Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Triteness of It

I just read this story on about how the word "absolutely" is overused these days. While the piece itself seems like it should be a feature in The Onion rather than a credible news outlet of CNN's stature, the article does kinda have a point.

I mean, when you stop and think how often you hear the word (or say it), you realize its frequency far exceeds its need. Totally. I myself try to switch off between "absolutely" and "definitely" just to mix things up a bit to prevent sounding like a broken record. I'm not even sure why I use those words rather than "yes," "for sure," or the ever-popular "indubitably." As the article says, "absolutely" sounds solid and confident. That is, until it doesn't, when it becomes a hackneyed soundbite that cannot carry the punch we think it will.

Although the article is referring to confident language in not-so-confident times, the principle really applies to other words. One word that irks me is "actually," not only because it's overused, but because alot of people tend to use it incorrectly. If something happened, it happened. You don't need to throw "actually" in the mix as every other word to make your point. Another one is "yeah." I say this like there's no tomorrow; I'm casual like that. A former coworker of mine hated using the word so much that she forced herself to not say it; she thought it sounded childish and, as it were, not confident. I supposed she could have used "absolutely."

There are a ton of other words that irritate the heck out of me for being overused. What words do you either say, or hear others say, way too much? (please keep this clean!)

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