to cut a large lawn, they might say 'It's too big of a job for one morning.'
It's still current here at least. Nothing new or unusual.
 

CharmerKamelion

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You've just reminded me, Escargot, of how much I cringe at the use of "must of" or "should of" instead of "must have" or "should have". Happens a lot.

I remember a boss of mine when I was a callow youth who used it all the time when speaking. When I saw that she was putting it into letters to customers (things like "your last meter reading should of been adjusted" ) I decided I ought to try to put her right by explaining the difference.

Did not go down well.
 

Peripart

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Growing up in NW England in the 1960s I heard 'of' in that too big of a, too long of a context all the time.

If someone needed to cut a large lawn, they might say 'It's too big of a job for one morning.'
It's still current here at least. Nothing new or unusual.

Although possibly not grammatically correct, that sounds fine to my ears, so not an issue at all. I can imagine it being said by that chap from the Plusnet adverts (other reassuring Northerners are available...)

You've just reminded me, Escargot, of how much I cringe at the use of "must of" or "should of" instead of "must have" or "should have". Happens a lot.

This one, on the other hand, makes me almost physically uncomfortable. "Of" as a verb? Aaarghhh...

My current pet hate (and don't worry, I'll have another one next week) is the misuse of the phrase "colour-coded". It's often used to refer to eg the bumpers on cars. Where's the code? What does the colour stand for? Electrical components and bottles of milk are colour-coded, so you don't kill yourself or accidentally buy skimmed milk (decide for yourself which is worse). The door mirrors on my Honda are colour coordinated!
 
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escargot

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Although possibly not grammatically correct, that sounds fine to my ears, so not an issue at all. I can imagine it being said by that chap from the Plusnet adverts (other reassuring Northerners are available...)
It's colloquial and not used in formal contexts. You wouldn't see it written down except in reported speech, unlike 'should of' etc.
 

EnolaGaia

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My current pet hate (and don't worry, I'll have another one next week) is the misuse of the phrase "colour-coded". It's often used to refer to eg the bumpers on cars. ... The door mirrors on my Honda are colour coordinated!
The phrase I most often see for the automotive examples you mention is "color-matched" - connoting the color of component or accessory X is the same as the vehicle's body color.

In my experience "color-coordinated" goes no farther than connoting however many colors there are go well together, and it doesn't necessarily mean the multiple things are the same exact color.
 

ramonmercado

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i'm off ter fly me whippets.

Do they fly this well?

whippet.jpg
 

Peripart

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The phrase I most often see for the automotive examples you mention is "color-matched" - connoting the color of component or accessory X is the same as the vehicle's body color.

In my experience "color-coordinated" goes no farther than connoting however many colors there are go well together, and it doesn't necessarily mean the multiple things are the same exact color.

It's probably something that's overused in British advertising. "Colo(u)r-matched" isn't a phrase I've heard a lot over here, though it makes perfect sense.
 

Ermintruder

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Peripart said:
My current pet hate (and don't worry, I'll have another one next week) is the misuse of the phrase "colour-coded".
@EnolaGaia said: The phrase I most often see for the automotive examples you mention is "color-matched" ......In my experience "color-coordinated..
My 'colour prejudice' is against the use of the term "colour ways" (cf colourways), a dated yet still occasionally-deployed term within the lexicon of interior decorating and/or decorative products marketing.

It's a trigger-word for me, and it acts as a (probably quite-unjustified) warning sign for a whole anticipated level of pseudosophistry and cant.
 

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You've just reminded me, Escargot, of how much I cringe at the use of "must of" or "should of" instead of "must have" or "should have". Happens a lot.

I remember a boss of mine when I was a callow youth who used it all the time when speaking. When I saw that she was putting it into letters to customers (things like "your last meter reading should of been adjusted" ) I decided I ought to try to put her right by explaining the difference.

Did not go down well.
Funny how bosses don't like being exposed as gormless.
 

PeteS

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You've just reminded me, Escargot, of how much I cringe at the use of "must of" or "should of" instead of "must have" or "should have". Happens a lot.

I remember a boss of mine when I was a callow youth who used it all the time when speaking. When I saw that she was putting it into letters to customers (things like "your last meter reading should of been adjusted" ) I decided I ought to try to put her right by explaining the difference.

Did not go down well.
Often compounded by another ie "you should of brought a xx instead". Cringe.
 

Analogue Boy

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I was watching an old Star Trek repeat the other day and I’m sure I heard Spock say ‘off of’.
 

catseye

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A first for me. I have just seen a 'walk in cupboard' (ie, basically a small room designed for storage, usually either food or clothes) called a 'walking cupboard.' I was very tempted to ask if it could break into a short run if necessary...but refrained. People who genuinely think it's called a walking cupboard, without any curiosity as to why the hell anyone would use that phrase, will not appreciate irony.
 

CharmerKamelion

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I was watching an old Star Trek repeat the other day and I’m sure I heard Spock say ‘off of’.
Highly illogical. I have to say 'off of' is one of those things I say ironically, usually referring to actors, especially actors who are mostly known for a particular role. Maybe "David Duchovny off of The X-Files" or "Jennifer Aniston off of Friends". I think I started doing it as a sort of p*ss-take on the advertising posters we have in the UK for pantomimes, where the Evil Queen is "Lesley Joseph - Birds of a Feather" or Buttons is "John Barrowman - Doctor Who/Torchwood".
 
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