Last Update: Thursday, March 25, 2004. 8:28pm (AEDT)
Cliches, to be honest with you, drive us mad
The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day there is nothing, like, value-added about using cliches 24/7; with all due respect, it is not awesome, it is annoying.
The Plain English Campaign says it has 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," campaign spokesman John Lister said.
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", Mr Lister said in a statement.
A particular bugbear is the constant use of 'like' as a form of punctuation.
Mr Lister said the campaign had expected geographical variations but the same phrases appeared to be universally annoying.
"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:
it's not rocket science
between a rock and a hard place
I hear what you're saying
bear with me
to be honest with you.