I Use These Words Too Damn Much
Every writer has their favourite words. Words like a jumper you’ve had for 20 years or that comfy old armchair with the stuffing poking out: we’ve probably worn them out with overuse, but still we reach for them time and again. These are mine. What are yours?
“Reduced or degraded from one’s social class; having come down in the world.”
I first read this word when I was a teenager and I’ve been calling everyone and everything déclassé ever since, regardless of whether or not it’s true. Top insult; the French language truly is a gift to us all.
“Conspicuously bad or wrong; blatant, flagrant, offensive.”
I reach for this word without even thinking about it — it lives on the tip of my tongue. Perhaps it speaks to my pessimistic nature: the situation is never simply bad, it is egregiously so.
“Designed for, or appropriate to, an inner circle of advanced or privileged disciples; communicated to, or intelligible by, the initiated exclusively.”
I find an opportunity to jam this word into almost every conversation I have. Don’t be put off by the slightly wordy definition; you can apply it to many real-world situations. Colleagues laughing at some in-joke that you aren’t clued up on? Stop being so damn esoteric, Sharon. God.
“An inference or a conclusion not logically following from the premises; a response, remark, etc., that does not logically follow from what has gone before.”
I suppose this is technically two words, but they come as a pair so I think it still counts.
People talking in non sequiturs drives me mad. It happens all the time in work meetings — you’re talking about one thing and then suddenly someone says something completely off topic and it throws you for a loop. And then they look at you like you’re the strange one for not understanding.
Tell me your go-to words in the comments, I love learning new ones!
All definitions from Oxford English Dictionary.