5 Overused English Words That Are Limiting Us
Start writing a post

5 Overused English Words That Are Limiting Us

Ways to expand our vocabulary.

5 Overused English Words That Are Limiting Us
Wordpress / Jagged Word

"Pretty," "smart," "loyal," "kind" and "generous": these are all words that are up for interpretation. There are so many phrases that are subject to scrutiny because of the images attached to them. For such broad terms, there is a lack of understanding or clarity of the meanings behind these words. When we use these words, we have to use them in situational terms, otherwise they can be misunderstood when applying them to nouns. Although there are synonyms for these terms, it is simply not enough because they still have multiple meanings. Not only is this a problem in the English language, but in several other languages that tend to use adjectives with multiple meanings rather than using specific words. Here are some simple words that can have multiple meanings.

1. Pretty

This is a word that gets thrown around a lot in daily situations. What we find beautiful is always subject to interpretation, as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." However, what does it mean to be pretty? Pretty may be defined as "pleasing to the eye." But let us take this term and apply it to people or objects. Why are fireworks pretty? They are pretty because they are luminescent and seem majestic in the sky. Why is a clean room pretty? This is because it is neat and organized. Why is a human being pretty? The beauty of a human being is based on physical features. However, the term pretty in this case also has a downfall because it is a term to describe "beauty," yet there can be beauty of the mind, beauty of the soul, or physical beauty. So when the word "pretty" is used, it is important to realize that our idea of the term cannot be simplified to just a singular meaning. Perhaps there should be different descriptors that mean pretty yet also satisfy different situations.

2. Smart

Smart seems to be synonymous with "intelligent" and "brilliant." However, there are different ways of thinking about the word smart. There is "street smart," "book smart," "music smart," "science smart," "interpersonal skills smart," "dress-sense smart" and the list goes on. There are people who develop different skill sets based upon the knowledge that they have. That is why we should think more about who we label "smart" or " not smart."

3. Loyal

Loyalty is defined by "giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution" by the Oxford English Dictionary. However, one of the synonyms for loyal is "faithful," which can be interpreted as being devoted to a cause. In the movie "Frida" starring Salma Hayek, the main character's partner tells her that he promises to be "loyal" but not "faithful." The word "loyal" is connected to a sense of companionship, while the word "faithful" seems to be related to a constant attachment or devotion to a singular being or idea. Thus, when we expect loyalty from people, especially when it comes to relationships, it is important to define these terms more specifically, and not make one synonymous to the other.

4. Nice

People who are deemed "nice" are usually those who tend to not get into arguments with others. However, people who are considered nice from society's standards may actually be individuals who allow injustices to occur without challenging negative beliefs. Those who sit back and do not act in situations may be deemed nice. This is a problem because those who do not fit into the categories of the stereotypical cherubic images we see with the word "nice" are left out of the category altogether.

5. Generous

Those who give are deemed generous. We praise those who actively give because actions tend to speak louder than words. However, society does not really praise people who make the intentions of giving, and tends to praise those who use actions instead. There could be a case in which an individual gives in order to prove how great they are to the world, and there may be a situation in which a person wants to give but does not have the capacity to do so.

Overall, this us a list of just some of the words that are broad and highly overused. These are also words that people tend to not apply or use correctly.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments