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Words You Must Never Use

Our wonderful language is so complete, it even has words that should never come out of your mouth or your writing utensil, unless you’re quoting someone, writing a book where a character uses one, or a style guide mandates its use.

Here are 10, with a better choice for each;

almost never — If you think about it, this is an impossibility. Nothing is almost never; it’s either never or it’s not. Better to use seldom or rarely. Hardly ever works, too, but why use two words when one will do?

both  — Generally speaking, both is redundant when you’re talking about two items: Both she and I are going. So you only need the two items.

irregardless — My dictionary says it’s probably a combination of irrespective and regardless. Either way, this is a double negative, and proper English doesn’t allow it. Use regardless.

future planning — It’s redundant. No one plans for the past or the present. You only need planning.

goodby — The Los Angeles Times uses this instead of goodbye, making it an example of a style guide taking precedence, but the word’s correct spelling has an e at the end. Otherwise, a person might think that you forgot to separate the words good and by, or forgot a letter when saying good buy.

deaf-mute — It’s better to say the person can’t hear or speak.

off of — It’s redundant.

past history — Also redundant.

prior to — Use before.

new record — Another redundancy that’s also a cliche. When the record it set or broken, it’s automatically a new record.

A reminder:  Derogatory words for a person’s nationality, skin color or religion are taboo. So I won’t repeat them here.

Until next time! Use the right words!


August 1, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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