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February 4th, 2002

Actually

Friends, I have noticed a disturbing trend in the English language as of late. Yes, we’ve all suffered through the highly inappropriate yet totally pervasive use of “like”, and have come to expect people to say, “uh” and “um”. I stand before you with an adverb this time – one that is being used into oblivion.

It’s actually, and it’s everywhere. I’ve noticed it in classes, in circles of friends, on television, and online. “Actually” is quickly becoming the coolest adverb around; its meaning is being squeezed out in order to help people sound impressive. Or, actually, thoughtful.

Go ahead and look at that definition. Go on. I’ll wait. Then tell me you’ve actually heard people abuse this otherwise outstanding word. Come on: the other modifiers have succumbed, but please, not the adverbs! -pm

Posted in Everyday Life

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