Words and Phrases to Eliminate From Your Vocabulary

In order to sound and be more professional, we must practice proper phrasing. Next to Italian and Spanish, French is one of the most sophisticated languages in the world. A lot of the sentence structure is similar to the way Britain structures their sentence. For example, “s’il vous plait” directly translates to “if you may.” Sounds super English! Meanwhile, us Americans just say “please.” And, ironically, a preface to apologize for vulgar language in America is “pardon my French.” We don’t have to speak exactly like the French or the English but we should strive to eliminate certain words and phrases from our vocabulary so we can sound more.. like grownups. This isn’t to say that us regular folk speak perfectly all of the time. In writing, integrating the overused filler “like” into dialogue might make the characterization relatable. But try!

  • Obviously
    • Starting a sentence with the word “obviously” is not only repetitive to what can be seen with the human eye; it obnoxiously downplays what could be learned information.
  • “Honestly,” “in my opinion,” or both– “Honestly, in my opinion”
    • It’s safe to assume that a statement is going to be an honest one coming from the speaker’s brain.
  • “They” or “It”
    • Who said? Who are “they?” Usually, “they” is used in reference to one person on behalf of an institution. Find out who said what (and which department they’re in) and share the information that way. CW Demarreau in Purchasing resubmitted my medical paperwork.
  • Sentences starting with “It’s like”
    • Again, what’s like? What is “it.” It’s the feeling you get when you’re falling can be Descending a roller coaster is similar to the adrenaline that rushes through your body when you’re falling. You really have to tap into what “it” is, though. Only then will your sentence be upgraded to 2.0!
  • “Told me” or “He said [that]”
    • Technically, not everything is physically told. To assist in sounding less juvenile, try I was told or So-and-so informed me. This kind of wording addresses the fact that information was shared but not specifically verbally. If the individual did “say,” the sentence can stand alone as He said he went to the banquet as opposed to He said that he went to the banquet. Same with “I believe that” but we won’t be using “I believe,” now will we?
  • “In a sense of” or “On an intellectual level”
    • You might be doing too much if you start or extend your sentences with “in a sense of.” Utilizing “level” to provide description might also be too wordy. Try simplifying with simple adjectives like what you’re actually trying to describe. Further, “utilizing” is unnecessary when you actually mean “using.” Sometimes “utilizing” is utilized just to sound smarter. In that case, don’t stop there– say “for the utility of” or “in the function of.” Reusing words is acceptable (we just did so four sentences ago). “In a sense” defines feeling so no fact is actually in a sense. On an intellectual level, you surpass can be Intellectually, you surpass. Don’t rely too heavily on Microsoft Word’s right-click > Synonyms.
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