Thursday, September 18, 2008

On 'like', 'so', 'dude', 'retarded', "ness" and other words I use alot

I will unabashedly claim that these words are a part of my vocabulary. I'm not particularly proud of this fact any more than am I particularly ashamed of it. It is simply, a fact. What's more, I find these words to be irreplaceable in conveying certain sentiments and attitudes in certain situations and settings. I like to use them. Language evolves, and I'm not sure that this is always a bad thing. It used to be considered horrible slang to use "OK". This is no longer the case, and I think that the same thing will probably happen to some of these phrases.

I don't condemn these words or their newly found uses to be evil or juvenile when employed in the proper setting. There is a times and a place for such words to be used or misused to prove a point, or just because one happens to like the way they sound. A personal favorite for me is the word "so". I used it in many forms, my favorite being as a sentence opener ("So, I watched the Ducks game last week....") or as a complete sentence at the end of a paragraph ("The Roper got taken out with a knee injury when the game went into double over time, which looks bad for the Ducks. So."). I also occasionally do use it in that most hideous of forms, to express a superlative ("That was SO not kosher!").

I also enjoy making up words ("Beautimus" comes to mind) and adding "ness" as a suffix onto the end of words. I.E. "That is awesomness!", "Sweetness!", and "Yumminess!".

Moderate use of words such as "like", "so", "dude", "retarded", and even "sweet" do not bother me in the least. The overuse of these words, like the over use of any words IS annoying. (I myself will admit to overusing the word "retarded". But I prefer to blame it on the alarming amount of things I encounter that are retarded, rather than on my inability to use any other adjectives to describe idiot behaviors.)

Mind you, there is a context for these things. They don't really belong in, say, a presidential speech. But for day to day communication I see no problem in employing these words. I commend those who wish to clear their vocabulary of such words because they feel it's important. That just doesn't happen to be my view of it. Anyway, this is something I have been thinking about for awhile and thought I would share.


  1. Well, I would like to say a few things-
    First, thank you for your comment. I saw my post needed a little revising, and so I went and did just that.
    Secondly, I agree that new words and phrased do appear in the English language, and have no real reason to be removed. Which explains why I don't advocate for people to be restricted to Elizabethan English. (How art thou, Elisabeth?)
    I also agree that any word used too many times will become annoying. If I went around saying "I am fulminating about that man's preposterously exiguous vocabulary," (which, thankfully, I don't), it would be just as pesky as the word "like" being used every other second in someone's sentences.

    Your made up word "Beautimus" does not bother me in the least- actually, when I first saw it, I thought it was Latin.

    I don't consider these words evil. If people honestly think something is awesome, retarded, or so- something, they are free to say so.

    Well, there's my thoughts:)

    See you on Sunday,


  2. I must say, I've really never been bothered by any of these habits in you, myself or any educated people.

    I know that "so" is misused.
    I know that "like" is overused.
    I know that the meanings of words such as awesome, gay, wicked, and sweet have, sadly, been corrupted.

    But I also know that we have fairly well-rounded vocabularies, and that, should we so choose, we could turn off the "modern-isms" and still express ourselves coherently.

    It only bothers me in people who never learned the real meanings of the words they use, and are mentally incapable of talking without "like".

  3. Dear Lizzie,
    You are not the first person to "make up" the word "Beautimus" my parents have been saying that word since they were in HS and I have heard other people use it as well.
    I get what you mean about the other words. Expect for the word retarded. I have told you before how I feel about that word( and if you want I can tell you again at Church ) so I will just leave it at that....for now;)
    Also just wanted to I am so glad your back missed you!
    Love ya !

  4. Yes we use beautimous here too (in NJ) it isn't a new thing either. Ginormous is largely thanks to the movie ELF. But, repeated words or phrases have always bugged me. But- things we find annoying in other people can often be found in ourselves. With that said, I will pay closer attention to my conversations this week.

    Oh, and speech used between friends (like... not in important things) is called coloquialism I believe if I've spelled it right.

    It is funny to see how many words we repeat when we pray- There is a lady in my church that says, "dear Lord" roughly seven times in one request then uses "dear father" once and returns to the "dear Lord"s again. :)

  5. My point about the word beautimus, is that it's not actually a word in the dictionary. It's pretty much slang made up by the culture, and therefore in the same class as the other words I mentioned :P

  6. I agree with the general gist. (So I shared you in my things-i-read-i-like-share-function). But I must say that I am not a fan of the word "retarded" in the slightest. It' say the least.


Muse with me. Please?