Do You Make These Pet Peeve Phrase Mistakes?

Yes, I admit there are certain phrases that drive me absolutely crazy!

Pet peeves, bonkers that is!

For example:

“It is what it is.”

What the heck does that mean? I just don’t get it. It was what it was. It will be what it will be. Agh!

Someone (anyone) calling me “buddy.

Get real. I am not (and never will be) your buddy!

“Each and every one.” Redundant and repetitive. Huh?

Christians calling non-Christians “lost” people.

Where did that phrase come from anyway? Is that Lost as in Jack, Kate, Ben, Juliette, Charlie and Claire—or as in King James English—or as in the wrong address?

Derogatory, archaic and degrading—not to mention alienating.

Labeling real people “individuals,” as the police, military and seminary graduates are taught to do.

Depersonalizing, dehumanizing and depressing.

Pet. Peeves. I have more.

Do you?

What are your pet peeve phrases or words?

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148 Responses to “Do You Make These Pet Peeve Phrase Mistakes?”

  1. obviously (it’s never obvious to everyone)
    to make a long story short (no one ever does)
    it’s common sense (it’s never common to everyone)
    I’m not creative
    I’m not a leader
    marginalizing anyone based on the “individual’s” (sorry randy, couldn’t resist) beliefs

  2. It’s not derogatory but “at the end of the day” absolutely kills me. I have to hold back the inclination to karate chop someone in the throat when they say it…mostly because at some point later in the day I say it. Gaaahhh!

  3. I would like to “connect with you” and “pick your brain” about this. Can I “buy you lunch” sometime?


  4. “I’m not gonna lie…”

    I always want to respond with, “thank you for not lying in that previous sentence.”


  5. Call me crazy, but I hate the response, “Good, how are you?” If I ask you how you’re doing, say a little more than “good” and don’t push it back on me :)

    Glad I got that off my chest :)

  6. I’m not gonna lie, Jonathan, that’s a good one!

  7. I get irritated at people using the word “literally,” when the event they’re describing didn’t literally happen. “My head literally exploded!”

    The word “like” in certain contexts. “I was like ‘seriously!?’ and then he was like ‘TOTALLY serious,’ and so I was like ‘SHUT UP!'”

    With this one, I’m afraid I may step on some toes, and I try to remind myself to be patient, and I don’t doubt the heart behind it, but there are various words phrases that have crept into our Christian-ese that bug me, and they tend to come out more when people are praying into a microphone. Examples would include using the word “just,” or the phrase “just wanna,” or using the word “God” as filler. “God, we just ask you God that you would fill our hearts Your love God, `cause we just wanna praise You God.”

  8. Matt Baugher May 6, 2011 at 07:49

    Great post, buddy. I look at each and every one of these and think that for most individuals, especially the lost, it is what it is…

  9. The counterpart to that is people who ask “how are you doing?” but who don’t really want to know. I notice it especially when passing someone going the opposite direction in a hallway, and they ask “how you doing?” as they continue walking briskly past me, giving me no time to answer.

  10. Yeah, the “pick your brain thing” sounds just a wee bit too literal.

    “Welcome to *my* world.” This instantly makes me feel like someone is belittling any concern I have just expressed. Probably has more to do with intonation, though.

    “I’m feeling badly.” What, are you wearing gloves?

    “Where are you at?” Just drop the preposition. It’ll be fine with out it. Yes, I know this and the prior example are more about grammar, but they are common phrases I hear. Nails on a chalkboard! :)

  11. If you want to ask me questions I will love to try to provide some answers. If you want to “pick my brain” it’s gonna be slim pickings.

  12. Mine are:

    “to be honest,” or “honestly” as if they weren’t before
    very unique – it either is or isn’t. It can’t be very only one of a kind.

  13. These are hilarious.. I expected your list to be much longer, and yet love how everyone is filling in with so much more. A few of my peeves:

    * “Lost” drives me insane as well. Anything that is separatist bugs me. I probably would have been a flower child in the 60’s. It’s just my heart.

    * acronyms that no one outside of the organization that formed them understands.

    * High brow christianese – that thing that happens when Christians speak in such a way that every sentence sounds like a doctoral thesis. I HATE that. I’m all for intellectually stimulating conversation but come on…I especially see this when someone is trying to win a disagreement and I get a dump truck of words poured over me that no normal person in the real world uses. These words may or may not have any relevance to our discussion, but I won’t know that until I go home and look them up.. I am by no stretch a mental midget and receive this approach to conversation to be degrading to say the least.

