I've come back from a wonderful weekend and sheathed my weapons for today - literally at least. When I say the post titled Words That Should Be Used More Often, I got to thinking about words, or rather expressions, that I should have used less in the past.
I guess they are more mannerisms in speech than individual words that I've found myself using that are douchey, vague due to intellectual laziness, likely to derail a conversation, or in general not the kind of expressions that should come up much in a reasonable discussion. For example:
It is interesting/funny/strange that you chose that as an example.
This can have a bit of a condescending tone, and a better way of saying the same thing would be:
What stood out to me as problematic was your choice of example, considering...
Of course that was rather clumsily worded. I should stress that this is something I'm looking at from my own perspective; I'm not claiming someone else who uses the example above is must be condescending As always, context is key.
I'm also trying to avoid using the words 'problematic' and 'privilege' when possible . The former is often quite vague and the latter has developed connotations which can easily derail a conversation.
Of course everyone has their own way of writing, and I'm not saying some words or expressions are bad form in general and should be avoided. But once in a while it's good to take some time to think about how we use language and if we could improve on it by avoiding these verbal crutches, that could often be replaced with some other, less common and more creative expressions.
If I've managed to get my point across here, I'd like to hear what examples of lazy language you might have noticed yourself or others employing, and what you'd suggest as better alternatives? (I should note that this is about developing one's use of the English language or improving one's verbal communication in general and I'll dismiss comments that are mainly ideological griping about preferred pronouns for example.)