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

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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.

Also – most of the time I’m probably still a bit shit but who has the balls to tell me that directly, right?

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 @MrMcSteveface and I couldn’t complete this post without going out on a song…

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

  1. YOU HAD THE FLAMING MIC ON YOUR BLOG! THAT’s THE SAME FLAMING MIC IMAGE WE USED AT OUR OPEN MIC’s 10 YEARS AGO! I take what you are saying further I talk about protestant and pre protestant words as well like in my bible studies I notice that catholics talk about heaven and protestants talk about the sky and i just notice that protestants actively manipulate the language to remove love from it. We did use that flaming mic though. Same black background.

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  2. If I had to remove a word as a blogger, I’d probably remove “musings” or “ruminations”.

    It has been overdone and overused and no, using these words don’t make you sound intellectual, if anything, they confuse the shit out of the reader.

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  3. Dude, great post! (And thank you for the shout-out!)

    I’d choose “literally.” I only ever hear it used incorrectly, when the person actually means “figuratively.” There’s one woman at work who has this nervous tick where she says “literally” with such high frequency that people have stopped listening to her and instead keep running tallies of how often she says it. ….that hasn’t influenced my decision AT ALL. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d remove the word Brexit, for several reasons.
    1. It’s one of those intensely irritating manufactured words, created by the media to feature in idiotic headlines
    2. The concept (see what I did there?) is a horrendous one and will do untold damage to our country

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Moist! It’s far too onomatopoeic to me, makes me squirm!! However, I probably wouldn’t want to remove any words, just have something that silences the people who are incapable of using them correctly.
    That commenter on the Reddit thread responding to the moan about British spellings sounded like the English policeman in ‘Allo ‘Allo!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vision. Not because of the word itself or its meaning but because it is so misused and overused in the average workplace (every company, even one with 1,5 employees has a vision) that it has lost its meaning. Vision should encompass a range of values, ideas, objectives, not being used to describe the number of sales that need to be achieved by the end of the month. I like words because they are a powerful tool: they can inspire, enrage, startle, they can harm and they can heal, and thus I do not like when they are distorted or misused to the point they are depleted of their original meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree Vision seems to be one of the corporate buzzwords and I hold my hand up and say I did actually have a slide in a recent presentation entitled “The Vision” 🙂

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