Basically; The Most Overused Word in the Workplace and Beyond

In my opinion 'Basically' is the one of the most overused words in the English language. In other words I basically think that people use it in sentences to sound like they know what they're talking about. You know? Most often a sentence is started like this; So basically all you have to do is listen to people speak around you, I guarantee you'll here it at least 10 times in one short conversation.

Especially when they're trying to explain something to someone and that someone isn't getting it.. The confused person is like... "wha??" so the overuser says.. "Ok so basically red and blue make purple right?.. Right. So basically if red and blue make purple then Purple is the new red and blue.

My theory is that basically is just one of those words that we use to "sum things up" or to say "well you should get it, its so simple I just explained the whole thing to you in English!"

I find that really smart people whose native language is not English, and who also have heavy accents really overuse it. This happens because basically the person listening not only doesn't get it but also struggles to get what they are actually saying.

Try it just as a game, see how many times you hear someone say basically, you get extra points if they say it when they aren't trying to explain something to someone.

Another word I feel is used waaaay too much is 'actually'. Ooh and I personally overuse 'honestly'


Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I'm an "actually" overuser. I've tried to be better about editing it out of my blog posts because I've seen myself you it multiple times in one post, and that is definite overuse;>

Great post.

Anonymous said...

I'd agree with you totally about Basically you can barely go 5 minutes without hearing it. Literally is another over used word. It's made even worse by it being used incorrectly most times. An example by a commentator at a circuit;

"The cars are so close, they are literally glued together"

If they had been "Literally glued together" it would have meant someone sticking them together with glue!

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Anonymous said...

Typically one can, obviously, build, you know, sentences with basically no content at all actually.

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Trevor said...

How about "You know", or "Literally"? They need honourable mention.