Meadville Tribune

Lifestyles

October 30, 2013

12 words you should stop using right now

— If you want a list of words to incorporate into your conversation to make you sound more intelligent, this is not the place. Frankly, I am not sure what you hope to gain by working random Internet vocabulary words into your conversations. These lists always result in conversations in which you pause for a few seconds and then say, furrowing your brow with intense concentration, "Dang, that lady makes a fine crepitation! I'd like to show her a machicolation or two, or would I?" And that which never impresses anyone quite as much as you would like. Instead, here are a few to purge from your speech immediately:

12. Actually. when you mean to use "literally," when what you really mean is "figuratively" or "not literally."

As in the sentence "I ACTUALLY DIED." No, you didn't. I appreciate your effort to stop using "literally" in that position, but "actually" isn't an improvement.

11. Irregardless

This is not a real word. "Ah," you say, "but neither was jangle when Shakespeare got started with it!" Sorry, this is not sufficient. Have you written "The Tempest" lately? "No," you say, because apparently you are really going to get into this with me, "but I did write something that was AT LEAST as good as 'Cymbeline,' if not miles better." Was it really, though? Are you sure? I acknowledge that "Cymbeline" was terrible, but somehow I doubt your assertion.

I'm sorry. We don't need to get into this. Just stop saying irregardless.

10. Exacerbate, when what you want is aggravate, when what you want is irritate.

The English language gave up on dragging aggravate back to its original meaning "make worse," years ago, when even Dickens used it to mean irritate. This being said, exacerbate is not the word you want when you are trying to talk about how irritating something was. I know it sounds longer and fancier than irritate or aggravate, but you mean exasperate. Leave exacerbate at "make worse," where it belongs. There is nothing more exacerbating than someone saying, "It was just so exacerbating!" - at least in the sense that this sentence makes the whole language worse. (I've harped on this before.)

9. YOLO

Just kidding, actually. Go right ahead and keep using YOLO. It is a handy flag for people whose acquaintance I can avoid.

8. Synergy

I think this word meant something once, but at this point it is stuck in some weird circle of post-Dantean business-tripping Hell where it goes from conference to conference and PowerPoint to PowerPoint getting listed as something to encourage.

7. Disrupt

Are you sure you're being innovatively disruptive? Are you sure what you're doing isn't just saying something inane?

6. "The salt of the earth"

Just once I want to hear a resident of a small town described as "the pepper of the earth" or "the Sriracha of the earth" because, hey, that guy must be pretty cool and go great with rice dishes!

5. Lucubrate

This is just a test to see if anyone uses this word. If you do, come be my friend! Let's go douse things in Sriracha together!

4. Game-changer

Unless you're talking about formative experiences in the life of rapper the Game, which you aren't, because what has he even been up to lately? Or something that happened in the course of a sporting event.

3. Twerk/Twerking

I realize that this happens. I just wish we didn't have to talk about it all the time.

2. Headline lies

This isn't a word so much as it is a sentiment, like "The Only Video Of X You'll Ever Need To See" or "This GIF of A Puppy Doing Something To A Pumpkin Spice Latte Will Change Your Life." Is it? Will it? I guess "This May be Marginally Interesting And It Won't Take That Much Time Away From The Project You're Ostensibly Doing" doesn't have the same click-bait cachet. Also, the term "click-bait."

Honorable Mentions:

 Mansplaining (the only thing I hate more than the word is the phenomenon), virality, epic (if it's so epic, where are the wind gods and sirens?), ironic, Renesmee.

1. Washington Redskins

 

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • Which foods are the worst for the environment?

    As with most arguments about our food supply, though, it's not that simple. Although beef is always climatically costly, pork or chicken can be a better choice than broccoli, calorie for calorie.

    March 12, 2014

  • Old Spice attracting women in gender-bending win for P&G

    Young women are embracing Old Spice - long known as the brand dad kept in the medicine cabinet - even as P&G's marketing continues to focus on their male peers.

    March 12, 2014

  • news_planesearch.jpg Missing Malaysian jetliner confuses a world that's online 24/7

    The disappearance five days ago of a Malaysian Airline Systems Bhd. aircraft with 239 people on board is confounding search teams and a global audience used to around-the-clock connectivity and real-time updates.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_nycexplosion.jpg VIDEO: Aftermath of NYC building collapse

    Footage from the New York Daily News shows firefighters responding to a building collapse at East 116th Street and Park Avenue in Harlem. At least 11 minor injuries had been reported late Wednesday morning.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_google.jpg First Apple, now Google hit with kids' app lawsuit

    Last month, 4- and 5-year-old brothers in New York quickly spent $65.95 in real money to buy virtual goods in Marvel's Run Jump Splash game on the family tablet. They were able to rack up the charges without entering a password. And for that, the boys' mother has joined a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against Google, accusing the company of deceiving consumers about its in-app purchase system, which critics say makes it too easy for kids to spend money on their Android devices.

    March 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • If you were a crustacean, would you feel pain?

    A scientist and a seafood chef walk into a bar. "We have a mutual interest," says the scientist. "I study crustaceans and you cook them." But the chef wanted to know just one thing: Do the animals feel pain?

    March 12, 2014

  • 20140309-AMX-SNAKES094.jpg Researchers tackle mystery of how some snakes can fly

    Flying snakes sound like creatures from a bad B-movie, but these serpents are elegant gliders that have evolved a special skill that sets them apart. In two new studies, engineers have used simulations to try to decipher how the wingless reptile manages to remain airborne despite its lack of flight appendages.

    March 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • missing-plane.jpg In this tech age, how can a plane go missing?

    Call 911 from the side of the road, and GPS satellites can tell dispatchers exactly where to send help. Airline passengers have access to detailed maps that show exactly where they are during their journey. Hop onto WiFi, and somehow Google knows whether you're logging on from Lima or London, and will give you detailed suggestions about what to eat.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • plane-skydiver.jpg VIDEO: Skydiver, pilot treated after midair collision

    A pilot practicing take-offs and landings got tangled up with a skydiver in Polk County, Fla., but amazingly, no one was seriously hurt.

    March 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 11.21.46 AM.png VIDEO: Chrysler orders community college to crush rare Dodge Viper

    Students at a community college in Washington are fighting to save a rare Dodge Viper given to them by the Chrysler Corporation. The company now says it must be destroyed for legal reasons.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks