The Plain English Campaign said on Wednesday it had canvassed people in 70 countries to find the most irritating phrases of all.
When readers or listeners come across these tired expressions, they start tuning out and completely miss the message -- assuming there is one,” said John Lister of the Plain English Campaign.
People who busily “touch base” or talk about “ballpark figures” and “bottom lines” are not “singing from the same hymn sheet,” they are quietly driving others to distraction.
“Using these terms in daily business is about as professional as wearing a novelty tie or having a wacky ringtone on your phone,” Lister said in a statement.
A particular bugbear is the constant use of “like” as a form of punctuation.
Lister said that they had expected geographical variations, but the same phrases appeared to be universally annoying around the world.
“Gobbledegook jargon and cliches really are no respecter of international boundaries,” he told Sky Television in a cliche-riddled interview.
Other named-and-shamed cliches include:
-- blue-sky thinking
-- it’s not rocket science
-- crack troops
-- between a rock and a hard place
-- I hear what you’re saying
-- touch base
-- bear with me
-- to be honest with you