London, Nov 7 : There are some phrases and words that drive us literally mad. Now, researchers at Oxford University have compiled a list of top ten most irritating expressions.
The expression 'at the end of the day' topped the list while the phrase 'fairly unique' came second.
The tautological statement "I personally" landed the third spot and the grammatically incorrect "shouldn't of", instead of "shouldn't have" was also included in the top ten.
The enraging misusages appear in Jeremy Butterfield's book called 'Damp Squid', named after the mistake of confusing a squid with a squib, a type of firework.
The researchers monitor the use of phrases in a massive database called the Oxford University Corpus, made up of books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the net and other sources.
This alerts them to new words and phrases to be included in the Oxford English Dictionary and can tell them which language fads are fizzling out.
It can also show how words are being misused.
Other examples noted by Butterfield, began as office jargon - with the phrases '24/7' and 'synergy' cited as worst offenders.
Other phrases to irritate people are "literally" and "ironically", when they are used out of context.
"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," the Telegraph quoted Butterfield, as saying.
The top ten most irritating phrases:
1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science