I took a risk and asked my girlfriend if there was a word or phrase I over use or which annoys her. Surprisingly, there were none she could identify, so I had to do a bit of self-critique. I think there are a number of words which I’m fond of and should cut back on; really, nice, actually, and hopefully, being the prime ones. They’re words I would normally avoid in my writing, unless there was some pressing need, but they creep into my spoken word. I’ll admit it, through laziness or sloppy thinking.
Consider the following statement (which I trust I have never used!) “hopefully things will be really nice”. Horrible!
Hopefully – why?
Things – what?
Nice – how? And if you describe how “nice”, you don’t need “really”.
Get my drift? I can do better!
What drives me crazy in others? Generalisations and lack of precision in speech. They tend to go hand in hand.
Words such as; all, everyone, everything, are misused so often. All means all. Through lack of thought subjects become generalised;
All teenagers are thoughtless – no they’re not, some are, not all.
The world’s in a mess, everything is screwed up – no it isn’t, some things are, not everything.
Everyone’s out for what they can get – a lot are, but not everyone.
Words have impact on the way our minds work, and vice versa. Careless use of words causes the mind to be careless. I know I’m being a touch pedantic, 🙂 and I am guilty myself. But the way we use words affects the way we think, this is the basis of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). If you want to sharpen your mind then use our wonderful language with care and consideration.