But this year, I figure I ought to try to better myself and my relationships with other people. And since most of my interactions with people are through language, I figure that’s a good (and by good I mean easy) place to start. So this year I’m resolving to pay more attention to the words I choose every day.
Ten Words I Will Try to Use More Often in 2010
- Embiggen: Homer Simpson’s d’oh has made it into a few reputable dictionaries in the recent past, but I don’t think this other Simpsonism is yet widely accepted by lexicographers. I hope that if I can get more people to use embiggen, by using it often myself, we can jump that hurdle and get it in a dictionary or two.
- Indubitably: This is so much more interesting than a simple “yes,” or even an “absolutely.” Plus, in speech, indubitably can be further improved by altering one’s voice. Saying indubitably like Alfred Hitchcock can carry some gravitas; saying it like Cookie Monster carries more gravy.
- Ridonkulous: This is just fun to say. Plus, it’s useful when you want to piss off language purists.
- Chutzpah: Chutzpah has more chutzpah than gumption has gumption or guts has guts. And it feels like a more joyous word — you can’t say it while you’re frowning.
- Ennui: Weariness and dissatisfaction — the perfect word to describe so much of my life. I may begin insisting that people address me as Ennui the Eighth.
- Nonplussed: It’s about time people started to use this word correctly and more often, and I can lead by example.
- Slubberdegullion: Currently one of my favorite words, which is reason enough to use it more often.
- Simplicity: I must use this word often and always keep it in mind. It will be the key to my economic health this year.
- Zippy: Sherlock Holmes has elementary, JJ Walker has dyn-o-mite, and Fessig the Sicilian has inconceivable! I’m claiming zippy as my catchword.
Ten Words I Will Avoid (or Continue to Avoid) Using in 2010
- Utilize: I already avoid this and will continue to do so. Stop utilizing things and start using them!
- Chillax: I’m just not the kind of guy who can pull this word off in casual conversation, especially since I never chill, and I rarely relax. For me, chillax is just ridonkulous.
- Google (as a verb): Google pissed me off when it released Sidewiki, and I haven’t been too thrilled with some of the other branches I’ve seen them trying to grow. Consequently, I’m using Google less and less for my Internet searches. So I will avoid the verb google for both practical and political reasons.
- Neat: What a dull, lifeless, noncommittal word. When a person tells you that something you did was neat, they’re really just being nice. It wasn’t outstanding, nor awesome, nor impressive, nor unbelievable, nor astounding. It was just neat.
- Cool: See neat.
- Bailiwick: I use this word entirely too often. I need to replace it with words like demesne, domain, realm, sphere, doghouse, and so on.
- Crap: Simply not descriptive enough. Besides, so much stuff around here is crap that using the word is redundant.
- Fillers of all types: I’ve managed to purge the useless “like” from my side of conversations, but I can still use some work ridding my speech of uhs, ums, and wikiwikiwikis.
- Obamalogisms: If you ever hear me say obamanation, obamacare, obamamama, obamify, or any other words of this ilk, please slap me. Hard.