"Plain English supporters around the world have voted "At the end of the day" as the most irritating phrase in the language."
As anyone who has ever worked with me on a web project will tell you, I dread hearing those words. They’re never used to presage good news. When was the last time you heard somebody say "At the end of the day, the client has decided to increase the budget" or "At the end of the day, the deadline can be pushed back as much as you want"?
I think the most common use for the satanic phrase is in this sentence:
"At the end of the day, the client is paying for this so we have to do what they tell us (subtext: no matter how stupid it is)."
To which I usually respond with something like:
"That isn’t the end of the day. That isn’t even late afternoon. At the end of the day, people need to be able to use this website. And not just at the end of the day either: they need to get up the next day and use it again."
Then I burst a blood vessel.
My tolerance for clichés is slightly greater than my tolerance for clueless clients so I was able to get a kick out of this story consisting entirely of reader-submitted clichés.