I Say, You Say
Today’s prompt asks a very interesting question: “Is there a word or a phrase you use (or overuse) all the time, and are seemingly unable to get rid of? If not, what’s the one that drives you crazy when others use it?”
I’d like to address the second part of the question first: what drives me crazy?
Let me tell you that I’ve always been a stickler for the proper use of the English language. As far as English grammar is concerned, perhaps I should have been an English teacher! I must admit that I was paying strict attention in class when it came to proper sentence structure. And yes, I was one of those parents who was constantly correcting her children’s grammar usage. Even now, when I’m writing a story, sometimes it can be quite a struggle for me to write dialogue that is not stilted or stiff because even though I know that normal people use contractions in their everyday conversations, I have a tendency to not use them when I write. I enjoy learning new words and their meanings, and I’ve always been a champion when it comes to spelling. So, as you can see, I love the English language, and I cannot bear to see it abused.
The word that people use which really gets under my skin is the word like. It is such an overused word. As a matter of fact, people use it so much that half the time they don’t even realize that they’re using it and almost all the time they’re using it incorrectly. It’s become a “filler” word in their sentences and in the final analysis, the only thing it does is make their sentences longer. It makes them sound inarticulate. If a person would only stop and think about what they’re going to say first, then perhaps they would be able to construct a more intelligent sentence without having to resort to the improper usage of this word. I agree with blogger tuckedintoacorner who says that when a person uses this word it is “an indicator that the speaker doesn’t really care what they’re saying.”
But then again, I’m not perfect, either. I know I have the habit of overusing the word/phrase: “Seriously?” This is something that has been pointed out to me by my husband, and who would know better than someone who has lived with me for the past thirty-eight years? I didn’t even realize that I was overusing this word until he told me about it (in a joking albeit loving manner, of course), and then it became glaringly apparent to me. I don’t know how, when, or where I picked up the word, but I have come to realize that I say it quite a bit. There’s just something about it that I really like. Maybe it’s the way it sounds when I say it, the syllables, or the meaning of it, but I know that it truly is my favorite word to use.
Ever since he mentioned this to me, I have tried to curtail this bad habit (if you can call it that), although it makes me rather sad. It really is a rather lovely word, don’t you think?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes