How to write the world’s most irritating column

By Sujay Kumar

Now you’re absolutely thinking, “Who does this Middle Eastern man think he is, lecturing me about the English language?” Fair enough, I did call my outfits “dresses” until the bona fide age of seven.

Since you’ve read this far, I can tell that you are not only fairly unique, but have a mastery of that crazy jumble of words, phrases, sentences etc. we call English. But this isn’t a lecture per se, just a warning.

Researchers at Oxford have used a database called the Oxford University Corpus to scan books, papers, magazines, television, and the Internet to find the top ten irritating phrases. It’s not rocket science, but the system watches the advent of new words and phrases, and the extinction of others. It also chronicles how some words are being misused.

Mr. Butterfield, an author quoted via a Telegraph article, said, “We grow tired of anything that is repeated too often-an anecdote, a joke, a mannerism-and the same seems to happen with some language.”

In the interest of time, I personally won’t list the ten irritating phrases here.

At this moment in time, across the country in Bournemouth, the Borough Council decreed a ban on “elitist” and “discriminatory” bureaucratic language: i.e. Latin phrases in documents are to be substituted with simple phrases.

The council believes that everyone does not know Latin and that many readers are non-native English speakers, inter alia. Following suit, the councils of Salisbury and Fife also outlawed the use of Latin phrases.

Mrs. Beard, a professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, said, “This is absolute bonkers and the linguistic equivalent of ethnic cleansing. English is and always has been a language full of foreign words. It has never been an ethnically pure language.”

So who’s right, Mr. Butterworth or Mrs. Beard?

Now you may wonder, “That’s in England, we’re in the United States. They don’t even speak the same language.”

But who’s to say that under Barack Obama’s new rhetorical regime an ad hoc ban of irritating words and phrases wouldn’t happen? He is, with all due respect, a President who has his way with words.

First on Obama’s ad lib initiative might be the phrase “text me.” This phrase has infiltrated our daily lives to take precedence over phone calling or face-to-face conversations. Variations e.g. “did you get my text” or “I’ll text you” would also be in danger of prohibition.

Continuing with the trend of social interaction, we would lose use of the phrase “what’s up.” It has reached the point when anytime a person picks up a phone or runs into you, you will undoubtedly greet them with a friendly “what’s up” or vice versa.

Prima facie Obama would surely reprimand those who mix up the use of “I” and “me” vis-…-vis a stern scolding. He would come down hard on those who utter a phrase like, “Mrs. Beard and me went to the store.” But he would come down harder on others willing to say “This is a photo of Mr. Butterworth and I.”

Between you and I, the phrase “I feel” needs to be eliminated from daily conversations since it adds nothing to the sentence which it precedes. And while we’re at it, we should also abolish the use of “cool,” since it can be quid pro quo to “amazing,” “that’s good I guess,” and “I really don’t care so I’ll just say ‘cool.'”

Picture living 24/7 without those words. At the end of the day, maybe a ban on our language isn’t as bonkers as it seemed. Or are you screaming, “It’s a nightmare, we must maintain the status quo!”

I feel as though I shouldn’t of indulged in this word-fear mongering. At this moment in time, it’s absolutely<.b> speculation. Please text any complaints to Andrew Mason at 555-Daily-Illini. Don’t worry, he’s cool. He knows what’s up.

Sujay is a senior in biochemistry who hopes to one day go into the field with Mystery and Matador as his wingmen.