Just a word

A word, it may be the sound of it, the way it rolls off your tongue, the way the letters look together visually, the fact people misspell, mispronounce, misuse or overuse it. It’s interesting how there are many amongst us that have such a passionate issue with a particular word for a reason we feel is highly valid.

Over the past few years I’ve noticed the rapid increase in the number of people who not only use the word ‘essentially’ – but overuse it. To the point where it is now used in every sentence they utter, multiple times in fact and even where it’s used when it’s no longer necessary! It’s almost as though the English speaking world held a global meeting and made a wager to discover who would be able to jam the highest number of “essentially’s” into the one sentence.  Did I miss this meeting?

This has unfortunately lead me to the quiet distain of the word essentially, which I otherwise suspect, would not have surfaced. If you know you are one of the culprits ask yourself these questions:

  • When did u start over using?
  • Why did you start?
  • Have you always been a user?
  • Do you spend time with other users?

Imagine, now if your boss asked you to omit the word from your vocabulary or else you’d lose your job, could you stop using the word? If no, I essentially think you have a problem.

It is almost as though “essentially” is the sophisticated, academic overused equivalent of the word “like”. I dare say some overuses started using to position themselves at the opposite spectrum to those who suffer from overusing ‘like’.  We are judged after all on the words we utter. Are people so conscious of the words that exit their mouth, that instead of adding their own personal flair and twist to the english language they much prefer to speak similarly to those that they want to be judged along side? Or is using the word “essentially” merely contagious? Personally, I’ve consciously made the decision to omit ‘essentially’ from my vocabulary.  The most interesting aspect for me is the segment of ‘essentially’ users. Next time you notice people at work, friends, partners, family members who overuse the word look for the commonalities of this collection of people. You may be surprised at how alike this segment of our population really is or would like to be based on this one word. Afterall, the words people use in everyday speech, reflect who they are, right?

***Disclaimer: Many of my friends, former colleagues and family members use the word ‘essentially’, no insult is intended.  Merely an observation. Ohh and they use it in a very non pretentious way.


About Emily Medizaday

Hey, I'm better known as Em (or many other nicknames - a list that is too long to include here). I belong to the marketing/advertising industry and currently reside in my home city Melbourne. A proud Melbournian (who of course is a footy fan - Go Pies), sharing a love for sports of all kinds. After travelling across many timezones it's always great to come across something new, that's creative, artistic, well designed and inspiring in my own backyard. View all posts by Emily Medizaday

4 responses to “Just a word

  • Jerry

    Em, great post, but you are too nice! Just kidding, I’m sure that if I was a user and abuser I would appreciate your gentle criticism. I was just writing a post about this for my blog when I discovered yours. You summed it up beautifully, so I will mostly defer to you. Thanks!

  • Corkee

    There is a guy that I work with, and he uses this word so much, that i can keep a tally.. and it scores very highly at the end of each Day..
    it was funny for a while, but now i sit right next to him.. so i fully understand the sentiment in your comment about how it has led you to “the quiet distain of the word”

    Excellent Post

    Made my day!

  • Alex H

    Oh my god. I thought I was the only one Emily. I thought I was the only one.

  • kelly

    I work with someone that uses that word so often that i think it has become his sentence filler for him when he is not confident in what he is saying. Its very frustrating and annoying to listen to.
    I also thought I was the only one! Can’t take it anymore!

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