These are a few handy reminders of how to avoid appearing as though you are from Loma Linda or spend all day watching re-runs of the Khardasians. These are the words and phrases that should be shunned at all costs and is an easy way to elevate your communication skills and certainly make you seem more erudite.
Totally–What are you a Valley Girl? Even if you are drop it, totally. You can always try completely, entirely or how about dropping any adjective altogether. Next thing you’ll be describing someone as totally dead.
Just–You are almost always better off not using that word. Simply eliminate it. It should only be used when you definitely need to make a point of emphasis.
Really–Really, you are best advised to drop this one also under nearly ever circumstance. Again, this should be used when making an exclamatory remark and that should be a relatively rare event. I mean most events and circumstances don’t call for that “shouting” type lingo. You can always try truly or even verily if you are of the more formal bent.
So–So what? Gee whiz where in the world did this usage spring from? It is completely, totally unnecessary word. Silence before you begin your sentence if so much more elegant. So are we totally clear on that?
Hey–the TV reporters seem particularly determined to use this every time they are introduced but it has spread like an unwanted linguistic virus. It you feel compelled to make a greeting how about hello, how are you or if you wish to raise you level you could even use ahoy. After all that was the preferred greeting of Bell for the phone but surprise, surprise it never totally caught on with the public. The best advice is to start speaking without any lead in.
Like–Like, totally this is so juvenile and a waste of verbiage. Drop it. It will raise your IQ in the opinion of your listener 10 points automatically.
Lean in–What the devil is this supposed to mean? Try harder, fight harder? Don’t give up. Assert yourself? Exactly what is it you are leaning over or into? You can do better than that.
Good or Great question–I am worn out hearing that remark. Go straight to the response. If it is actually a great question if will be self-evident without note. If the questioner is bright enough to ask a good question they will be bright enough to not need needless and pointless praise. Hopefully they don’t need the “good job” all those helicopter moms give their 7 year olds for merely walking onto the soccer field.
Awesome–How many events or occurrences in life are awesome? My wedding, my children’s births and a hand full of athletic or business accomplishments fill out the resume for me and probably you. The word should only be used like a fine family heirloom and worn for special occasions only. Today suggesting a Big Mac is met with the “awesome” response, how demeaning to fine old word.
Here’s the thing–Oh, is it right there beside you? I was looking everywhere. Don’t use this expression. You’ll like totally appear smarter. It has the same linguistic value as clearing one’s throat before speaking.
Now for a few goodies for the knuckle -draggers out there that equate the sports pages with Samuel Johnson’s essays.
Physicality–What? Those sportscasters that use this are falling into the verbal pits. Are they talking about agility? Speed, Stamina, strength, sense of balance. We all know they sure are not referencing the IQ of those NFL players they are describing. I never met a physicality I liked. But I admire physical attributes. Oh,,,,,maybe that is what they are talking about.
Mentality–Well, first I need to observe that it is reassuring to know that there is anything mental whatsoever about those defensive ends pounding bodies into dust and start and end every sentence with “you know”. One can only assume, generously, that it is a reference to mental attitude, one’s mental mien or an attitude of determination and emotional resilience if face of some adversity. Can we take as a given that they are not referring to those folks as mental cases? Both of these last two are tragic examples of language being sucked into an abyss of the lowest common denominator of cultural linguistic abuse.
Body of work–How in the world did these sports guys every latch onto this tidbit. It has historically been used to discuss the career and works of artists. A cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons now has a body of work. Really, like I totally thought he was a grown man playing a game that would have no lasting impact on mankind. But I guess now I should think anew and realize that his play is the equivalent of da Vinci.
So, you can like close your books we have leaned in on proper grammar enough for now and I know, you know, that this was a totally awesome experience for you.
“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please” Mark Twain. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com