(Sparrows enjoying a meal at the driveway’s edge.)
The first word is one that I don’t hear as much as I did years ago. The word CLEARLY.
Back in the day, I used to listen to National Public Radio every morning. I loved it. The one issue was the overuse, I felt, of the word “clearly.” The newscaster, whoever it may be, would be humming along with an interesting interview when sure enough a response would start thus: “Well, clearly, one can see that, blah, blah, blah.” I put up with it. It was annoying but hey, the story was good and informing. But then, some work friends of mine, who also listened to NPR, started using the word. I would make some remark about a work issue. And, the instant response: “Clearly, this is a result of…blah, blah, blah….”
I became sick of the word. Still am. It became CLEAR to me that nothing was “CLEARLY” anything! It was the speaker who felt it was CLEARLY this or that. In short, it became a hinted criticism. What? YOU don’t see the situation. WE do. It’s CLEARLY…”
The next word is one that I hear way too much: ACTUALLY!
I was talking to a relative of mine and had explained that my wife and I abandoned a particular weight loss plan because of the expense. Before I could get out my next word, he came back with, “ACTUALLY, you save money.”
What’s so ACTUALLY about it. Grrrrr. But ACTUALLY seems to be in the smart mouth of each and every “Know-it-all” out there. And like “clearly,” it seems to be a side-winder criticism. But maybe not. What really pisses me off is that I find myself actually using the word…sigh.
Another word that is annoying as hell, but I put up with it—ABSOLUTELY.
I asked an assistant manager in a popular store a few months ago if they accept American Express. “Absolutely,” he blared out.
“Absolutely?” Well, okay. Why should I be such a pedant? If they accept Am X absolutely, then fine. But then I asked the Animal Boarding people whether or not they exercise the animals twice a day, and she immediately responded, “Absolutely!” With eyebrows furrowed and head shaking. She was ringing up my bill at the time. They absolutely walk the dogs? Okay, okay.
I think the word “Absolutely” really means, “shut up!” You know, they want you to stop asking stupid questions. “Absolutely!”
In my writing I use these words to enhance the “annoyance” factor of certain annoying characters.
So what adverbs, or any word or phrase for that matter, do you hate and despise the most? All, none? How do you use them in your writing?