There are some words that make our ears ache and corneas burn. It may because the word is overused, or it’s improperly used, or perhaps it just gives you the willies. I’m going to give you, dear reader, a run down of 10 words that haunt my dreams (in no particular order).
Pop — This is probably the most overused word in the world of home-decor writing. Examples: The fuchsia pillow gives the sofa a pop of color. Those drapes really make the room pop. The word really makes my eyes want to pop out of my sockets and bad words pop out of my mouth. (Synonyms that are just as horrific: splash.)
Swoon — [Shaking my head with my eyes closed right now. I can't even talk about this word.]
Dreamy — Dear Pollyanna, It’s 2013. Two-thousand-thirteen.
Literally — I’m going to venture a guess that literally 98 percent of the time I hear the word literally it’s improperly used. Do not use this to emphasize your statement. Before this word comes out of your mouth, ask yourself: “Did this happen in real life?”
Smattering — I read this word as a combination of “smother” + “batter,” two physically abusive words. So when I read on some lifestyle blog post out there on the interwebs that a food blogger served a “smattering of appetizers,” I feel verbally assaulted.
Go-to — This word is just unnecessary. Example: This Kate Spade tote is my go-to purse. Gin and tonics are my go-to cocktail after a long day at the office. Obviously, because you are using it.
Tried and True — I posted on Facebook awhile ago about how much this phrase upsets me, and my dear friend Nick, a Brit, said that that isn’t even a phrase used in Old Blighty. Apparently, the phrase used there is “trusted and true.” Either way, Brit or American version, it’s a cliche and overused these days.
Inspire — Everything is so inspiring these days. It’s a generalization announcing that something is novel, engaging, special, interesting (this word upsets me too — vague alert), amazing, etc. etc. everything that’s fantastic jumbled together.
Curate — I received an email from a writer recently after she submitted a story telling me that she purposely avoided using the word “curate,” because it’s so overused these day. Another editor I know voiced the same opinion. You see it everywhere these days, and everyone is a curator in their own home and life, making informed stylish decisions.
Whimsy — I read this word across the board of lifestyle blogs, from DIY to weddings. Example: The lace overlay adds a touch of whimsy. (Also, touch + whimsy = super cliche.)
As you can tell, I dislike tuity-fruity adjectives and cliches. I don’t write words that I wouldn’t say out loud. I prefer a more organic and conversational writing style, not something that looks like the writer went down Adjective Avenue in Thesaurus-town.
Please share with me the words that haunt your dreams. cheers, marissa