Uptalk is on the rise, “literally” has taken over cities, and “like” is a beast stomping its way through the English language like an over-sized reptile looking for a school bus to snack on.
It’s never been easier to sound smart, because so many people around us sound dumb. The sad truth is that reading has declined in recent years, along with thinking before we speak. As a result, the English language is going through a change in its life (though some may say hospice has already moved in).
If you want to sound more intelligent, here are fifteen easy tricks to get you there. Remove the following words from your vocabulary and you’ll be instantly more eloquent.
It’s superfluous most of the time. Open any document you’ve got drafted on your desktop, and find a sentence with that in it. Read it out loud. Now read it again without that. If the sentence works without it, delete it.
Went is used to describe that go traveled from point A to point B. Thee are a hundred and fifty thousand (probably) words you can use to describe said travels. You can fly, frolic, and force your way into any situation. Don’t settle for went.
The problem with using the word “honestly” is that it subconsciously every prior word you just said isn’t true. Additionally, it’s often a filler word used to emphasize your point, meaning you likely don’t have a strong enough argument.
Absolutely is redundant. It reinforces something you are already stating as true. Chances are it isn’t absolutely necessary (see what I did there?)
I hate the word very. “Very” is similar to absolutely, but it contains less syllables. It barely reinforces what has already been said, hinting as emphasis, while it takes up space in your sentence.
Unless you’re a Valley Girl, visiting from 1985, there’s no need to use really to modify an adjective. Or a verb. Or an adverb. Pick a different word to make your point. And never repeat really, or very for that matter. That’s really, really bad writing.
If you are visiting from 1985? Please bring the birth certificate for my Cabbage Patch Doll on your next visit. Thanks.
Much like “went,” there are a plethora of options available to you that are more descriptive, and exponentially more amazing. We use the word “amazing” everything. It’s a dead word. allow yourself to explore other avenues.
Absolutes lock the writer (or speaker) into a corner. we too frequently overuse this word. Chances are, you are not always on Instagram. This implies that you constantly have the phone glued to you forehead (scratch that–you may very well have the phone glued o your forehead from what I’ve seen of these youths).
Again, don’t lock yourself into an absolute with your words. It negates the point you’re attempting to make. If you never text people when you’re drunk, you’re negating what you say by using over-emphasis. Try instead, “I rarely send drunk text messages, but when I do, they’re a doozy.” The honestly goes much farther than exaggeration.
10. And of course “literally:”
I literally cannot emphasize enough how much I hate this word. I get it, valley girls. You use to to show how much you care about the matter at hand. Yet, you disprove your point when your over-emphasis is literally the only thing on which we can focus.
Bonus if you stop saying “like,” but I’m not even going to go there.
I’ve had a “like” jar in my kitchen for the past three months. Every time I say the word “like” I have to put a dollar in the jar. Unfortunately, it only took a week for me to run out of dollars and give up. I suppose I’d be a hypocrite if I told you to do as I say and not as I do.
Like honestly, I just really want to stop talking like a valley girl. I always do it and I never realize that once I stopped, I sound so much more amazing and intelligent.
Like, ya know?
[Featured Image Credit: MaddocMan]