There are a few things that are like fingernails on a blackboard to me. One of them is when speakers or writers profess the truth in their statements.
Honestly, (pun intended) when someone prefaces a statement by saying, “I have to be honest here,” “To tell you the truth,” “Truthfully,” “In all honesty,” “To be completely honest,” and so forth, I have to wonder if everything they said before that was a lie.
Why do people point out that they’re being truthful only now and then during a talk or in their written work? What are they thinking? What message are they trying to leave with their audience? “Hey, I’m a blatant liar except that now I’m going to be honest.”
I guess people who do this are trying to make a point of honesty with regard to something that one could easily lie about. Maybe it is a sticky topic and they preface a comment about it by letting their audience know they are being painfully honest at some cost. But I would advise those folks to be careful with those “honesty,” prefaces because I’m sure there are others besides myself who hear those statements and wonder, “Okay, what has this guy/gal been lying about?”
Does this bug you? It probably will now that I have pointed it out.
I listen to radio when I run errands or make the drive to visit my mother, etc. And I’m sometimes surprised to hear a radio personality who continually intersperses such filler words as, “You know,” throughout their commentary and conversations with guests. Sometimes I lose track of what the discussion is about because I am so busy counting instances of “you know.”
What common phrases, speaking patterns/habits and innuendoes irritate you? What are you working to correct in your own speech? What about clichés? I happen to love using clichés. They are sort of like a comfort food to me. I can find them easily and, unlike a fresh phrase that I might have to think about for a while, they roll off my tongue. I use clichés in writing, too. Only, when the writing is done, I go back and remove or exchange most of them. And I always edit them out of my clients’ manuscripts, except those included for some real purpose or when it is the way one of the characters speaks.