General Question

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Are there any terms, phrases, or words that you don't like but you use them anyway?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) May 19th, 2009

The only one I can really think of is “PC” referring to a computer with Windows on it. I hate that term with a passion. As if a Mac is not a personal computer. Though, of course, a mac IS a personal computer, but it’s not a PC. Dear God. But because it’s easier to say than “Windows computer” or “computer with Windows on it”, I’ll say it.

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50 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Homosexual and heterosexual.
We’re forced into this binary, and it’s just not accurate. Sexuality lies on a spectrum.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


What if we’re okay with referring to ourselves as that? I mean, I’m a homosexual. I’m not attracted to women at all. I think I should be able to call myself that.

Likeradar's avatar

I say “like” a lot.

I like, hate it.

lefteh's avatar

Sure…you can call yourself whatever you want. But not many people are as extreme as that. Most people have attraction toward both sexes to varying degrees, but are still forced into the binary. I use those terms even though I don’t fully believe in them in the way that I often use them.

lefteh's avatar

Really great question by the way, I’m interested to see where it will go.

kenmc's avatar

I’ve said “hella” on occasion. I hate the word with a passion.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Ha. I love “hella”. I say hella hella. Though not as much as before, especially sophomore year; it seemed to have peaked in usage around that time.

tinyfaery's avatar


It always reminds me of Bill & Ted.

nikipedia's avatar

I hate the term “moving forward,” as in, “moving forward with this project, we hope to achieve our target blah blah blah” It reeks of some sweaty middle management asshole in a bad tie. But I’ve heard it come out of my mouth occasionally anyway.

I love like, hella, OMG, and awesome.

Gobbles's avatar


It gives me nightmares.

aprilsimnel's avatar


Well, more like, “Aw, d00d!”

I don’t know where I picked that up, but I catch myself saying that to people a lot. And not all of those people are actual dudes.

Ivan's avatar

Pwning n00bs on t3h intertubes usually brings a couple of “fag” comments out of me.

knitfroggy's avatar

I say “Seriously” all the time. My daughter says it too. I was talking to my sister once and I told her, I don’t know where she picked that up! My sister laughed and said, you don’t? You say it all the time…My response was, Seriously? I wish I could break that habit!

I also hate the term “retarded”. My daughter has started using that and it really, really rakes on the nerves. I told her she needs to find a new word to describe things because “retarded” sounds horrible.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


I call my mom “dude”. I say it so fast, I don’t even think about it. It’s just an automatic means of addressing someone for me. And most of my friends.

Likeradar's avatar

@knitfroggy I hate “retarded” too. Do you follow Dan Savage/Savage Love? He had a great column about that word.

knitfroggy's avatar

@Likeradar I don’t follow Dan Savage, but I will check out that link, Thanks!

kenmc's avatar

@Dansedescygnes Ugh…

when I was where you are it slipped out a few times and I had to slap my own wrist.

augustlan's avatar

I, like, had the ‘like’ habit when I was like, fourteen. My grandmother broke me of it by repeating it every time I said it in a sentence. If only she’d done the same for ‘awesome, dude’! What can I say? I’m a product of the 80s. :)

discover's avatar

words i hate but i am forced to use:

- however, but, also, the best, very important, Also (written english)

-actually, i think (spoken english)

I observed many people use the word “typically” to the point it loses its meaning.

(I hope to find good substitutes for these words)

Response moderated
buster's avatar

I say the word “rurnt”. It rhymes with burnt. I think its a southern thing. The milk is rurnt. It means ruined. When I lived in Oregon I told the chef I worked with the milk was rurnt and he probably needed to order some more. He laughed and made me say it again and called me a redneck from Tennessee.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


As extremely redneckish and hilarious a regional term may be, you’re still not supposed to point it out to the person…that’s just rude…

Supacase's avatar

Head’s up. As in, “Just wanted to give you a head’s up on that.”

The_slowest_poke's avatar

“Muthafuka” I’m truly sorry its just its something i say and also “Eh” (as used in Canaidian eh!?) and “Boom head-shot” its a reflex habbit

whatthefluther's avatar

I know this is not a direct response to your question because I would never use this slang term, but I hate it when people say “conversate”...why elongate the perfectly good, simple word “converse?”

cak's avatar

I had a manager use the term, “Out of pocket.” All the time. As in, “I’ll be out of pocket until Friday.” (unavailable until Friday)

Say exactly what you mean, “I’ll be out of town until Friday.” If you don’t want someone to know you will be out of town, fine. Say, “I’ll be unavailable until Friday.”


Edited to add:

Think outside of the box. Most. Overused. Term. Ever.

Allie's avatar

@boots Lurve for “hella.” Growing up near the Bay Area means it just slips out sometimes in my case, but that doesn’t make me like it any more.

susanc's avatar

I use too many connectors. And, but, therefore, still, however, so, yet, also, because.
If I leave them out, the meaning is usually just as clear. I think they’re pushy – “here, let me explain how you should connect these two thoughts”.

