“I truly am the reflection of perfection.” “In order to be the best you’ve got to beat the best.” “Enthusiasm is a huge asset of mine and I believe it’s caught not taught.”
Lines as dire as these can only mean one thing. Yes, you’ve guessed it. The Apprentice is back, with a new batch of entrepreneurial hopefuls (and hopeless cases) battling it out for the chance to go into business with the redoubtable Lord Sugar.
“This is not about a job anymore and I’m not looking for a friend,” the gruff tycoon told them last night (the bearded guy at the back looked like he was quaking in his boots). “If I wanted a friend I’d get a dog. I’m looking for a partner, the Marks to my Spencer, the Lennon to my McCartney. This is about me investing £250,000 into a business with one of you and I’m expecting you, as the so-called entrepreneurs, to make the money for me.”
I’m not sure if 2011 winner Tom Pellereau, who recently launched a curved S-shaped nail file called the Stylfile, is going to make shed-loads of cash for Lord Sugar or not. But the start of the eighth series of The Apprentice got me to thinking about some of the most infuriating phrases in the English language today. I’ve used the phrase “got me to thinking” on purpose. Sarah Jessica Parker (aka Carrie Bradshaw) uses it all the time in Sex and the City and it drives me and my daughter bonkers.
Anyway, here are my current top five annoying phrases:
1. “The fact of the matter is…” Politicians love this one but it doesn’t mean anything at all.
2. “Don’t get me wrong but…” Columnists use this phrase way too much.
3. “At the end of the day…” Surely there must be a more original summing-up phrase than this?
4. “With all due respect…” It means the opposite.
5. “Absolutely.” Why can’t interviewees just say “yes” to a question these days?
I'd love to hear about your most loathed words and phrases. I have a feeling that Lord Sugar’s Apprentice happy band of wannabes might inspire a few.