    * I’m fairly certain the term “mental midget” will now show up on someone’s pet peeve phrase list.

    * Along the christianese bend — There is a book called Deep Church that I recently read and enjoyed. I especially love how the author addresses the uses and abuses of Christian phrases. He basically states and proves that we are all saying the same words and applying different definitions. No wonder we don’t understand each other half of the time.


  14. I am definitely guilty of saying, it is what it is. I will work on it :)

  15. “It is what it is.” is just that. It’s a polite [& short] way of saying, “It’s not going to change so you’d best accept it & move on.”

    Only pet peeve language usage I have is the REPEATED, “ya know” at end of sentences… No, I didn’t know however you don’t give me time to answer your QUESTION ya know!

    However, when someone asks “How are you?” And keeps walking or ‘cuts’ off my answer, their reaction shows rudely & I respond back with, “Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.”

  16. i guess i am what i am ;)

    Looking forward to seeing you guys tonight!

  17. “I could care less.”

    If you could care less then you still care; I’m betting you mean you couldn’t care less, though I probably shouldn’t assume I know your inner thoughts.

    A pet peeve word I hear with frightening regularity is “irregardless” which, until recently, wasn’t even in the dictionary (but is now, along with “ain’t” because it’s used so frequently) when “regardless” or “irrespective” is what is meant.

    I feel so much better getting that out ~ thanks for the venting venue!

  18. “Newborn babies,” aren’t all babies new when they are born? When people use the word, “Whatever,” to shut someone down. May I also add, “Huh, yah, and gonna.”

  19. I hear you. I think we’re all prone to tossing out easy phrases at times because we’re lazy, bored, tired, whatever.

    Oh, that reminds me. WHATEVER. I have been known to slip and use that on a rare occasion when frustration is holding me prisoner. But its use is rampant in society, and it drives me nuts. If given the opportunity I respond by quoting Philippians 4:8. That’s the only WHATEVER I want to hear. Of course, it’s usually met with a rolling of eyes, the flip of a hand, or the back of the retreating offender. Oh, well. WHATEVER.

  20. Mine is, “I could care less”. Oh, so if you COULD care less, then you do care at least a little bit! It’s supposed to be “I couldn’t care less,” meaning that it is impossible for you to care any less than you already do.

    I also get really annoyed when people use the wrong version of the words “their”, “they’re”, or “there”.

  21. I hate to be called ‘guy’. Drives me nuts!!

  22. – relevant
    – let’s all stand to our feet
    – everyone under the sound of my voice
    – every head bowed and every eye closed
    – fellowship
    – turn to your neighbor and tell them….
    – good morning everyone! oh, y’all aren’t awake yet, let’s try that again… GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY!!!! (insert mic feedback)

    and my favorite as a sound tech…

    – am I on?

    that was very cathartic. thank you, randy! :)

  23. One of mine is using the word “around” instead of “about.” That one and others here:

  24. Trey Chandler May 6, 2011 at 10:38

    “This person needs no introduction” – then shut up and let them begin!

    “Churchy” words (speaking of “lost”). The one that bugs me the most is “fellowship”. We are not gathering Friday night for “food, fun, and fellowship”, we are having a party. The only people who use the word “fellowship” are evangelicals and hobbits.

  25. Re. “lost”:

    Where did that come from? How about here: “Today salvation has come to this house,” Jesus told him, “because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost”
    (Luke 19:9–10 HCSB). I checked the NASB, ESV, NIV, NKJV, and the NIV. They all use the word “lost” in this verse. Even The Message uses it! Jesus used the word to liken unsaved people to sheep abandoned by their shepherds. He is the Good Shepherd who rescues the lost sheep. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with using a word to describe unsaved people that our Lord, Himself, used.

    • @Dan, I respectfully disagree with you. We do not live in the first century anymore.

      But I’m thankful that you joined the conversation. Thanks, Dan!

      • @Randy Elrod, I’m thankful to be included in the conversation. But by your logic rejecting “lost” as a legitimate descriptor for unsaved people, should we also throw out words the Bible uses to describe saved people if they carry too much first-century baggage? Sons, heirs, princes, priests, children, chosen, elect, redeemed, branches, slaves … which of those are still acceptable today? Unsaved people being lost relates them to Jesus as Shepherd. Therefore, throw out “lost” and you might as well lose “Shepherd’ too, since most of us aren’t in the livestock business in the 21st century. Proper biblical interpretation should have us understanding what the words meant to its culture, and then applying those meanings to ours. “Lost” carries the weight of desperation we should feel when we know someone is separated from the Good Shepherd. It’s honest and biblical. Don’t reject it.

