I have many verbal crutches. When I am successful at shedding one, it’s usually replaced by another.
It’s easier to do when everyone in my house is on board. My wife and I were able to shed the cringe-worthy “like” a few years ago, once we discovered that it was 50% of the words we were speaking.
Yes, I can do with out those four words in my vocabulary for a number of days.
My verbal crutch is the word “so” which I am trying to curb. I tend to use it to initiate sentences where I am hoping for agreement/approval. I have really broken myself of the habit of ending sentences with an unending ”...so,...”
What I find quite annoying is the rising inflection at a end of a declarative sentence that many 20 – 30 year olds use. It’s as if they are not sure if they are asking a question or making a statement. Can’t quite replicate it in print but it goes something like, “I feel that the gonverment is really being an asshole about this shutdown?”
Awesome might be difficult for me to shake, but I do not really use the others. I admittedly overuse “like”, but I grew up in Southern California during the 90s so that one is hard to shake. I do try to ensure that it never follows me into the classroom as either a professor or student.
@janbb That verbal quirk has always baffled me. I’m not sure where or when it became common first, but I hear it from all sorts of different English speakers.
Yes I can but point taken. I do happen to agree it does sound insecure. I generally expose my insecurity literally, “I apologize” or “I’m sorry” have been ingrained in my speech pattern since I learned how to talk, which do you consider the greater of the two evils?
@janbb Sounds like the taught “I statements” Do not put your opinion on other people, declare your feelings or opinions through I statements that way you are expressing yourself without blaming anyone.
What they don’t teach is that this is used primarily in personal relationships and that eventually a person should grow strong and develop other methods of expressing themselves. Also although many of the political are subjective and based on perspective there people can employ facts to back up their opinion and not have to worry about offending someone. This could be exacerbated by the general media’s dirth of facts.
Yes. If I ever use “awesome,” it’s in the dictionary sense, not the slang sense, and I rarely have occasion to do that. The others turn up now and then, but I could easily do without them.
I’d probably have a worse time getting rid of “really,” which crops up way too often. Sometimes when you see me editing and reediting a post, what I’m doing is going back and cutting several instances of “really” down to one or none. I ask myself what’s the important difference between saying something is interesting or hard or unusual (for example) and saying it’s really interesting or hard or unusual. The answer is, it’s not much; but the habit is hard (really hard) to break.
@Adirondackwannabe; I think that your list makes sense in the context. It’s similar to hitting your thumb w. a hammer and yelling, “Shit, shit, shit, shit.”
If one describes something as “awesome,” it can mean so many things that it ends up meaning nothing and you have to ask your interlocutor to be more specific…which s/he could have been initially and saved everyone a lot of time.
I babysat a child (about age 8) who never spoke any other way. Every single sentence she uttered went up at the end like a question. Listening to her was a bit exhausting because I had to pay attention to everything she said, never knowing when she actually was asking a question. After a while I wanted to strangle her.