A Literal Epidemic of Crutch Words

pundit from another planet

Last week Joe Biden’s excessive use of the word literally in his speech at the DNC had the word again the talk of the Internet. It wasn’t incorrect, exactly, even if it wasn’t the absolute cleanest of speech-making techniques, per se. I wrote a post explaining that, contrary to popular belief, his use of the term was hyperbole, an accepted meaning of the phrase, and I listed a number of other “crutch words” and phrases that we are wont to throw around too easily in common and formal conversation alike. Among those phrases: As it were, actually, basically, um, like, apparently.

Of course, we didn’t list all the crutch words, because it appears we’re living in a crutch word epidemic. There are so many! Many of you got in touch to share your own hate-favorites as well as to complain about your experiences with coworkers who are always saying, “Let me be…

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