        • @Dan, There are so many other words that would cause people who are not Christian to feel welcomed and not scorned.

          I’m sorry, but I do reject it for today’s vernacular. Just as I reject the Old Testament’s “pisseth against the wall,” and baptizing for the dead and so many other words that are Biblical but not applicable for today.

          I’m just not a literalist. But I totally respect your opinion and yes, vaue it.

          Thanks, Dan!

        • @Dan, There are so many other words that would cause people who are not Christian to feel welcomed and not scorned.

          I’m sorry, but I do reject it for today’s vernacular. Just as I reject the Old Testament’s “pisseth against the wall,” and baptizing for the dead and so many other words that are Biblical but not applicable for today.

          I’m just not a literalist. But I totally respect your opinion and yes, value it.

          Thanks, Dan!

  26. Hahahaa I don’t know what’s been more fun – reading this post or the comments! I cringe when people say “irregardless” to try to sound smarter. It’s not even a real word!

  27. my pet peeve isn’t so much a phrase as much as it is a grammatical one: i *hate* incorrectly used apostrophe’s (<— like that one).

    it's most aggravating when used in a plural like i just did above. but also pretty bad in when someone says your when they mean you're or it's when they men its.

  28. Jonathan Jones May 6, 2011 at 11:35

    My partial list.

    Words: flustrated, acrossed or acrosst, supposebly, a whole nother, pacifically (actually knew someone who wasn’t hired because of using this one), incorrect use of further and farther, saying jealous when you actually mean envious (two sometimes related but entirely different things)

    Phrase: “At the end of the day…” Usually used to shut down a great idea that involves some risk.

  29. Being called brother, bro, broseph, brah, or other variations on that theme.

    • @Dave A, I’m totally with you on this one. Thanks, Dave!! Only two people should call me bro in this world, and their names are Terry Elrod and Cheryl Elrod. Yep. Period.

  30. Here’s another one: “On a daily basis.” Say “daily.”

  31. One that gets me is when people finish every sentence with “I mean seriously”. It’s like a filler!! What in the world does that mean? If they don’t say that their not serious??? Cmon folks…..I mean seriously! Whoops:)

  32. Ah, pet peeves. I have so many. “I’m fine” is the biggest one…I can always tell when someone’s lying through their teeth as they say “I’m fine.”

  33. Christian women who dress provocatively at church. Christian women who dress provocatively, period.

    “…and what not.” Hate this…what’s it mean anyway? and what (what) not? I don’t get it.

  34. Two off the top of my head that are Christian-based:

    (1) The term “born-again” – when someone calls themselves a born-again Christian, it is like someone calling herself a white caucasian.

    (2) Although I use it often, I have issues with the phrase “when I was saved.” We were saved once Jesus died on the cross… I think I might have a preference for “when I accepted God’s free offer of salvation…” — still pondering on this one, but it does irk me.

  35. Diane Rivers May 6, 2011 at 12:23

    “Female” CEO, “female” lawyer, “female” FBI agent, “female” electrician, and such. Descriptive, yes, but somehow diminishing, unless we start referring to male CEOs, male lawyers, etc. Also, “literally”, when used improperly as in “I was literally jumping out of my skin”.

  36. “Well, to tell you the truth…”

    Sort of goes along with “Honestly…”

  37. I probably drive everyone banana crackers because I make up words…and usually don’t even know it, until someone whose crackers I’ve stepped on announces it. I really do think we should elevate our use of the English language, but let’s not beat the stuffin’ out of conversations for the sake of correctness.

    Having said that I do confess that double negatives cause spots to break out on my big toe. I can’t hardly stand it.

    Great post Randy. I love the way you turn a phrase and touch a heart.

  38. I don’t have any pet peeves that come to my mind immediately. I agree with whomever said “I’m fine” though. Its not really a pet peeve, just frustration that the person is choosing to remain behind a wall.

    Since I can’t really think of pet peeves of mine, I can share a couple of disagreements my husband and I have. :) I grew up in the midwest so I have a certain pronunciation that my husband does not. For example, the clip that girls wear in their hair, do you pronounce it barr-ett or burr-ett ? Another one between the two of us is whether or not the word “crick” exists as a reference to a moving body of water.
    I try not to irritate my husband on purpose with these things, but it is a good-natured recurring discussion.

