Monday, February 12, 2007

Exactly. Actually.

Overuse of “exactly” and “actually” is driving me bonkers. They’re everywhere I go and on TV all the time. Can we retire them?

I didn’t see them on Lake Superior State University’s list of banished words. The idea was cooked up years ago by some PR guy who worked for Michigan’s smallest public university.

So, without further ado, here’re my favorites from LSSU’s 2007 Banished Words:

UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN – “If they haven’t followed the law to get here, they are by definition ‘illegal.’ It's like saying a drug dealer is an ‘undocumented pharmacist.’” -- John Varga, Westfield, New Jersey.

WE’RE PREGNANT -- Grounded for nine months.
“Were men feeling left out of the whole morning sickness/huge belly/labor experience? You may both be expecting, but only one of you is pregnant.” -- Sharla Hulsey, Sac City, Iowa.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR -- The chewable vitamin morphine of marketing.
“I don't think my doctor would appreciate my calling him after seeing a TV ad.” -- Peter B. Liveright, Lutherville, Maryland.

SEARCH -- Quasi-anachronism. Placed on one-year moratorium.
“Might as well banish it. The word has been replaced by ‘google.’” -- Michael Raczko, Swanton, Ohio.


Jay Croft said...

Of course there are also phrases like "Have a nice day" and "No problem."

Have you noticed a new sentence structure that goes like this: "Is he perfect? No. Is he the best candidate? Absolutely."

As a great theoloian said: "Oy veh!"

Tim said...

So, just exactly how much is it actually being misused? - couldn't resist. I know, I'm an imp.

Sheila said...

Well, Jay, I have noticed how "absolutely" is used for "yes." And "Have a nice day," is so overused, I don't even notice it any more.

Tim, I actually don't have facts or figures to back up my claim, you know.

Naomi said...

I know just what you mean Sheila. These sorts of expressions are overused in England too!