My brother wrote a very interesting article that he admits might be politically incorrect. Because he first started this, I am honoring his beginning by titling this English Butchery 102. The class name is original, but not the idea. So to expand on his thoughts, here are a few more things people say incorrectly that inadvertently diminish their point:
a. "I gave 110%"...If we're suddenly capable of giving more than 100%, why not make it something higher than an extra 10? Like say, 99%? "I gave 199%" sounds much more devoted than 110%. Or better still, why stop at 199? Why not 200% or 300%? Maybe start scoring our efforts like baseball players' batting averages. "I gave .345; that's a point better than Ted Williams' career batting avg..."
b. "And it goes without saying..." We all use this one too, but what the world for? If "it" goes without saying, either don't say "it," or don't say that it "goes without saying." Talk about undercutting your point. Geesh.
c. "Indubitably"...First, no one uses this word. So that's the first red flag when you use it in conversation. I don't think it's been used since the late 1800s, so unless you fought in the Civil War, you have no business thinking this is appropriate conversational English. Second, it's a risky word to try to use. If you don't get it out correctly the first time you try to say it, then you look like a pompous imbecile. No one enjoys an arrogant moron. If you have to stop and remember how to pronounce the word while you're trying to drop it in conversation, you lose speaking privileges. And respect. Although, if you're trying to conversation-drop "indubitably," you probably haven't garnered much respect to begin with, hence your attempt to use it in a sentence.
d. "Bloviate"...This is actually just because of Bill O'Reilly. Speaking of pompous, imbecilic pots calling kettles black. The only people who use this word are the very people who bloviate. A nice self-fulfilling prophecy. Using the word means you're a bloviator. Or does it mean you're a hypocrite?
Well that's enough for now. Take notes, share with your friends, and for the love of respect, think about what you say.