10 Words & Phrases you’re using incorrectly? 10 Words you pronounce wrong.
If there is one thing people do not want to do, it’s sound ignorant. We all like other people to think of us as intelligent. Or at least not unintelligent. The way you communicate with people through speech influences how they perceive and evaluate you in your life.
“Your ability to articulate your thoughts and ideas will have a direct correlation to how well you garner cooperation and persuade others to support your efforts and projects.
The words you choose also convey your emotional intelligence”Lynn Taylor – National Workplace Expert & Author
Whether you’re communicating with a friend, family members, coworkers, partner, client, team member, investor, or industry influencer, the language that you use has the power to make or break those relationships.
To ensure that you strengthen rather than diminish those relationships, here are 10 phrases to avoid since they are words & phrases you may be using incorrectly. Some of them you need to avoid even if you’re using them correctly.
1. “I’ll have an expresso.”
The word Espresso begins with ES not EX so order an espresso, and not the non-existent drink Expresso.
You’ll not only get your morning-caffeine fix, you won’t embarrass yourself in front of your local barista, the other people standing-in-line, and any other members of your party – like that high-profile client you’ve been trying to impress.
2. “Well, that’s ironic.”
We can all thank Alanis Morrisette for the misuse of the word irony. For example, if you arrived at a meeting and Chris from accounting is wearing the same tie as you, that’s not ironic. It’s a coincidence. If Chris referred you to his dentist, and the dentist has terrible teeth, that’s ironic.
A coincidence is whenever two unlikely activities share similarities, like breaking your leg before a rock climbing vacation.
Irony is when there’s some type of reversal of what was expected. Situational irony would then be when an outcome turned out differently than you expected, like that dentist with the bad teeth. Verbal irony is when an individual says one thing but means another, like “This is my day. I lost my wallet.”
3. “I was kinda, sorta, hoping we could discuss this in-person.”
“Kinda,” and it’s twin “sorta,” are just shortened versions of the phrases “kind of” and “sort of.” While kinda and sorta could work during a casual conversation with a friend, and even when battling an opponent during scrabble, these slang terms shouldn’t be used in your writing or when speaking to colleagues.
Even if you don’t shorten “kind of” and “sort of,” Steven Kurutz of The New York Times argues that these phrases have “become a verbal tic, a filler phrase” that we use whenever we’re unsure. So, if you’re 100 percent positive when making a statement, just kinda, sorta, avoid these phrases altogether.
Yes, Irregardless is a word but it is a nonstandard word and does have the double negative thing going against it.
To avoid any debates, it’s best to just avoid using the word altogether. But, if you do, at least you know that it is in fact a real word.
5. “No worries/ No problem.”
These phrases are being used to replace “You’re welcome” or “It’s my pleasure.” While it’s not the end-of-the-world if you say “No problem” or the Australian-version, “No worries,” whenever someone says “Thank you,” it’s a pet peeve among many professionals. In fact, many of them consider these phrases inappropriate.
When you start a sentence with this word it can come across as if you’re criticizing the other party, you are making an excuse, or you’re defensive. For example, if you were asked, “Do you have the slideshow presentation for the meeting tomorrow?” You began to respond with, “Actually… Jess has it.”
Even if you are being polite, adding an “actually” to the beginning of your sentences is unnecessary. If you were asked if you want a cup of coffee you could simply respond with “I would rather have tea.”
7. “I did what I was suppose to.”
The word “suppose” is being used incorrectly in this phrase. It should be “supposed.”
“I did what I was supposed to.”
Don’t forget to insert the “d” sound whenever you say this phrase. To avoid the confusion, say, “I did what I was asked to do,” or “I did what was expected.”
8. “I didn’t have time to really analyze the agreement, so I just perused it.”
Here’s the proper definition of peruse:
to examine or consider with attention and in detail
to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner
Does that sound like an indication you’ve read something quickly or glanced over a document?
Replace peruse with terms like “glimpsed,” “peeked,” “looked,” or “glanced.” So that statement above would now become, “I didn’t have time to really analyze the agreement, so I just glanced over it.”
9. “Are you ok, you look tired.”
“Tired people are incredibly unappealing — they have droopy eyes and messy hair, they have trouble concentrating, and they’re as grouchy as they come,” writes Dr. Travis Bradberry. “Telling someone he looks tired implies all of the above and then some.”
Instead you should ask, “Is everything okay?” According to Bradberry, “Most people ask if someone is tired because they’re intending to be helpful (they want to know if the other person is okay). Instead of assuming someone’s disposition, just ask. This way, he can open up and share. More importantly, he will see you as concerned instead of rude.”
10. “Let’s nip that in the butt.”
The correct phrase here is “nip it in the bud.” It has it’s origins from gardening because whenever you nip something in the bud you’re stopping it before it has the chance to flower. Nipping something in the butt, then, is meaningless – unless you’re a dog chasing the mailman.
Bonus: Big words
No one is questioning your intelligence. But, studies have found that when you use big words you look, well, stupid. Even if you’re using the word correctly, others may think that you’re not as smart as you’re trying to be. You’re better off sticking with simple words. This will demonstrate that you not only have mastery over the English language, but that you know what you’re talking about because you’re an expert and not just faking it.
Please share this list so your friends and family can seem as intelligent as you do. Then read Did you know Humpty Dumpty wasn’t an egg?