Being a great conversationalist or writer doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be eloquent, charismatic, bright, and engaging. Whether you want to sound intelligent for a job application, for a date, or for your everyday dealings, our list should help you.
Below are 10 words you ought to avoid to sound a whole lot smarter. Keep them in mind!
1. Really and very
We’re not saying you should get rid of modifiers altogether, but there are better and more concrete words to use when expressing your ideas. Instead of saying ‘really smart,’ you can say ‘brilliant.’ Instead of ‘very good,’ you can use ‘excellent.’
The word’s meaning and usage have changed over the years. Today, it is being used to mean ‘figuratively.’ Using ‘literally’ for emphasis and exaggeration is weak and makes no sense. For example, saying, ‘The book literally transported me to the past,’ is not sensible.
‘Irregardless’ has been so misused that it has ended up in the dictionary. While it’s technically considered a word, grammarians still advise to use ‘regardless’ instead.
Some people make the mistake of using this word as a punctuation but saying it out loud. Remember not to mix up the rules of written and spoken language.
This is something often seen in resumes. Remember: You can either be a detailed or an oriented person. There is no need to put the two words together.
6. Actually and basically
Using ‘actually’ and ‘basically,’ depending on the way they are said, can make you sound pompous. In most cases, these words don’t serve any special purpose in the sentence. Take them out, and you should still be able to make your point.
It’s a common mistake to interchange ‘virtually,’ ‘actually,’ and ‘nearly.’ Unless the word ‘virtually’ refers to virtual reality techniques, don’t use it.
Many style guides advise against using this non-word even if most people consider it a contraction of the word ‘until.’ We say just stick to either ’till’ or ‘until’ when writing.
You often hear this word attached to the end of sentences of younger people. It is commonly used today as a punctuating word. If your thought remains unchanged with the omission of this word, then it’s best to leave it out.
‘Anyways’ is an actual word first used in the 13th century to mean ‘to any degree at all.’ Today, however, it is already an obsolete term. Just stick to ‘anyway’ to sound smarter.
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