`NEEDLESS TO SAY' NEEDLESS TO SAY

What written expression turns you off the most? For communication expert Roger Flax, it's ``needless to say'' which, he says, is ``needless to say.''

Dr. Flax, president of Motivational Systems, had more than 7,500 participants in his company's writing programs for executives list the hackneyed expressions they find most annoying.

Losers included ``to be perfectly honest,'' ``as you know,'' ``I am writing this letter to inform you that,'' ``please rest assured,'' and ``at your earliest convenience.''

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