I’ve been guilty of this. It’s a trite phrase that lends nothing but negative feelings and projects the image of “unpolished opinions.” The phrase: “I wanted to like x, but…”
I’ve used it in many of my Yelp reviews and probably a few reviews on this blog. I even knew it was bad at the time. I just didn’t understand why or what to say instead.
What should I have written?
I should describe the things that I attracted me to the place/thing. I should describe what my expectations were. Then I should do a turnabout and describe why they didn’t match my expectations.
Once you get out the reason for why you were persuaded in a particular way, then you can evaluate if those initial reactions were even valid, or if the thing/place was as deceptive as you found it to be. In short, it’s nothing but descriptive writing. You’re not writing about an action that took place, nor are you writing a story. It’s all descriptive writing: it’s about your experience with a situation. I think I feel into this trap as that school re-enforced me to use descriptive writing only as a means to be a substitute to frozen visual imagery, rather than a possible re-enforcement of describing a situation.
I would like to say Thanks to the software Grammarly. It was the Grammar as a service based tool that pointed out awkwardly worded phrases and unnecessary statements that made my writing unclear.