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`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.

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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.''