Monday, November 3, 2014

MONDAY DIARY: ALMOST EXCRUCIATINGLY TRUE STORIES: ABUSUS NON TOLLIT USUM

The above phrase roughly translates, "The abuse of anything does not abrogate the lawful use thereof."  And after the word "love," the currently most abused word in the English language is "actually."  Woken up out of bed early in the morning, it is put to hard labor all day carrying on tasks for which it was not hired until collapsing on its bed at night, exhausted and worn, barely able to say its night prayers and smarting from the abuse it had been put through during the day.  That is why I am on a one man campaign to end the abuse of the word "actually."  I am . . .
Believe me, I know my English is not perfect.  Both on this blog and at the end of a homily people will let me know how I have managed to mangle Englishdom.  Remember the problem I was having with effect and affect?  This probably has more to do with me covering over my own inadequesies (such as in spelling) a kin to the middle aged man with a wife, five kids, and a dog who buys a two seated Porsche.
 
But the problem is pretty serious.  People use the word so much they don't even hear it anymore or realize that they are saying it.
Think of all the waisted time.  If we cut the word "actually" out of the typical one hour meeting, I bet we could get out ten minutes earlier.  Even texting would be less time consuming.
The problem is, once you notice it, you can't stop noticing it.  It gets under your skin.  And like an ex-smoker, once you stop your dirty habit everything in you wants everybody else to stop also.
But you have to be careful.  Because just when you are getting all high and mighty, someone comes along and zaps you right back

11 comments:

W.C. Hoag said...

You take on "Actually" and I will take on "Literally", Father. Together we may just reform colloquial American English!

Pat said...

I'm working on "issue." Nobody has any "problems" any more, just "issues."

My microwave is having an issue right now and I don't know how to repair it.

Anonymous said...

how about dealing with the word 'figuratively' . . . that's another word whose use is botched

Matt W said...

Dude, you have actually not been waging the right war. "Dude" (fast approaching the ubiquitousness of "guys") may push me over the edge. Literally. Or whatever.

Anonymous said...

I'm ready for "selfie" to go!

Anonymous said...

The word that I think is way overused is "basically". It makes my teeth grind.

Anonymous said...

I was reviewing a medical profile for entrance to the military. The applicant wrote that he had "suffered issues with his sinuses" but now "there were no further issues with the issues." ...?!

Pat said...

Anon.[re the military profile]

My point exactly!

Nan said...

@ Matt W, dude, the issue that people are having with actually using the word literally when instead they should be using figuratively cannot be resolved by taking a selfie.

You're welcome.

mark sehgal said...

Amazingpost

rushessays said...

It’s true not only of doctrines we are more culturally app to reject, after all a deity who loves and affirms us unconditionally. Mess and all seems kind and gentle almost impossible to imagine as study is abuses non tollit usum.