5 Overused English Words That Are Limiting Us
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5 Overused English Words That Are Limiting Us

Ways to expand our vocabulary.

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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.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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