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Monday, November 21, 2016

How do you know when your word choices and expressions need a make-over?

We are so accustomed to saying what we've always said that we forget that our word choice and expressions can become routine and tiresome to others.

Not only can they become tiring and repetitive, like "you know" and "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera" they can also have dated quality.

It's one thing to use the word "Groovy" as as kind of joke while watching a 70's program, but it's another event to keep using it in the 21st century without a 70's or even an 80's reference in sight.

The same awkwardness comes from using phrases like "You da bomb" which went out of fashion about three months after it was launched.

Just because you like saying something doesn't mean other people enjoy hearing it, and if they cringe when they hear it but don't tell you, it's like having bad breath and no one tells you it's time to change toothpaste or use a mouthwash.

So how do you fix a problem that you don't know about like repetitive word choices and dated expressions?

Listen to yourself.     Re-read your texts sent to others.


Are you seeing a pattern of repeating yourself?   Do you use the very same words and phrases--dated or not--with everyone in your circle to acknowledge an accomplishment or to avoid saying "thank you" or "I'm sorry"?   For many over used expressions are often place holders for other kinds of expressions that need to be made.

Reexamine what you are trying to communicate not only to them but about yourself, and assess whether you are accomplishing both goals.  Then take another look at your last few days of texts, and see if you have written the words "thank you" or "I'm sorry"  lately and ponder whether some of those over-used expressions were meant to cover up not wanting to be grateful because it feels vulnerable to you to be grateful or I'm sorry because it feels weak to you to apologize.

Depending upon what you discover about yourself and your expressions, find some other ways to communicate your enthusiasm or gratitude.   If you can't think of something catchy or phrases that make you feel hip or contemporary, try using the simple words you truly need to say instead.  The simple truth works pretty well in almost all circumstances and with all people of all ages and gender.

Daphne Simpkins' newest book is Christmas in Fountain City

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