Monday, September 10, 2012

Micro-post: On Crutch Words

I came across (okay, Twitter alerted me to the presence of) this article, "Actually, Literally, What Your Crutch Word Says About You" in The Atlantic tonight, and I was both astonished and disappointed in myself that I use almost all of the major catch phrases on this list.

My biggest offenders:

Actually ("Literally," only with attitude, which is true to how I mean it, so fair enough.)
Basically (I had to edit "basically" out of my previous parenthetical and instead say "true to.")
At the end of the day (Just another version of "basically," right? As in, "cutting to the chase." Whatever. I like it)
For what it's worth (More emphasizing, summarizing. I guess I have a problem with this?)
Seriously and Honestly (To be fair [another one of my crutch phrases], I say "seriously" more on its own. Like, "Seriously? He seriously said that?" Which feels different than the example given. And I always mean "honesty" with sincerity.)
Apparently (You got me there. Use it all the time, probably unnecessarily.)
Like/um (everyone uses those. Get over yourselves, The Atlantic.)

So, the only one I don't really use is "literally," which I guess is a good thing, because at least that makes me more linguistically adept than Joe Biden. Though, for what it's worth, that still isn't actually saying much, at the end of the day. Honestly, and apparently.

1 comment:

Heidi Y. Lawrence said...

Oh, and bonus thought: "Though, for the record, as Sokolowski tells us, the words that spiked in Merriam-Webster lookups yesterday did not include literally at all, but, in fact, rhetoric and stem-winder. If either of those is your crutch word, you are very impressive indeed."

Very cool=people are looking up rhetoric. Also, I would have to say "rhetoric" is my crutch-word-in-chief.