Eliminating Words from the English Language

by kholinar

The nominations piled up, in the hundreds and then the thousands. People who like words, as it turns out, also hate words. Superfluous adverbs took a beating: people unloaded on “literally” and “actually.” One woman challenged anyone to think of a case in which a deleted “actually” changed the meaning of the sentence. But there’s reason and then there’s rhythm, and “actually” is actually useful as a useless dactyl. Other entries were conceptual: a number of readers wondered if eliminating “hate” would eliminate hate. We checked. It would not. (Nor would “war.”)

I can see why someone might think they could eliminate hate with an all-powerful backspace key. >_>

As a writer, I’m actually appalled by most of the suggestions (though even I might turn my head while they drag “Tebowing” and “swag” away). Even meaningless things are useful for their sounds, and words that repulse anyone should never be silenced because we need to be repulsed.

Eliminating Words from the English Language

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