Since releasing my last blog on verbal irritations, some people sent me their unfavourite phrases, together with their unspoken reactions. I picked out the best irritants, and here they are:
“I am good” in reply to the innocent question of “How are you?” This infuriates three of my correspondents. “I wasn’t enquiring after your moral character,” one of them fumes inwardly, “and anyway it’s rather immodest of you to claim goodness instead of telling me about your latest cold.”
“Thank you for your patience!” says the recorded voice after you’ve been holding on for ten minutes on an 0845 number and are hopping up and down with murderous impatience.
“Let’s meet up”. Up where? Can’t we just MEET? It’s as irritating for one acquaintance as “Visiting with…”
“Raising children” bothers one young mother who prefers bringing them up. . Raising reminds her of raising the dead or raising one’s voice, both fairly unpleasant concepts.
And finally there is the ubiquitous “Have a nice day”, the supreme irritant for many. If only we had the courage to give the only reasonable answer: “Sorry, I have other plans!”