- The presenter of the late night TV news who signs off by saying, 'Enjoy your evening' - just as the vast majority of her audience are planning to go to bed.
- So-called "reality" TV shows featuring so-called "celebrities", most of whom I have never heard of and none of whom hold the slightest interest for me.
- Automated telephone calls from overseas that start, 'Congratulations! You have won...' and go on to invite me to 'press 9 to hear more'.
- Salespeople on the phone who start the conversation by asking, 'And how are you today?' just as if we were bosom friends who had spoken only a day or two before when he learned that I was under the weather.
- Shop assistants who ask, 'Anything else at all?'. If there were, I would ask for it. And anyway, 'at all' is superfluous and means nothing.
- Waiters and waitresses who, when I am half-way through my main course, stop by the table to ask if everything is alright. If it weren't, I would have made a fuss before eating half the meal, and anyway, they don't give a tinker's cuss; they just want me out of their hair so they can pick up the tip they hope I will leave because they have given excellent service by checking that everything is alright.
- Degrees ascribed to uniqueness, such as 'rather', 'quite', 'somewhat', or even 'entirely'.
- People responding to the question, 'How are you?' with the words 'I'm good'. I don't want to know if they are well-behaved or the world's worst sinner, I'm asking if they are well or not.
I suppose if I were pressed, I would say that the question 'And how are you today?' asked by somebody I have never before spoken to is the one that grates the most.