Friday, January 6, 2012

Nina's Random Thoughts on Overly Used Words

It's a pity, a crying shame, a depressing factor in today's day and age, that with the insurmountable, exponentially rich vocabulary we have access too, so many overused words are printed, pasted, and protruding from every oral orifice. 

I'm talking about movie directors, preview designers, author and movie critics, and everyone who's anyone in the critique world. Examples:

Incredible. The definition of the word is quite straightforward- hard to believe, to grasp, because of it's rarity in occurrence, manner or form. A politician following through on a promise? Earth-shattering. Groundbreaking. Yes, incredible. Your grandma hiked Mount Everest? Only incredible if she also makes it back down in one piece. But getting your car totaled, having 5,000 friends on Fakebook, or finding out he's not yo' baby daddy, etc. not so much. Find a more believable adjective- like out of the norm. Amusing. If you're feeling brave, even interesting could be replaced in this instance. Leave the incredulity for occasions that merit the word. 

Here's another I always get a kick out of. 

"Roy Hansen's newest novel, "How to Patch Your Pants" is literally life-changing."

0.o ? Really? Life-changing?

How many times can your life seriously and effectively be changed? It seems like it's the filler word whenever someone wants to sell more books, albums, movies or coat hangers. A word of note: It isn't life changing unless it involves amputating some appendage, losing one of my senses, or making a permanent lifestyle change- like gastric bypass. That is life-changing. 

A movie on a few people backpacking around the world and eating gelatto is not.

Or how about Innovative? Few things these days can truly be categorized as innovative. Smart phones, computers, and English longbow were innovative. They were new, refreshing, practical in their day and age. A scratch and sniff pencil dubbed a "shmencil" is just a poor way to use wood and lead and nostrils.

The list goes on and on- (guru, savvy, vast,..) What am I getting at here? That before you over use the same old, stale and burned out word in your public content, it wouldn't hurt to check out and see what other options the language has to offer. 

I promise it will be incredibly life-changing. (You knew it was coming) 

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