Much like the post Cosas put out a few months ago on what songs we all need to take a break from, I’ve got a list of words/phrases that have become too common in people’s speech and need to be shelved for either a few months, a few years and with some we should never utter again. Holla if you hear me as we take a look at the following expressions and what sort of word jail I suggest for them:
“So (as a sentence starter)” Prison sentence – 6 months: Too many people start their sentences off with “So” and this needs to stop. “So” has almost completely replaced “well” at the beginning of a sentence or a story as a space filler and carries a hint of arrogance along with it. Usually there’s a bit of a pause after someone starts in with “so” as to make sure they have their audience’s attention. Let’s make “well” great again and shelve “so” for a while. Then when we’re ready, it can come back, as long as it’s mixed in with other perfectly fine space fillers like “well” and/or “um.”
“It is what it is” Prison Sentence – Life: This has to go. Now. Everything “is what it is” so there’s no point in saying it. It’s especially overused in the sporting world when an athlete is trying to skirt responsibility for something that happened in the game or is happening off the field of play. Just once I’d like a journalist what the athlete means when they say “it is what it is” and what it is they really want to say or what they’re hiding.
“I was like, really?!?” Prison Sentence – Life: I guess people thought this was a funny punctuation to a funny story at one point (Because of Seth Meyers and Amy Pohler?) but if it ever was, it isn’t anymore. It’s a phrase typically used by the female species so guys I’m not really coming after you on this, though if you are using it, stop now. “I was like, really?” is really code for, “I’ve told my story, it’s not that funny, so I’m going to try and save it by adding this tag question in hopes to conjure up a few laughs.” The problem is, if it’s delivered in the right group, it does get laughs, so if we’re going to eradicate this tag line from our vocabulary, it’s going to take all of us. It’s simple, just think of a more clever way to end your story and if someone does end their anecdote with it, don’t laugh.
“Literally” Prison Sentence – 6 months and then a probationary period to see if we’ve proven we can use it properly: How is this still being used and used incorrectly for the most part? 5 years ago I thought this word would’ve run its course but it’s still around. Though it mainly survives thanks to teenagers not being able to think of anything else to emphasize their point, adults tend to use it as well and this is inexcusable. If you’re using this word (and even if you’re using it correctly), let’s put a stop to it today. And when you feel tempted to say it, just say anything else. You may use a word improperly at that moment because you’ve been so used to saying ‘literally’ for so long but that’s okay, you’ve probably been using ‘literally’ wrong anyway for so long that we’ll give you some grace.
“It’s been a minute” Prison Sentence – Life: I don’t know how this became such a popular phrase but it has and it’s not going away. “It’s been a while” is fine and should replace ‘it’s been a minute’ every time you’re tempted to say it. It’s not clever, it’s not cool and it sounds stupid.