    In reference to being called “buddy”, does it bother you if someone calls you “Hon” or “Honey” or something like that? It doesn’t bother me, but I know it really gets to some people…

    • @Jen C, Hmmm. We called it barr-ett in the mountains of Tennessee and we absolutely called moving bodies of water “cricks.” Oh yeah!

      as in, “Yep, right down by that ther crick right thar.”

      No, Hon or Honey don’t bother me…that is, unless it’s a man… :)

  39. Jonathan, since we are from the same area of the country, I assume that you get the CHIMLEY cleaned regularly so you can use your fireplace safely. I also assume that your WORSH your hand regularly.

    Confession: I am guilty of “whole nother.” You can take the boy out of the the trailer …

  40. oh I have several…

    “I’m fixin’ to…” (seriously southern but people, it’s not broke!)

    “Cut the light off” (cut, really?)

    “expecially”. There is no “x” in especially. Why say it?

    And to be fair – there’s something I say that drives me crazy every time. Ironically, I use the word “ironically” incorrectly all the time. Someone asks me to grab lunch and I catch myself replying, “Ironically, I just had lunch.” Where is the irony in that?

    Argh… I frustrate myself sometimes. Ironically.

  41. People calling me buddy, that have no idea who I am does indeed drive me crazy. I’m not so taken back by referring to non-Christians as ‘lost’ as long as it’s in the right context or situation (inside the church walls). I do agree that referring to people as being lost in a public setting is not appropriate…especially when it’s used as a derogatory statement, which is never appropriate.

    My pet peeve isn’t necessarily a phrase, but when people use the word ‘ideal’ instead of ‘idea’ in a phrase is the one thing that drives me bonkers!

  42. ‘Where ever you go, there you are’ always makes me cringe. Pseudo-wisdom often shows up in cheesy country songs. As opposed to really good, poignant country songs with lines like ‘I don’t love you, but I always will.’

  43. So, if the “lost” aren’t “lost,” what lyrics do you sing in Amazing Grace? “I once was having trouble with my GPS?”

    • @Shane, Okay, Shane. the two previous posts made me chuckle…you just made me laugh in a very good way!!

      I think you should give the GPS lyric idea to Chris Tomlin, get a co-write credit and you should be able to retire. :)

  44. down town shari brown May 6, 2011 at 12:59

    Pet Peeve Phrasiologists Unite
    “I know, right?”

  45. I don’t like when commentators talk about athletes as “the Kobe Bryants of the league, the Tom Brady’s of the league…” There’s only ONE of each of those guys!

  46. how late will you guys be there? (says I may show up if nothing better comes along)

  47. It’s a MOOT point…not a MUTE point!!


    How about the misuse of “literally.” As in, “I told my mom and she literally exploded!” Really?
    Bits of her went flying everywhere in a big boom?

    “I could care less.” Ummm…are you sure that’s what you mean?

    It’s realtor NOT real-a-tor.

    I’m tired of hearing about “object failure.”

    How about ath-a-letic? Isn’t it athletic?

    Add IRregardless to that list…cringe-worthy, indeed.

  48. Mine are any ‘churchy’ phrases. The worst one – “if you can’t hear God guess who moved.”

  49. Aw, man. Somebody beat me to it….!

  50. What a great list!

    Here’s my addition:

    first and foremost –

    Makes me nuts.

  51. Sorry — I thought my last reply would tag on to the comment left by @Matt Baugher

    Here are a few of my favorites: orientate, calling a blog post a “blog”, ending a sentence with “with” — as in “wanna come with?” (that is not proper English people!)…

    And my favorite Christian one, besides the aforementioned holy Um (God, Father, Lord, Jesus, repeated during prayer when the person is thinking of the next thing to say): It really bugs me when preachers (or whoever is speaking) say, “if you’re here this morning/today/tonight…” —You mean there’s a chance some of these bodies in the room are unoccupied??? :)

  52. Unless you are an accountant, gymnast or acrobat, please don’t use the word “balance” to refer to any aspect of your life.

    And don’t try to “strike a balance” either.

    What’s the alternative?


    Doesn’t a life of harmony sound more appealing and attainable than one of balance?

  53. I’m right there with the others that hate “at the end of the day”

    Then there are the people who are the reason buzzword bingo was invented. The person who states that he/she wants “to proactively leverage our synergies for the next-gen, win-win value creation.”

