"Words We Don't Say"


"Mouthfeel" needs to be on every such list.
My least favorite phrase: 'NUFF SAID.
Can we ban 'folks' please?
some I refused to let slide while I was music editor for an arts/entertainment start-up:

referring to an album or song as an "affair"
"just sayin'"
"sprinkled," as in, a song "sprinkled" with an instrument or characteristic
and last but not least,

"Not so much."
"Hands down", no contest.
I had an English teacher in high school who despised "utilize" (when "use" will almost always work exactly as well without making you sound like a businessdouche), and the distaste rubbed off on me. Then I worked for a woman once who always used "utilize", no matter what. I insisted on proofreading anything she ever wrote, especially since almost everything she wrote would be seen by impressionable young people.
The editors' guidelines at Wizards of the Coast for their Dungeons & Dragons novels listed banned cliches such as "gaping maw" and "scrabbled for purchase".
Opening a sentence with "uh" or "um" makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit disingenuously.
Oh shit:

"Push the envelope"
"Pro-active" yeah, I know

and forever fuck "…partner with..."
ditto on "just sayin'"
My peeves:
"Moisture" ick. Nobody sounds good saying that. Not Barry White, Luther Vandross nor Bryan Ferry.
"I need you to" Just ask. Your personhood rights won't be stripped.
"checks and balances"
"lush" as pertains to music. Scented bath and body products okay!
"Yeah, no." Always never.
Peevishness is "pet peeve" of mine.
"entitled" referring to the title of a work.
"pachyderm" in any story about an elephant
I've been wishing for a moratorium on "Who knew?!" for years, now.
How else would you talk about something that particularly bothers you on a recurring basis other than as a "pet peeve," Anna?
"Utilize" is a huge one in my department. Our technical people insist on using it, and we change it to "use" every time.

The other one I despise is, "intimate knowledge," as in "Our company had intimate knowledge of the [state] Department of Natural Resources." I cringe every time I read it in a proposal I'm editing.


"Get your nerd on"

Just stop using nerd altogether and start using what it really means now "Pop-Culture."
Most of these are great suggestions for words and phrases to avoid and I hope Stranger writers and readers will take them to heart. Particularly (@4, @10) "just sayin'" -- I'm looking at you, Goldy.

I do disagree (@10) with "basically", which is useful shorthand to express that you understand that someone could object to your assertion on technicalities, but they are not relevent to the issue under consideration. "Essentially" and "more or less" work for this purpose as well.
'foodie' and ' guesstimate' make me want to kill people.
"Got [insert noun here]," in headlines, e.g. "Got Glamournails?"
also, "read", e.g. "I'm an artist, (read, unemployed pot head)."
I third "pet peeve"

I'm currently working on my over use of redundant words too, using this list: http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/redu…

"Impact" as a verb. Fuckin' hate it. Also, this recent tendency (though not by publications, thankfully, to misuse the word "literally." ... "And I was like, literally, walking down the street, and I saw Fred."
Oh, and I forgot to add "sexy" when talking about computers, (like apple products) or projects or jobs that are glamorous.
@18 TKC thank god someone feels the same... Its like someone stole my culture from me and suddenly allot of people who are interested in things like "art films" or som genre of music you've never heard of are calling themselves, with a straight face, "nerds".
Am I the only person creeped out by "belly?" Not only won't I use it, but I refuse to buy any product with that in the name. Except pork belly (try making jjangmyeon without it) which I freezer-wrapped today and couldn't bring myself to label without abbreviating.
@22, or another example is "it was so funny, I literally shit myself."
"Amongst." It's literally outdated. Why not use "hither" and "thither" while you're at it?

While I agree with many of the selections here it's worth noting that context is everything. Hell, this very thread is divided between instances of the spoken and written word. In regards to the latter, I find that some of the examples cited are useful synonyms that allow one to avoid repeating simple yet essential phrases.

And @19 is basically right. Though I would agree it gets a bit hackneyed (in spoken conversation) at times.
So if "dubbed" is verboten, how does one describe a movie in which a spoken track in a different language replaces the original?

And what does Queen Elizabeth say when she makes someone a knight?
DON (meaning “put on”)

If it wasn't for don, how else would people put on their gay apparel?
@27 - "Whilst" and "ginger" are affected Britishisms that get under my skin, similar to "amongst".
"Bow" meaning to make your debut. You pretty much have to be an Opera News reader to ever see this, but it drives me crazy once a month.
The technical exceptions argued for "basically" are fine as far as I would know, but when people use it in speech, what I hear is: "I don't really know the answer to your question, but I'm going to keep talking anyway."

