If You Could Remove One Word From The English Language – What Would It Be?


Deleting Words

As a blogger (notice how I said blogger and not writer – that could be a separate discussion altogether) I love words and everything about them. Words can be very powerful and have a massive impact on an audience but they can also be quite destructive too.

I’m no expert and I make grammatical errors fairly often – I am not a writer after all, I’m a blogger!

What I do do is a lot of speaking in public so I have read various articles on which words/phrases to avoid when delivering a presentation. The most obvious ones being “ok”, “so” and “em” – filler words. It’s difficult not to use these and it takes time and practise.

My top tip is that sometimes a short, silent pause while you think what to say next is more effective than a wasted word.

There are many other articles out there that discuss this better than I can – here’s a good example…

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Back to the question – “If you could remove one word from the English language what would it be and why?”

There are a lot of words I don’t like and I would choose to remove but if I had to pick one it would be…

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Well, I probably wouldn’t remove it completely as it can be a good word when used in the proper context to describe the size of something but when it’s not used for that purpose is the reason I would remove it.

When people use it to describe something that’s not “size related” such as…

“Oh I love your little blog”

“Where’s your little friend today?”

You get the idea, right? It’s perhaps not the intention of the person saying it but to me it comes across as sounding demeaning, condescending and patronising and I don’t like it.

I did an Ask Reddit to find out what other people thought and there were some great responses but of course the nature of Reddit means there’s some smart asses too which is always good for a bit of banter…

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To which my response was…

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Some of the suggestions were really interesting and of course there was one asking to remove all vulgar/swear words which I don’t agree with 100% as swear words are awesome when not used excessively. It also reminded me of a very funny post from Stephellaneous

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There was also a bit of a debate going on between the American vs English spelling of some words which thankfully didn’t get too political.

A request to remove a particular type of speech rather than words which was described as “the high rising terminal, also known as Australian Questioning Intonation, or Valley Speak” resulted in a conversation allowing my randomness to take over and ended up discussing Bouncer’s wedding in Neighbours…

Sometimes the more you say a word, the more bizarre it sounds don’t you think? One person suggested removing the word “gusset” and as I said it over and over it just starting to sound ridiculous. Try it now. Gusset, gusset, gusset…

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It certainly was an interesting experiment and you can see the full thread below:

If you were given the power to remove words from the English language what words would you choose to remove? (self.AskReddit)

If you were given the power to remove words from the English language what words would you choose to remove? (self.AskReddit)

Over to you now – what word would you choose to be removed from the English language and why? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and I couldn’t complete this post without going out on a song…