I’ve joined the word police – I don’t mean I’ve turned into a grammar Nazi (I’m no Nazi and I’m not particularly grammatical, grammarly, WHATEVS), but I have words in my sights that I want banned from my vocabulary – and yours too.
You’ll thank me for it.
Judgement – ok, you can see I’ve spelt (or should it be spelled) this incorrectly, as I am prone to do. JUDGMENT. I think the fact that I can’t seem to spell this word is a sign it doesn’t belong in language use or in my life. The only good use for judgment is to deliver justice. Verdict will do fine as a replacement. When it’s a judgment about myself or someone else then I can replace it with discernment, or even evaluation (as in find value). To me they seem much more objective words – far less harsh than judgment. Truth is I’d much rather consider a situation, a person or myself with a mix of logic and empathy and leave out judgment altogether. I’m going to try to simply discern.
Embarassment – once again I’m prone to misspelling this one– so I’m thinking I should leave this word out of my vocabulary. EMBARRASMENT. What is embarrassment but shame in a hot flush of red? And SHAME is not a word I want to use, let alone feel (it’s a shame but I still do). So try not to let yourself feel ashamed (humiliated, mortified). Be philosophical or circumspect when you do something you feel less than satisfied with. Use the word regretful if you must (must isn’t much of a word either), but don’t burden yourself with embarrassment or shame.G UILT– so the theme continues. Just like its cousin words (shame, embarrassment and judgment) guilt is a useless word. If you’ve genuinely done something wrong, then show remorse, take responsibility and use those words in place of guilt. If guilt is force of habit (a negative tendency), then try replacing it with insight and a new perspective. \
HATE –it’s not OK to use the word HATE, as easy as it is to spell. It’s harsh and horrible and you’ll regret it the second it leaves your lips. It leaves a burning taste in your mouth. Tone it down to dislike, which will be appropriate 99% of the time. Abhorrence is reserved for the very worst deeds. Sometimes you may feel that you hate traffic but really it’s just annoying. Sometimes you might feel like you hate you child’s behavior but really it just makes you feel frustrated/sad/out of control – so why not say that? If you must, employ the adverb ‘particularly’ alongside dislike, and you’ll let off steam. I dislike the word hypocrite, but if the label fits feel free to throw it at me.
Definitely – I’m guilty (opps) of spelling this one wrongly (as opposed to wrong). The reason why I don’t particularly like definitely as a word, is that it’s too absolute, and there are few things in life that are so certain. So while definitely occasionally has its place, I think we can replace it with ‘almost certainly’ or ‘in all likelihood’, and ‘I intend to’ and get real about how circumstances change, while staying open to the wonder of possibility.
Fear– It’ a four letter word, you know. Tone it down to doubt, or express that you’re having reservations (that relate to a specific decision/action rather than being a blanket expression like fear). Admit to feeling hesitant, worried or scared but don’t let fear define your self-talk or stop you acting.
Failure – this is a word that just needs to be redefined. The meaning needs to flip to recognize the lessons and the steps towards success that are inherent in failure. Start by replacing it with ‘mistake’ – because to err is human, to forgive (including yourself) is divine. When you forgive yourself a mistake and keep trying you are divinely moving forward!
The words we use – in our heads, in our conversations and in our writing shape how we (and others) see the world.
The word police recommend using these words (or their variations) as often as you can:
And go over the top with language sometimes:
Delight, Estatic, Magnificent, Sublime, Bliss, Sensational, Heroic, Awe-inspiring, Liberate, Triumph, Splendour, Munificent
I’m supremely, superlatively, tremendously, totally grateful and appreciative and beholden that you have read so far. Linking up with Grace for another FYBF and joining in the Weekend Rewind with Sonia, Bron and Kelly. What words are on your banned list?