What’s in a word?

What’s in a word? From my perspective, a lot. I hear a lot of various exclamations throughout the day, face to face, on social media, and throughout my life. That being said, a lot of these sayings, terms of endearment, and phrases bother me. I’m always thinking twice about them.

Let’s start with the overuse of words like awesome and amazing. Shouldn’t we reserve those for events that elicit them? Perhaps one day, you hang glide off of a cliff with the ever magnificent world we live in below, full of lush trees, babbling rivers and rare wildlife only to be seen in the canopy of a rainforest? If you used the word amazing for a recent Saturday night at a bar in which you do not recall the actual events but presume you were having an “amazing” time otherwise, what word would you use for THIS awe inspiring time? I think Louis C.K. said it best:

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I know I have fallen privy to this trend and I’d like to change it. When someone at work does something that they are actually required to, I have exclaimed “Awesome, thanks!” more often than I’d like to admit.

Next let’s hit up the word “best friend.” I’m mainly talking about some college age people right now. The word “best” is defined as “of the highest quality.” Let me say that again – highest. Logically, this means that only ONE person can be your BEST friend. Now, if you say ONE of your best friends, this makes sense. This means that all of the people you have said are “one of your best friends” are equated the same way meaning all others that are not referred to as “best” are lesser than those that are. This is why I no longer use this term. I do not and really cannot rate my friends. All qualities have a particular weight and I see them as equals. Sorry for partying. (sidenote- I do feel that the term “bestie” can be assigned to multiple people without presuming that these or any others are rated.)

I had a principal that would ask us to be “thoughtful” about whatever was important at the time and I thought it was brilliant. She basically used the second reigning definition of the word as defined by the dictionary. I think a lot of people imagined she was using it incorrectly but according to the meaning of the suffix -ful, she was using it, perhaps, as it always should have been used-full of thought. Should we not do most things thoughtfully? Most people would think this only occurs if you are doing something good for someone else. In fact, it is a real practice and the use of the word still pops in my mind, especially in a work setting. It’s meticulous to be always thoughtful and I think, that in turn stands, and is, a sign of real passion. I’m pretty sure that’s what she was asking of us.

“Relationships are hard, but they are worth it.” No. Just no. This makes no sense to me. See below.

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I sooooooo used to think it was the complicated relationships that meant it was worth it, that you loved each other with more fervor but this was when I was a straight up naive, ignorant moron. “Hard” should not describe your relationship. Life is hard enough. A teammate helps you through.

And something I can’t stand these days…a hyperbolic way of getting a simple point across. It’s relatively new and I hope it becomes old hat….very, very soon. This is what I’m talking about: “This gives me all the feels,” and “in the best way possible” or a few better examples are what we now call “click-bait” below:

“5 times Miley and Liam were the MOST adorable HUMAN couple.”

“Cinnamon swirl hair is ACTUALLY the beauty EQUIVALENT of a delicious pastry.” ….wait what?

“Someone FINALLY explained what the mini-pocket in jeans is ACTUALLY for.”

These types of asinine articles flood social media and even reputable news sources. They annoy me. I feel that they put thoughts in my head that I previously couldn’t care less about by their use of absolutes. The words, actually, most, finally and favorite are all very pushy. Let ME decide. And don’t you dare equate me to someone who truly cares what the mini-pocket is for oooooorrrr why cinnamon hair is even a thing.

Growing up, I was always confused when I’d be interested in a boy and someone would ask, “Is he cute?” I wondered, why does this matter? and in comparison to what stereotype am I having to answer this question? I’ve always had a considerate demeanor about things of this sort. Rather, I thought the person should ask, “Do YOU think he is cute?” or “Are you attracted to him?” would be best.

I almost feel as if this next point could become it’s own blog post so I will keep it short and sweet. I know that everyone loves it when a mom tells someone without kids “Oh, you’ll think differently when you’re a mom/dad.” Jaw. drop. Are you kidding me? Who gives you the right to take over my brain and figure that I will think differently. People who are in different stages in life are unbelievably akin to handing out advice as if it were warranted or wanted.

Although I truly think often about the language I use, I realize that some people might be reading this that have heard me say or write one or two of the examples I’ve given above and this is what I say to that….”Yes, I have, and I generally don’t like myself when I do.” I blame society for not acting swiftly to change these, oh so accustomed, habits. Also, I think I’ve made it blatantly clear that I do not like ANYONE to speak for me. And, I despise authority. Til next time, patrons.

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