There is an entertaining post on Blood-Red Pencil at the moment about hated words and phrases.
I must admit that, when it comes to empty or redundant phrases, I am as guilty as anyone. I say 'PIN number' even though I used to work in a bank (I don't say ATM machine but I am forgiving of people who do). I have never said '9 a.m. in the morning' but it's definitely not impossible that some day I will.
But I have my own pet hates.
One of mine is the phrase 'It's the exception that proves the rule.'
I read once that this phrase originates from a time when to prove something meant to test it. I never liked the expression much anyway, because I often heard it used as a way to dismiss annoying counter-arguments without having to admit that they were valid.
But now - it's like nails on a blackboard. Which is very unfair, because there really are times when the exception does highlight the rule. Still drives me nuts though.
Are there any words or phrases you hate?