Thursday, 31 January 2008

"Despite this, or perhaps because of it..."

There it is - the most annoying phrase in the english language. Could there possibly be any phrase more over used? If so, I have never heard it. This phrase is everywhere and it drives me nuts. What does it really mean?

Lets look at it in context. I just googled it and found amongst thousands, this example of its use

"Despite, or perhaps because of, the unusual format, the story is charming"

Come on...what are you really trying to say here? You cant have it both ways. Its one or the other, isnt it? Isnt using this phrase a bit like saying, "just ignore this next sentence as I really cant make up my mind which stand I want to take on this issue". Is the user of this phrase trying to say paradoxically? If so, just say it.

I have read this phrase so much over the last few years. Its just sloppy journalism in my view. Its filler when there's nothing better to say. I've even read it in french newspapers "malgré ça, ou peut-être à cause de cela". And just last night I came across it in a french translation of an Agatha Christie that she wrote in the 1930s so it must have been around for a long time.

Does anyone else find this annoying? *sigh* maybe its just me...


Colleen said...

I don't find it annoying but a bit puzzling. It seems to say "I don't know the effect this thing had, but it was something good...or bad."

Le Tigre said...

I never ever thought about it before but you're right. I guess it kind of make sense, but it's not a very good way to write because it's contradictory.

So something is charming despite a flaw, yet maybe on second thoughts it's the flaw that makes it charming?

But still....meh. Not a fan of the use of this. So I agree.

Andromeda said...

i hate how once you notice something annoying, it shows up everywhere! but that happens for non annoying things too . . .