MacBean's avatar

I use “like,” “anyway,” and “seriously” WAY too much. And I’m with @susanc on the connectors, too.

Also, there are a lot of words that I hate, would never use to describe other people, and take offense to when others use to describe me, but I use them when talking about myself all the time—“fag,” and “retarded” come to mind first. Though, to be fair, technically I call myself “fagalicious” and it’s not meant to be insulting, just… descriptive.

eambos's avatar

Goddamn, holy _____, etc.

I’m not religious at all, yet these words are ingrained into my vocabulary, as explicatives. My highly religious aunt claims that it’s proof I still believe in god, but they really aren’t. It’s like a bad habit that I need to fix.

shrubbery's avatar

I hate describing something as “gay”. I can’t help it, if I don’t use it sometimes people in my age bracket just won’t fully comprehend until I say “it was so gay” or something. It’s ridiculous, but a habit.

suzyq2463's avatar

All the Texanisms I’ve wound up adopting against my will and better judgment:
“fixin’ to”
“honkin’” (as in “huge”—example, “he has a big ol’ honkin’ nose, y’all, and I’m fixin’ to break it”)

And the general, lazy drawl I’ve fallen into that makes people from other states laugh when I speak.

hearkat's avatar

I’ve tried to replace “I don’t care” with “it doesn’t matter” or “it makes no difference”... because not caring sounds wrong. This occurred to me about 10 years ago when I asked my son’s friend what time his mother wanted him home… “She doesn’t care” was his telling reply (sadly, he was one of several kids, and had little to no supervision). I immediately turned to my son and told him to never use that phrase.

@Augustlan: Like, I’m an 80s product, too. Ya know? I mean, ohmigawd!
Before ‘like’ started, my friends father would tease us, saying: “You know what I mean; I mean… ya know… you know what I mean, right?” I think he had, like, given up on us completely by the time we started, like, saying ‘like’ like every other word, ya know?

And I would like to find something to replace “Oh My God” as an expression of surprise or disbelief, but in those moments it is almost reflexive.

augustlan's avatar

@hearkat I like your idea to replace “I don’t care”. You should make it a national movement!

When my husband really doesn’t care, he quotes John Wayne: “It is a matter of complete indifference to me.” The way he says it, you can almost see the disdain dripping from his words.

wundayatta's avatar

“Think outside the box.” I hate, hate, hate that cliche.

I’ve pretty much cured myself of using it, but I do find myself slipping from time to time.

Kap89's avatar

i hate hearing or saying “true story” AND I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY “EPIC FAIL!”

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t like “handoff” (= deliver, turn over), but I say it. I do not and will not say any of the following (all of which are metaphorical expressions used in a business setting):

on my plate
get my arms around
corner case
low-hanging fruit
gating item

I also abjure the following:

venue (when I just mean “place” or “location”)
closure (when I mean “CLOSING”)
going forward

amoreno06's avatar

ugh…i HATE when i say
when someone just got done telling me something.
it’s like, why would they say if it’s not true?
but then again, ppl do say weird things just to be stupid or funny.
i’m really gullible so i guess that’s why i always have to ask to make sure it happened..

but i’ve got to stop saying that.

YARNLADY's avatar

@amoreno06 I think of ‘really’ as meaning “that’s really exciting”, rather “did that really happen”.

amoreno06's avatar

@YARNLADY oh good.
maybe others will too!
well, sometimes it IS that kind of really.

Jeruba's avatar

“Like” is not recent. It became overused slang in the beatnik era, meaning the late 50’s and early 60’s (like wow, man), and was well entrenched by the time hippies came along in the mid-late 60’s.

tinyfaery's avatar

I just used totally in another thread. Ugh I’m an 80’s kid too.

augustlan's avatar

<< Totally overuses ‘totally’.

MacBean's avatar

I totally overuse “totally,” too. And “completely,” and “utterly.” Also, “really,” “truly,” “actually,” and “honestly.” Probably some others along the same lines, too, because when I skim over what I’ve written before sending it, I try to make sure I don’t use the same words all the time. Instead of taking them out (which is probably what I should do most of the time) I stick something else in instead.

Jeruba's avatar

…and, @MacBean and others, probably little of what you write really, truly, and totally needs intensifiers.

We have such a habit of magnifying everything, using extreme adjectives in the first place (magnificent, awesome, fabulous, etc.) and then exaggerating with intensifiers, that superlatives of every kind go flat. It’s worth a little extra effort to become aware of doing this and to practice stating without overstating. Why? Not just to make it easier on the ears of others but also because people are accustomed to filtering them out in order to hear what you are actually* saying. So they become self-canceling.

If you want to make an impression, use words that are not empty.

*Used here for contrast—one of the options that come back to you when you shed the meaningless ones.

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba Spoken (written?) like a true editor. ;)

tinyfaery's avatar

The ly words are just so fun to use. Really. Totally.

bookish1's avatar

I really hate the word nipple, but I can’t seem to find a better alternative in English!

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