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by Bill Lampton, Ph.D.
Anne Connolly, a researcher for the State University of New York system, talked with me about words we have grown tired of hearing, especially since they mean almost nothing. (In fact, they take away impact, because they are annoying.) Initially, we mentioned "basically." If the topic is so basic, do we need to talk about it? Quickly, we added "actually," a qualifier that seems to suggest that "You may not believe me, but this really is the truth."
a golfer misses a putt, does the announcer have to tell us "at
our conversation, I thought of other words I'd like to hold last rites for.
pet peeve: "in her own right," such as saying that the daughter of
a celebrity has become famous herself.
Wouldn't we know that without being told, when she wins an Oscar?
dislike hearing that a criminal is still "at large."
When the police arrest him, I'm not sure
gather opinions about our most despised words, I invited readers of my
monthly E-mail newsletter to submit their lists.
One reader mentioned her strong dislike for "at the end of the
day." I responded that "when all is said and done"
bothers me, and she replied: "That's on the same level-it's
Hunt, a faculty member at Middle Georgia College, dislikes
"irregardless" (Who needs the ir prefix?), "whatever,"
and "like." "I
teach public speaking," she wrote, "and
Ricci, who heads Catalyst Organizing in Atlanta, included other taboo
words/phrases: "without further ado" (what is ado, anyway?),
"as a matter of fact" (a longwinded way for saying
"actually"), "supposably" and "orientated."
Lutes, an official with the Department of Family and Children's Services,
votes against "most definitely."
"As opposed to what," she wonders-"almost
definitely" or "not quite definitely"?
reader wants those who say, "He did that unconsciously" to know
having realized that we are surrounded by stale, uncreative language that
annoys people, what steps should we take to improve our daily
conversations-both personal and professional?
these suggestions. You'll
become "a breath of fresh air" when you "bend somebody's
Lampton, Ph.D., helps organizations achieve CPR-Cooperation, Productivity,
Renewal of mission! He wrote
The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication, Change Your Life!
For information on his programs call 352-438-0261 e-mail
or visit www.ExpertSpeaker.com/Speakers/lampton.htm