Well-known philosopher, role model and moralist, Kesha Rose Sebert (a.k.a. Ke$ha) in an interterview with Newsweek said, “I don’t really plan what comes out of my mouth, and that’s what makes most of my lyrics entertaining.” As carefree, gritty and edgy as that makes Ke$ha sound, not planning what comes out of your mouth may be the worst idea since not looking where you’re going. It matters greatly how we manage our mouths. So here to help is a by no means exhaustive guide to words and phrases that might be better left unsaid.
If they weren’t before, they are now. Plus, what about all the sistas?
We desperately need a break from this word—at least for a while. Not that it can’t be redeemed, but the television bludgeoning it has received of late has been tragic: “Oh Housewives? I know about those! Which ones though? The real ones or the desperate ones?”
This little jewel is a surefire way to demonstrate your inability to stay calm in the face of others who can’t stay calm. Scientists call that self-sustaining frenzy.
“You Always . . .”
We married folks know the danger of this phrase and its evil twin sister, “You Never . . .” They’re just too easily disproven. You’re asserting this person has and will continue to carry on said action at every opportunity into eternity; that is a long time. So stick with more provable phrases like, “Sometimes it seems like you . . .” or “I noticed once last week you . . .”
It’s a well-documented fact that “literally” is now being used to mean the exact opposite of its actual definition, and it’s time to put a stop to it. If you’re really being literal, go ahead. Use the word. But if you aren’t, try “figuratively.” For instance, “It’s figuratively burning up out here.” Your friends might give you weird looks, but all they’ll see is your proud smile because you use words correctly.
“Just sayin” is a great way to completely disassociate yourself from whatever you just said, as in, “if you don’t like what I said, then you can’t get mad at me, because I only said it, I don’t necessarily stand by it.” Have more pride than that.
“Super” works with heroes. It works with markets. It works with bowls. It sort of works with quaint, nerdy exclamations: “Super-duper!” It doesn’t work with spirits. The question should be, what kind of spirit, not how super it is.
Any Filler Words (“Like” “I Mean” “You Know” “Um”)
There should be a game show in which people try to speak for two whole minutes without a filler word. Add a shark-tank and a trapdoor and you have a hit. The trouble is, there may be no winners (except the sharks).
Those guys who simulated the mars mission in a fake spaceship for seventeen months had an excuse to be bored. Other Americans don’t. There are figuratively a billion books at your local Amazon website. Start with those.
Jack Black said that “‘YOLO’ is ‘Carpe Diem’ for dumb people.” Sums it up.
Start allowing “revert back” and soon you’ll hear people saying, “Have a look see” and “Please respond reply to me myself.” It’s redundant and it’s maddening.
Porn is too destructive and evil to be a part of a cute hashtag. Making light—let alone a light salad—of pornography is to make light of the trafficking and misery connected with that repulsive trade.
“I Hate . . .”
Unless you’re about to say, “sin” or name a specific sin, there’s very little need to go on.