Re: Things people say that irritate you
In a lot of ways, I consider myself the poster boy for Being Easily Annoyed (or, to turn it into a phrase that might irk some of YOU, I have a perpetually Sandy Vagina).
Yet, seeing all these things listed and railed against in one place makes me realize I'm probably rather forgiving on this front. I think years of writing for audiences and trying to sort out what things I do are genuinely entertaining and what are genuinely hacky and what are cases where some idiotic (perhaps jealous) minority of said audience begins railing against MY beloved rhetorical crutches has led me to an a point of odd ambivilance on this issue: it's all just words, and what counts is the meaning behind the words. I'm not saying there shouldn't be some thought put into the packaging, I'm just saying: buy the product, not the box.
Or at least, if you're going to be taking the time to complain, it had better be about the content, and not about the presentation. That's what I have trained myself to believe, anyway.
To wit, there were two great examples named above: the "It is what it is" and the flaccid corporate-slang type stuff like "I don't disagree." On their own, both of those are the sorts of things that get my Slapping Hand all warmed up and tingly... but that's when I have to tell myself "settle down," perhaps someone is just being a tinch lazy or doesn't want to waste your time with a full explanation of their thoughts, so they are supplying an easy catch-all cliche, pending the presentation of an Insightful Follow-Up Question. So it's on *me* to figure out which is lacking here...
If I follow-up, and Spanky McGee can't expand upon his ideas, then fine: it was the CONTENT that was broken, and the crappy box he wrapped it in was an accurate representation. I simply file that away and remember to try to never talk to Spanky again, or to know ahead of time that he is bordering on clinical retardation anytime I do have to talk to him. If, however, I am rewarded with am amplification of precisely "what it is" and why that's relevent to our discussion beyond a merely reflexive statement like "blue is very blue," then I know not to outright dismiss Spanky for any future displays of rhetorical laziness.
In addition to trying to get to the core content/meaning rather than obsessing over the use of words, I'll sometimes outright antagonize people if I suspect I can do it easily and without really selling my soul to the devil. For instance, I'll regularly abuse some lesser rules (especially punctuation that creates "pauses" for the eyes, like elipses or double-dashes, and abuse of "filler words" like "actually" or "kind of") to create what I hope READS like my actual voice SOUNDS in a real conversation. To some, this is annoying as all get out, like the written word has some inherently greater value than the spoken one, and must be deified. Bleh to that: I figure the joke's on the hyper-reactive posers if I manage to annoy them that badly with "Conversational Typing." It's not like I'm going 100% tard and emoticonning and LOL'ing in the name of "convenience."
Also: I purposely misuse the word "literally" as often as I can. But when I say "misuse" I mean REALLY misuse, leaving no doubt to anybody that even I (literally as dumb as a houseplant) must have done it on purpose. I think it's funny. I blame this on intense over-exposure to Gorilla Monsoon when I was in elementary school.