On Overuse

The folks who run Blogging 101 didn’t leave me an option with this assignment, so here is my version of it. The prompt for this post is “Reason to Believe“. Warning: It reads like a rant.

I firmly believe that too much of a good thing is bad, more so since the advent of social media. A few words and phrases are used so often that I feel like thrusting a thesaurus into the hands of the ignorant souls. The daily lexicon of human interaction seems to be riddled with clichés and I’ve attempted to name a few below:

i) Love

I’ll allow that people love their families, partners, pets, God and perhaps a few close friends. It’s just that I miss the word ‘affection’. It’s not as strong or potent as ‘love’, but in a few cases, it seems more appropriate. No, I don’t ‘love’ Benedict Cumberbatch, I ‘admire’ him. I simply fail to understand how every kind of pleasant feeling towards someone can be construed as ‘love’.

ii) Cool

‘Cool’ breeze? Definitely. ‘Cool’ dude? No, please. I’m so tired of that particular usage of the word. Just about every teenager in the world right now is aspiring to be ‘cool’. It’s a word that’s given more importance than it deserves, which leads to unnecessary peer pressure, in my opinion.

iii) Bro

The previous one got me thinking about this and sure enough, it’s another overused word. Put them together and they make a woefully hackneyed phrase. When I hear people calling me that, I automatically assume they’re blind in addition to being daft. This word seeps into casual conversations like poison. I remember a time when it was pronounced ‘brother’ and reserved to male blood relations, or perhaps convey an intense emotion between two masculine friends.

iv) Thing

Could you be less specific? If one is planning to have a conversation with somebody who can’t read minds, one must remember to steer clear of this word. Yet, I find that it is used in abundance in every kind of correspondence. There’s a way to properly utilize the word and it’s certainly not in sentences like, “Could you hand me that thing?” “Sure, take a coconut.”

v) Selfie

I think I hate this word. It seems to hound me wherever I go. It has wormed its way into lyrics of songs as well. I miss the good old days when one family owned one camera and everyone had to wait till the photos were developed to gasp at how they seem to appear. I’m quite content to limit my vocabulary to ‘photograph’, ‘snapshot’ and ‘polaroid’.

vi) Shades of Grey

This is more relevant to the bookish universe, I suppose. We all seem to have shades of grey in our personality and so does every character. Who defined white to be good and black to be evil anyway? I think I want to be purple or yellow, thank you very much. Oh, don’t even get me started on that blot on literature that bears this phrase in its title!

vii) Said no one ever

I don’t get the logic in this one, to be honest. I pulled this meaning from the Urban Dictionary, which perfectly puts my point across.

Declarative phrase appearing at the end of a statement which effectively negates the meaning of the previously stated text. Essentially, the presence of this statement instructs the reader that what has been stated up to this point is a fallacy in that no one would make that statement under any circumstances, at any time (in the past, present or future) in any corner of the known universe.


My reasons are simple. If you analyze how often you see these words or phrases on your Facebook or Twitter feed, you’ll see what I mean. It’s dull and tedious. English is overflowing with beautiful words and, if one has the patience to look it up, there’s a name for almost every kind of situation or feeling. Words are added to the dictionary every year to keep up with the global trends. Perhaps I’m being critical since I read everything through a writer’s perspective. However, variety is the spice of life. I wish more people would embrace it.

Can you think of words that I left off my list? Are there any phrases that drive you up the wall? If so, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

23 thoughts on “On Overuse

  1. I hate “sup” for what is up or any other term used upon greeting someone……I hear “sup” and think “are we eating now?” thanks for having an erudite posting. I fail to do so but enjoy others that are capable of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was an English teacher. My list is endless. Basically, though, I dislike using the word “basically” as a sentence starter when, basically, it doesn’t mean a thing and has basically nothing to do with the rest of the sentence. Basically.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I once had a religion teacher who had the same thoughts on ‘love’. He’d say, “you love your parents or your boyfriend/girlfriend because you are in a relationship with them,” which made sense until he asked the class who loved pizza and we all raised our hands, to which he’d say “no, you LIKE pizza because no one is in a relationship with pizza.” So I guess I can understand that/your logic, but I think the casual use of the word is to show that we enjoy the person/place/whatever more than the average person. I like vanilla ice-cream but I love mint ice-cream, because it’s my favourite and I’d prefer it much more.
    As for the other words, I don’t have a ridiculously deep hatred for them. I admittedly use ‘bro’ more often than I should, and the word ‘cool’ is literally in my url so I have no problems with that. ‘Selfie’ is the best word for those type of pictures, even if it is a bit of a silly word.
    Maybe I’m biased as a young person who spends a lot of the time on the internet…..
    I think the worst new slang word is ‘bae’ and I’ve never once used it, nor do I ever plan to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have much of a problem with ‘love’ either because I claim to love chocolate. It’s just that every ‘selfie’ with a random person has a ‘Love you loads!’ caption and I begin to wonder if they know what they mean. ‘I enjoyed the day with you’ is a better option, but it doesn’t have that dramatic effect, I suppose.


  4. Great rant. I argue with myself about most of this words and just wonder if we could have a dictionary so that we know what were saying. It would take alot of time though flipping to the right page and find the word or googling it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: On Overuse – Part Two | Pages That Rustle

  6. Pingback: 2016 Wrap-Up | Pages That Rustle

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