There are some words and phrases I wouldn’t miss one iota if I never heard them again. They are buzz words and sentences that make me do one of several things when I hear them:
- Roll my eyes
- Make snarky comments
- Change channels
- Change the subject
- Put book back on shelf
- Ignore the person who said it for the rest of their life. (well, maybe not this)
- Slap myself, b/c I just used one!
Here are the phrases, one written by writers (over and over I believe), some are used in daily speech I’d like to zap:
- Like threads woven into the fabric of our lives. (Gah. Writer? Used it? Stop.)
- Packing winds of 100 mph. (Why are hurricanes or tornadoes always “packing winds?” Can’t meteorologists think of a new way to describe the wind of these storms??)
- But, no, seriously (Sigh. Guess what. People do understand you were only joking when you said you wanted to …what ever)
- Are you freaking kidding me? (I consider this an illegal “f” word. Why not just go right ahead and drop the f bomb?)
- Listen up people (doesn’t this sound rude? Maybe that’s just my southern upbringing.)
- It is what it is. (Is it?? Actually these were the exact words I used when I got hauled into my boss’s office four years ago and told I was going to be laid off in a month. Funny. I didn’t get laid off then, and I ended up lasting longer than both the people who gave me that news. So, it wasn’t what it was. Got that?)
Here are words I’d like to zap:
- Amazing (my life is amazing, it was amazing, that was amazing, I’m so amazing. New adjective PLEASE!)
- Like (like, did you see that? like, I’m embarrassed, like, she’s my best friend, like, we know each other, like, I’m so tired, like…)
- Really, really? (I mean really? Really? Really?)
- Honestly, ( as in, “honestly, I was going to say”… Are you lying 100% of the time when you say something?? )
- Clearly (clearly, we need this clarification)
- You know? (yes, and I wish I could stop knowing)
By zap, maybe I mean I’m almost at the point of wanting to put those electric collars on folks and ZAP them every time they use one. Yes, I’d have to have one too.
We all have little verbal tics (“you know” is mine and I’m trying to be aware of it) but, I do think after time, inserting these words constantly and repetitively into sentences can make conversation sound almost robotic, or at best, plain lazy.
Sometimes, as we’re speaking, I think these words or phrases allow us to get our brains engaged, buy some time to think about what we want to say. Whatever the reason, if overused, they start to really stick out, and become noticeable to your listener. (Unless they are replying back in a similar manner.)
It’s the same with writing. Overusing certain phrases or words crosses that dreaded cliche no-no, and we shouldn’t allow that to happen either. I have a bad habit of overusing “seeming,” “as if,” “simply,”, “just,” and “like.” And, I’ve even strung them together! Oh. No.
While I’m busy saving myself from my own verbal tic and writing issues, what particular words or phrases crawl under your skin?