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Pet peeve of the moment

The phrase "vast majority" is overused to the point of cliché. I'm tired of reading it in essays and posts and newspaper articles. It's everywhere. I don't mind clichés per se, but I do mind their thoughtless sprinkling through texts which are clearly not using them in any way other than the most literal.

There are all sorts of useful phrases and adjectives you can use instead of this phrase. There's "most" and simply "the majority". You might consider "nearly all" or "Almost without exception". To leave ambivalence around the edges, try "many", "quite a few", or "a large proportion".

If the vast majority of those who use "the vast majority" the vast majority of the time stopped it, these essays and posts and newspaper articles would be more enjoyable for me.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2004 12:22 pm (UTC)
Re: vast majorities
Personally I groan whenever I start to read a paper that begins with 'Many....' because it smacks of a rather naive writing style.
Come to think of it, I think 'vast majority' would probably produce the same reaction.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )