Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waste words

An insurance claims agent who called me last week couldn't seem to get out a sentence without employing the word actually. In one run-on sentence he used it at least five times. He may have slipped it in a time or two before I started counting. Once I became aware of all the actuallys, I had difficulty following what he was trying to say. Not that I usually understand insurance agents anyway.

Watching Antiques Roadshow Monday night, I noticed two of the experts also overdoing actually, even if not up to the insurance man's standards. Once you start noticing things like this, you notice them everywhere.

Many of us have a favorite unnecessary word or phrase that we use constantly without even being aware of it. We hear things like "or anything," "and everything," "and stuff" and, of course, "you know" all the time, but we usually don't notice it either.

Can you answer a question without first saying the word well? I don't think I can. Listen to news network interviews or presidential debates and you will hear well at the start of most replies. It could be a lot worse. Actually.

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