“Definitely!” said a character in a book I was reading to the kids.

“Just like Emmy!” replied DD1, rather excitedly.

It took me a moment to think about who Emmy was, but then I remembered her as the older sister on PBS’ Dragon Tales. Emmy’s favorite phrase is “Definitely!”, and she uses it. Often.

When I learned to write essays, we were told that it was bad style to use the same word or phrase too many times. We were encouraged to use our Creative Caps (and Roget’s) to come up with alternative wordings and avoid duplication, particularly within the same paragraph. I find myself very conscious of that still, and have been known to go back and edit a three-month-old post just because I caught such an error. The only word I’m having trouble with these days is “I”. It’s very hard to write a first-person blog and avoid its use. But an effort is made.

I am beginning to understand what the fuss was about in those middle-school writing classes. There are a few words and phrases these days that seem to be stuck on everyone’s tongues, so much so that hearing them now is like a discordant bell. “At the end of the day…” is one. All the pundits seem to use it. Another one, which grates on me even more, is “Absolutely”. This word seems to belong to well-spoken women on TV with good manicures and even better hair. It’s like they think this word will give more credence to their comments than image alone, like a booster word. I subconsciously roll my eyes every time I hear it. Can we get a thesaurus over here, people?

With the upcoming presidential election already underway, I am without doubt that a new collection of over-used idiom will find its way into the digital vernacular. Can you say talking points?



3 thoughts on “Definitely.

  1. “Can we get a thesaurus over here, people?”


    Great post….but I’m really guilty of the overuse of absolutely….it is my FAVE word in Swedish, and I tend to use it in English too much…that and, lately, riiight.

  2. Well, you do have a good manicure and hair… just kidding. I’m sure I am guilty of beating the proverbial horse. My phrases would be “as well”, “it’s a function of” and “do you know what I mean?”. Those and “damn”. I tend to use that word a lot. Eeek.

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