Completely meaningless phrases that are common

What are some phrases that have no meaning because a) almost everyone uses them in the same circumstance; and/or b) are completely unverifiable/obvious/empty?

Here are examples of what I am looking for:

“Highway miles” - You see this all the time in car ads, usually for cars that have atypically high miles for their model year. Sometimes it’s in dealer ads, where they got the car in trade and have no way of knowing if it’s true. In any case, it’s unverifiable AND empty, since no one knows what percentage constitutes “highway miles”. Could be 90%, could be 40%.

“Free to good home” - Obviously some places are very picky about to whom they adopt, but it’s still meaningless because it’s always assumed to be true. Have you ever seen an ad that says “Free to bad home - we really hate this pet”?

I though about adding “How are you? Fine” to this, but sometimes people actually answer this honestly, so it’s not quite meaningless.

“One piece only” on a bucket of Halloween candy, left on the front porch by somebody who couldn’t be there to answer the door.

I wouldn’t quite agree. What you might instead see is “Free kitten”. I’d say “Free to good home” is almost but not quite meaningless because the current owner is rarely going to check. The author of the sign is basically saying “We really do care about Mr. Snuggles. Please take care of him.”, as opposed to “Would you like this cat? OK. Here.”

Back to the OP - “Lightly used”

On the death of a loved one: “S/he is in a better place now.” (WTF?)
On some spectacularly shitty turn of luck in one’s life, usually uttered in a chirpy tone: “Everything happens for a reason!”

“Conveniently located at…” No, not convenient to the vast majority of viewers.
“Carpentry (insert service of choice) and More!” More…what? Interpretive dance? Dental surgery? Floral arranging?

Then there is always the ever-popular “save up to 50 percent off of retail!” Which is so utterly, absolutely meaningless that I am gobsmacked this phrase still works, except it must because I’ve been seeing it for decades.

“supplies are limited so call within the next 20 minutes.”

“the check is in the mail.”

Saying somebody “died instantly”. Everyone dies instantly even people who have been sick for a prolonged period - one second you’re alive and the next second you’re dead.

“Prices reduced up to 50% or more” - think about it. “Up to 50%” means any amount at or below fifty percent. And “or more” means any amount above fifty percent. So all you’re really saying is the item has a price.

I hear what you are saying - Of course you did…I just said it

It is what it is - Probably the most useless homily ever spoken. Of course “it is what it is”…what else would it be?

“Free gift with purchase.” Are gifts not, by their very definition, free? And if one has to make a purchase in order to receive a gift…it’s not a gift!

New and improved!
Now twenty percent more free.

These two are the worst.

And then there’s “He’s gone to meet his maker.” Oh yeah? Is he finally getting that tune-up and transmission work he’s been putting off?

Original miles, too. “Yes, this cream puff has only 8,000 original miles on the clock!” But 350,000 on the original odometer, over there in the dumpster.

“condition: brand new with shelf wear” or variation thereof is increasingly used for online sales

Not useless. If you fall into a vat of molten steel, you die (basically) instantly. If you dip your toe in the steel and a fire slowly consumes you, you don’t. Sure, the actual “point of no return” happens in an instant, but some deaths happen faster than others.

Two examples from Raymond Smullyan, from the book What Is The Name Of This Book?

Silly remarks seen on restaurant menus:

(1) Extra charge for anything extra.

(2) Good food is not cheap. Cheap food is not good.
Smullyan points out that these two statements are logically exactly equivalent and thus, redundant to have both of them. (They both say that there is no food that is both cheap and good.)

See also that nearby thread on Worst case of manager-speak. Plenty of examples there!

On ebay: “near mint”.

“All-natural” .


I saw on a can of Pringles today-- "20% more*

*than the 161 gram size"

Additionally: “Part of a complete breakfast”.