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Here at The Prompt Mag, we consider ourselves an open-minded bunch. We love welcoming new writers into our community and through social media, we’ve forged pretty cool relationships with our readers. But we’re far from perfect. In fact, there are a few things we’re quite persnickety about. Read on and find out the phrases feel like daggers to our ears.

Jillian Conochan

I hate when a phone call is—or isn’t, for that matter—winding down and the other party says, “Well, I’ll let you go.” Excusez-moi? You’re letting me go? Cause to me it sounds more like you’re the one departing, but I’m left holding the bag. Thank you for the opportunity to bear the burden of hanging up, good sir; next time maybe just text me.

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Zach Straus

If you use the phrase “PLEASE ADVISE” in an email, you’re a monster. Not a relatable, sympathetic monster, like Frankentstein’s monster or a monster from Monsters, Inc. or Charlize Theron during the rollerskating scene in the movie Monster. A real monster. Like, the type of person who doesn’t pick up their dog’s poop or thinks that he’s being clever via email, when he’s clearly not.

Kelaine Conochan

Go ahead and call me a nitpicker. But I believe that every time someone says “all of the sudden,” a star explodes and a solar system dies in a very violent and—sudden—manner. Because bro, it is “all of A sudden.”

Maybe you can barely spot or hear the difference. Maybe you think I’m being ridiculous. Besides, why do I care so much about articles? Because in this case, the one that is definite is DEFINITELY WRONG. There is not only ONE SINGULAR SUDDEN. There are many possible suddens. RESPECT YOUR INDEFINITE ARTICLES.

Erin Vail

This is more a typo, but when people type “apart of something” or “apart of this” when they meant to say “a part of something” or “a part of this.” IT’S A SPACE BAR, PEOPLE. USE IT!

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Shalen Lowell

Not sure if this is a phrase per se, more a syntactical thing, but it really rustles my jimmies when someone says/writes “he/she/they whispered quietly.”

Maybe I’m alone in this but there’s no need for the “quietly” there, it’s part and parcel with the verb already mentioned. Same deal with “shouted loudly” or any other adverb proceeding a verb that means basically the same thing.

Dennis William

Related to Kelaine’s and Shalen’s: when a writer describes an action/event as happening suddenly when that is the only way it can happen. Like “Suddenly, the phone rang.” I always imagine the opposite happening. The phone gradually rang. Gradually a gun shot rang out.

Thomas Viehe

Adverbs are the worst. But you know what literally kills me? When people bitch about the use of “literally.” No, I’m not dead, Einstein. I was exaggerating. So shoot me. Stop badgering me with your inability to understand hyperbole based on context or tone. Literally shut up. Thanks.

Dennis William

Oh yeah, “and the like” really bugs me. It’s a phrase that can only be an affectation. No one naturally says “and the like”, because in contemporary English it is an unnatural phrasal structure. People who say “and the like” are trying to sound high minded. Oh, I’m much too educated and well-read to utter something as common as “like that,” I must elevate my verbiage. The president will provide the champions with double Whoppers, Big Macs, and the like.

Get stuffed.

Same goes for “various and sundry.” Just because a word is not commonly used, inserting it into your babble doesn’t indicate intelligence. You know why? Because if you were smart, you would realize that sundry means various and you’re being redundant. Oh, will there be various and sundry items? Will they be big and large items? Will the food be delicious and yummy? I might not go, because the weather report and forecast said it might be humid and muggy.

I feel gross just thinking about these phrases.

Billy Hafferty

To my knowledge, there is nothing worse than someone who has full authority over a task completely avoiding all leadership responsibilities with phrases like, “To my knowledge…” and “As far as I know…” Fucking take a stance. Own your shit.

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Ryan Fay

“Per my last email” you’re a piece of shit and apparently don’t plan on changing that fact any time soon.

Someone who loathes you

Thomas Viehe

People these days: Man, we really need to encourage kids to study STEM.

Other people: It’s just my humble opinion, but I think STEAM is equally as important.

Me: Yes, idiots use acronyms to describe areas of study in education.

PTD: Hey, who are you calling an idiot?!

Me: Pretty sure STEM covers the Sciences, dufus.

PTD: But we wanted to call out specific–

Me: Shuttup and get your own miniprompt. This is my soapbox now.

OP: Yes! STEAM is better.

Me: Shuttup. When you add Arts to that stupid acronym, what else is there? That covers EVERYTHING!!

OP: It leaves out divinity.

Me: Shit. You’re right. Sorry, Jesus. But moral of the story: stop using dumb acronyms when existing terms work. Don’t use STEM when Sciences is perfectly ok…

Editors: Thomas, stop being rude to people.

Me: Goddamnit. Fine.

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…and you? What phrases boil your blood? Is that one of them? (I wouldn’t blame you; I kind of hate myself for writing that.) Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and let us know!

The Prompt Staff

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