Monty Python’s got my back. As always.

Continuing in the vein of grammar that irks me, here’s the next pet peeve: phrases that irk me!

“Needless to say” – if it’s needless to say, don’t say it. It was needless. Why’d you do that?!

“Da da da da da” – not really a phrase… but something a lot of people do when they can’t remember the word for “et cetera.” This is the noise people make when they get to the end of a really short list that they thought would be longer. “Oh yeah, I had to buy face cream, nail polish… da da da da da…” Actually it sounds more like “duhduhduhduhduh,” and I don’t know from whence it came or why people insist on using it instead of, you know, real words.

“This, that and the other” – like a boring version of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Or like a real-words version of “durrdurrdurrdurrdurr.” Usually abbreviated in conversation to sound like one word, thisstha’ntheuthr, still makes that really short list seem almost as long as you thought it was when you started it. “He wanted to go parasailing, rafting, thsthanthuther, and I was all ‘wow, this list was shorter than I thought it would be!'” It’s conversational filler.

None of these phrases are necessary. They all take away from your conversational narrative; they are termites in the framework of your storytelling. When I hear someone saying any of these phrases I just want to yell GET ON WITH IT! (Yeah! Get on with it!)

So there you are. In Miss Kate’s School of Grammatically Correct Elocution, the use of any of these phrases will result in automatic failure for the term. But that’s needless to say.

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