    In church-world, it’s the words “we just” showing up with every phrase of a prayer: “Dear Lord, we just come today to…” and “we just ask” and “we just pray for Susie’s ankle”

  54. Rachel – in addition to that…. Christians who SAY they are celibate…. but, how to say this?, ….do everything BUT. I’ve seen this on TV. One sentence “I’m celibate.” Next, “I will ______”. (You fill in the blanks.)

    I also have a friend says she’s a 45 year old virgin, but it’s only “technical” – we’ve stopped having that discussion.

    If you stop short of that line – you’re still celibate or can still be a virgin. No. Not really. At least that’s my opinion. And I’m sticking to it.

  55. “I’ll pray about it” as an answer to a question that one wishes to not answer. Of course, you should pray about it. But, really?

  56. I remember when I first heard this horrible phrase –” it is what it is”. My husband, who has the communication skills of a rock, said it and I shrieked in horror! How could a rock regress?

    Another one that drives me nuts –” not so much”. Have the courage to comit to an answer!

  57. We call that praying to Father Weejus.

  58. My pet peeve “I could care less.” So you do care some, then?

  59. Lisa Gibson May 6, 2011 at 18:12

    My daughter wants to constantly call me “dude” when she gets in and intense conversation with me. I have hair like Farrah Fawcett, dress like a woman and I’m clearly not a “dude” . I also don’t like “that sucks”. I was recently shocked to hear it in a high school cheer against underclassmen exclaiming “sophmores suck”.

    When I ask a question and give you a choice, PLEASSSSEEEE don’t respond, “It doesn’t matter, I don’t care”! Make a decision.

    My church peeve “well I tithe my time”. Really? Interesting the Lord had a lot to say about the tithe and he didn’t cancel out financial for “your time”. “I’m just saying” ;)

  60. Lisa Gibson May 6, 2011 at 18:17

    Oh and one more peeve from church and the masses- Being a widow of six years now, I abhor people who tell children or anyone for that matter, “Well God needed your Dad/Mom, child in heaven. God needed another carpenter, banker, blah blah.” God wants us but certainly isn’t vengeful to sit in heaven and take my daughters’ Dad cause he “needed” him. I stopped someone at a funeral once who leaned over and said that to my child. God wants us but certainly doesn’t need us and why should I be apart of a following that would have such a cold God to take family members. I serve a God who I see differently than that.

    I have learned much about grief in the last years.

  61. This made me laugh… one am I still trying to figure out is:

    “the best thing since sliced bread” so what was the best thing before that, and have we not come out with anything better yet?

    As to Christian/Church terms my personal favorite “I am excited to see what God will do”… really?

    Thanks for putting these out there… I find my self saying “it is what it is” sometimes… I don’t think I will again:) and if I do, I am sure I will think of this post!

  62. I’m with you on alll of those except one. I’m a little befuddled as to why you wonde where the term “lost” fir non-Christians cane from, though.

    Um, a guy named Jesus;

    For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. – Luke 19:10

    I understand the idea of not wanting to alienate non-believers to better be able to draw them in, but it seems to me that that one is just calling ’em like He saw ’em.

  63. Great list, Randy. And good to know in case I would ever be tempted to call you “buddy” in the future.

    I also don’t like being called “buddy” by someone who really isn’t a friend. I also hate when people use words that aren’t real words, like “irregardless.” (I know it’s technically an accepted informal use of “regardless,” but seriously, what’s the point of that word?)

  64. How cool is it that you reply to our comments/ VERY cool! :)

  65. Thanls for replying to our comments! :)

  66. wow. i’d be annoying you because “it is what it is” has been what i use to describe my current situation. i guess i need to be more creative in shunning the cliches that i rail on in church circles. great post Randy.

  67. Great Article! It always is interesting to see people’s opinions whether good or bad. It’s even better to see people can still retain the right to Freedom of Speech!

  68. I know I am about a month late, but I LOVED this post. It’s also ironic I stumbled across it today because I was talking with a friend about chocolate mentioned how it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up to hear people say “ValentiMes!” The same is true of people who tell me I need to be more “Pacific”… what if I feel like being Atlantic on that day?? ;o)

    In Christian cirlcles, I’m not a fan of any type of Christianese, but I would have to say my least favorite phrase is (and this is cultural I’m sure – cause there’s nothing like the black church) “stand to your feet.” Um… where else would I stand??? To my hands? That’s akin to Raid’s slogan “it kills bugs dead?” As opposed to killing them alive you mean???

    I could do this all day, but I’ll stop here! Have a great day! :o)

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