@25 - I'm with ya. Outside of the pig-parts map, "belly" sounds like baby talk, which is never acceptable from adults. You might as well be telling me your tummy hurts after din-din. I hate myself for even writing that.
Many will disagree, but the word "create" bugs me (as in, "I will now create a new spreadsheet." Why not just say "make"?) Speaking of "make", I also hugely dislike "make" when it has to do with painting (:She plans to make a painting") and "piece" in connection with clothing.
"concerning", as in "I found your report to be concerning, because you used 'utilize' too many times."
I find people who dislike certain words obnoxious. Every word has its place. It's simply that some end up being over-used.
I think it all started with Jim McKay and ABCs Olympic coverage inventing the word "medaled" to describe the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Either him, or the commercial that says its foodstuff "eats like a meal".
This is stupid. Stop stifling the full bloom of language.
Applause for #35. This is just criticism of other people's vocabulary by the bland and inarticulate who've already made the world a much more monosyllabic & puerile place.
Yum. Yummy. Yummo. And nom.
I could do with a little less "whatnot."

That said, I am a romantic--there really is a right sentence out there for every word.
Hubby and Wifey and Mommy when used in comments.
"Dear Hubby went nom nom nom on this meatloaf."
"The Wifey abused my credit cards."
"Four-letter words bring out my Mommy-rage. Think of the children!"

Pretentious [or basically any word, literally], much?

Grammar nazis (lol) really are quite tedious, and are not fun to be around. As @37 wrote, the English language is 'alive' and as such should be allowed to wander wherever the street takes it. Sounds like not many people here know much about how language works outside of usage guides.
'Think', as in 'think beachside meets corporate chic!' So fucking bossy.
@43: Except this isn't about grammar. It's about the use of annoying cliches, which is the opposite of the fresh, engaging expression you claim to want.

the fact that I just typed it makes me want to cut off my fingers
One of the worst terms ever is "significant other." Anyone who uses that should be forced to watch Newt Gingrich have sex.
8/gus: ...makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit...

Whenever that happens to me I don't let it go to waste. I find some baby birds and feed it to them. They love that shit.
@41 Call me a stuck up New Englander but the phrase 'hubby' has always made me imagine fat couples from flyover states. I have never, not once, heard the term spoken aloud.
Anywho. *shudder* I broke up with someone who wouldn't stop saying that. We don't say this very much, but "at the end of the day" is VERY MUCH in overuse in the UK/Ireland.
I'd be thrilled if I never heard the term "master class" to refer to a great performance. Using it to refer to an actual class taught by an expert of some kind is OK.
"Going forward" tacked onto any comment about business or the economy.
This entire thread is like a worn-out Portlandia skit, with @25 being the last joke you laugh at before it becomes painfully unfunny.
I try to never say or write "Moist Clown"
"Threw up in my mouth a little bit" needs to be retired. "Sounds like a plan" too.

I'd also like never to hear "on a daily basis" again. What's wrong with "every day" or "daily"?

In wildlife documentaries. When every tooth, claw, talons, and beak is "razor sharp". Wow. Do they know how Sharp actual razors are ?
The incorrect use of the word "momentarily" to mean "in a moment" as opposed to "lasting a moment" really annoys me, as does "winningest". You cannot use that type of adjective like that. It is wrong.

However my largest hate is reserved for the use of repeated "too" as in "too too much". Once is enough.
Don't use "decimated" unless you actually mean about 1 in 10.

If you lost 80% of something it wasn't decimated, it was 8 times worse than decimated.
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Whenever I hear or read "ATM machine" or "PIN number," I want to connect the perpetrator to the Department of Redundancy Department with my fist. It doesn't help that they're often in the same sentence.
People using the word "literally" when they don't mean it literally. "It was so funny, I literally died." Obviously you didn't.
My biggest peeves are supported by U.S. style guides: Don't put the periods and commas outside the quotation marks. Don't capitalize the t in "the" unless it's part of a proper noun, etc.

I had a boss who had words that she DID like. One of them was "however." She was also really into parallel construction. (My boss was not primarily a writer.)
@54: "Moist Clown"

Now that's a winning pseudonym if I ever saw one.

Lots to agree with here, of course, but nothing brings me as much validation as seeing "eatery" on the original list. God, what a stupid, stupid word that real people do not ever use in conversation. I think there is no other word in English that so forcefully communicates a writer's failure to give a fuck.
Yeah, I hate that almost as much as I hate people who spell pimiento "pimminnow."

@6,17: The new fad, at least it was new to me, in the business community is to use "leverage" in place of "utilize," presumably because the douche-y impact of "utilize" has diminished with overuse. "I leveraged Microsoft Excel to create this awesome 3D bar chart."

The word the makes me wince, wherever it's used, is "temblor." If a word can really only appear in a headline of a second-rate newspaper, or the copy of a horrible weekly ad-rag, it should be banished.

My favorite awful usage, deployed ironically by a photo editor who had had his fill of corporate-speak, was the verb "effort." As in, "I will get one of my photogs efforting in that capacity." The suits would get wood, and the newsroom flunkies would get a little inward chuckle. Before they all got laid off.
#63 I agree, it's a great psuedonym. Not as good as "Can-O'-Beano", which has a nicer rythm, an uses a " ' " , adding flavour and depth. Yum!
"Addicting" vs "Addictive", "Flash forward"
Fuck "snark."