9 Words I Wish People Would Stop Saying ...


There are hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, so why does it seem like we’re all using the same handful of words over and over again?

You’d think as a writer my vocabulary would be much richer and more varied, but sadly, I find myself falling into the same few-words trap as everyone else… it has to stop!

Here are 9 words I wish people (including me!) would stop saying…

1. Whatever

Say this word to signal the end of a fight and see what happens — the fight takes on a whole new ferocity.

I loathe this word.

It’s used passive-aggressively to mean “I really do care, but I’m going to tell you I don’t just so we can fight some more” and it’s just oh-so-rude!

I actually fired someone once because she said this while I was trying to reprimand her (very gently and kindly).

Don’t “whatever” me!

2. Dude

This is a word I hear constantly, being bandied about by guys in my college classes the way girls use the word “like.” Used occasionally, it’s not bad… but it can be over-used very easily, and rapidly become more than a minor annoyance.2

Not sure what I mean?

Go to the mall, find a group of guys aged 13 to 30, follow them around, and just listen… see how many times, and how many ways, they use this word, and you’ll add it to your list of banished words too.

3. Like

Though this word does have relevance in describing a number (as in, “he has, like, ten brothers), it’s terribly over-used.

Like, a lot.

Like, all the time.

Like, it’s the only word the teen girls in my college classes can, like, use, like, you know?

The art of conversation is, like, dead and stuff… and “like” might be, like, the reason why.

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