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.