Since I haven’t posted in a while, I thought I would tackle a few posts today. In this post, I am addressing a question posed by The Daily Post. However, this post includes much more than just that. I preface with discussing the power of words, so that once you reach the actual question, you will have a more imaginative mindset to answer an interesting question.


 

The Daily Post’s question today caught my eye. This is a blogging site, so words are important. Maybe your favorite blogger has an unparalleled eloquence that makes their posts so fantastic. Their word choice is impeccable, and everything flows without skipping a beat. On the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe you’re browsing some new blogs. Maybe their posts are interesting, maybe not. What is it that helps you decide whether or not you want to follow them? What is the element that makes you say “ah!” and delve into their post, consuming their words with urgency.

Well, I believe it’s just that: words.

Words are important. Imagine a world without words. You can’t, because you wouldn’t have the words sad, boring, uninspiring, bland, dull, and depressing to describe such a bleak world. Words can do so many things, it’s all in how you use them. You can make someone, or you can destroy them, all with words alone.

The YouTube video above is from the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. I attached it for a few reasons. First of all, I love movies, and the majority of the posts on my page are in some way, if not completely, about movies. As I am trying to convey the importance of words, this scene comes to mind. It explains the difference that words and literature can really make. This is a great movie, and I’m sure many people will agree with me. It is great for many more reasons than Robin Williams‘ consummate acting chops, and my perpetual adoration for the infinitely underrated Robert Sean Leonard (Dr. James Wilson, for any fans of the TV series House, M.D.), who plays Neil Perry in the film. As a writer (more than a hobby, less than a profession), Williams’ character, Mr. Keating, has taught me one of my most valued rules in writing. At the beginning of this scene, he describes the inadequacy of the word “very.” He encourages his students to avoid it; “A man is not very tired, he is exhausted!” While it seems like a common sense rule, I didn’t truly follow or appreciate it until hearing the way Mr. Keating expresses it in Dead Poets Society.


The question posed by The Daily Post today was thisIs 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?

As it is difficult to detect through a blog post, some of you might not know that I am extremely sarcastic. Because of this, I have a highly specialized technique for speaking to others. If you think about it, sarcasm is an art, really. Both speaking it, and understanding it when it’s spoken to you. Not an art? Okay, probably not.

One of the “verbal ticks” I overuse is directly related to my affinity for all that is facetious, and that is adding sarcastic third person modifiers to the end of sentences.

If an impassioned, melodramatic person came to me describing, in an infatuated tone, some romantic gesture that their significant other performed, once they are done speaking I may say, “she said fervently.” Sometimes I even do it to myself, when I’m the one speaking.

There are plenty of little words or phrases that I use often, but this one often bothers people. I mean, if you were gushing about the dozen roses your boyfriend gave you for your two year anniversary, a dry, sarcastic response is not really feedback you were searching for.

A verbal tick used by others that I despise is the word “awkward.” Okay, it isn’t the actual word that I hate. People take the word “awkward” far beyond its definitive territory. I understand that there are situations that simply cannot be described with any other word. However, when I hear people use the word “awkward” to describe something like a pencil or a shoelace, it bothers me. I’m sure they mean well, but when you describe every item, experience, and situation as “ugh, that is so awkward,” the points I initially assigned to your assumed I.Q. begin to dwindle. Expand your vocabulary. Pencils aren’t awkward.

I also hate the word “wow.” I don’t think it’s overused, I just think it’s an annoying, pointless word that, if you think about it, isn’t really a word at all.
Anyway, those are just a few that came to my mind. I enjoy when I notice other people have “trademark” words or phrases that they often use.

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So what is the verbal tick that you guys either use yourselves or one you have disdain for that others use?
Leave a comment, and  let me know! Thanks for reading!

 

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Comments
  1. Mara Eastern says:

    Sarcastic third person modifiers. Yes please!

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