Awful words? – The ones to avoid.
We all overuse certain words. Well, I certainly do. And even as I hear myself speaking, it grates on my nerves. At least with writing I can correct the overuse.
Before I rejoined the world of the internet this century, complete with forums, chat rooms, and everything else, I had never heard the word awesome.
I loathe it. It is vastly overused. This may be something to do with my age. Or the fact I am not American.
It reminds me of the original/archaic meaning of the word awful. Not so much terrible or horrific, but inspiring wonder.
But unless you are an American teeny or possibly a little older and still think it is cool to use the word – don’t.
It is like swearing. It is lazy and looks as though you can’t be bothered to find the correct word. There are so many words in the English language that you can surely do better than saying everything is *awesome*.
I’m guilty of overusing swear words at home, no children, two adults and a dog, so no reason not to. But awesome is the same syndrome. Find a word and overuse it instead of thinking of a more appropriate or imaginative word.
I couldn’t for the life of me write or say ‘I read an awesome book, that pizza was awesome, we saw an awesome film,’ etc. Its overuse has made it bland and meaningless, unexpressive and also tends to typecast people by age/nationality – just as not using it does. Sure middle-aged Brits may well use it, but I don’t know many who do.
Onto the next word.
In speech, I overuse the word ‘stuff’.
Why does it annoy me? Because I am being too lazy to be specific. It is vague, amorphous, evasive. I thought it was just me, but I have noticed other people using it too.
The trouble with ‘stuff’ is that some months ago we had a conversation with someone we knew and every question was answered with ‘just stuff.’
It was meant to be a general chat with someone we hadn’t seen for a while, who we had met by chance outside the supermarket, and they weren’t prepared to say anything to us.
‘What did you do in the UK?’
‘Just – stuff.’
‘What sort of stuff?’
‘You know, stuff.’
Well, obviously we didn’t know, or we wouldn’t have asked the same question twice.
‘What did the training course involve?’ (bearing in mind we had both worked in the health service so there was a degree of commonality there).
After more non-conversation on the same lines we realised we were going to get stuff all out of him.
‘We can have a drink one day and catch up,’ he said. Despite the fact we have repeatedly told him we don’t want to go to the pub.
‘We just have,’ said Partner, with one of his rare acid put-downs, and off we waltzed.
No, we haven’t seen him since.
I have no problem with people keeping their own business to themselves, but if you want to have conversation with people, it is normally polite behaviour to share out the conversation.
And ‘stuff’ is hardly a polite response.
As for bucket lists? I wondered where this phrase had suddenly appeared from and it seems it is from the film of the same name in 2007.
It’s another one that just doesn’t do it for me. ‘Must-do’ list yes. ‘Things-to-do’ list. But bucket list? And actually, I think it is inappropriate. There is a big difference between being terminally ill and funded by a billionnaire to do everything you have always wanted to, and the rest of us who just have ambitions and dreams. They are not, by any stretch of the imagination, bucket lists in the sense of the usage in the film.
If you want to jump onto trendy and inaccurate popular idioms that’s up to you. Just think twice before you do. Sure, you look as though you know the awesome current fashionable words. But that might be all.
And for a change of subject – trolling.
I was a bit surprised to be accused of trolling on someone’s blog.
In fact I didn’t actually realise the inference in a reply to my comment, until there was a second comment, referring to an email that had been sent to me (because I don’t check my emails all the time). Just wow!
It’s that long since I had read about trolls that I had to look it up.
2 informal Computing an e-mail message or posting on the Internet intended to provoke an indignant response in the reader.
Hmm. No. That was not my intention. I was probably mistaken in writing in my usual flippant/sarcastic/blunt (choose one or more appropriate words) style. On a blog where I thought it was perfectly acceptable. Obviously not.
Readers of my blogs, and those blogs I regularly comment on, know my style.
There is no-one who comments on this blog who shares exactly the same views as me. I can say that categorically.
So if non:feminists/vegetarians/environmentalists/cyclists/raving lefties/etc etc wish to have a lengthy discussion on issues I raise that’s fine by me. Even though the threaded thing peters out after a few posts. Note, you can always start a new post rather than continue into a one-word one-line thread.
We all exchange views, they aren’t the same. Some words are sharp, and we come back for further discussion or later. This applies to any blog, as far as I am aware. What is the point of having a blog if you don’t have different points of view?
Otherwise it ends up being a ‘supah dahling’ photoblog.
I also like the fact that the people who comment on my blogs digress and talk about wildly different topics to the main subject.
So why was I accused of trolling? Well, I’ve no idea so I’m not going to speculate, because I wasn’t told why in the email.
Let’s look at wiki:
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
Well to start with, I’m going to talk about my blogs here. If people wish to post anything under those categories (ie inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic), fine by me and I can easily give examples of comments that fit into those categories. Because virtually all of the people who comment on my blogs, are previous commenters, you are welcome to do so. And sometimes do. Presumably tongue in cheek, but you also may wish to make a distinct point at the same time.
So what are the rules for discussion on blogs? Because this is the crux of the point.
For me, pretty broad. People can take it off topic as much as they want.
Inflammatory, antagonistic, is such an individual point of view. If I know someone, ie via the internet, I will certainly give them the benefit of the doubt.
Unless it is downright abusive, or totally ignorant, I’m not going to accuse anyone of trolling. I probably wouldn’t anyway. Who cares?
What is important, is to note the tone of the blog. If there is lots of – or even some – swearing then you aren’t out of place commenting with similar language.
If it is a tea and cakes and crocheting blog then it probably isn’t appropriate.
Beware the blogs where there is an inner circle. A clique. Don’t think you can merrily jump in and join in. You can’t. You will need to earn your spurs. It’s like a forum (hence the trolling).
And above all else, don’t think that everyone likes dissension. They don’t. As I learned.
Anyway, really nice CloudyRoughseas is willing to take all flak that you may wish to throw this way.
As one of my newer internet friends said recently, if he gets negative emails, he ignores them. So do I. They aren’t worth responding to anyway.