Phrases We Can “literally” Do Without

The English language (America’s version anyway) is always changing.  Words are added and removed from the dictionary.  People make up their own words and phrases.  Some get accepted by society and some don’t.

There are a few words or phrases that I really cannot stand to hear.  They are either overused or literally pointless.  Which brings me to the first word:

Literally.  This word has an actual definition but most people use the “informal” definition which is what bothers me.  I had to take a look at the definition.  Or, I literally had to take a look at the definition.  It is used in most phrases and it is, therefore, way overused.  Mostly by the younger generation who literally cannot complete a sentence without using the word or “like”.  It is, likeliterally annoying.  I get it.  If you laughed out loud (LOL’d) at something, you want people to know that you literally LOL’d.  Instead of saying just “I laughed”, you “literally laughed”.  In its informal use, it is a waste.  It brings nothing to your statement.  “I ate the biggest steak yesterday” sounds better than having to say “I literally ate the biggest steak yesterday.”  Why does literally have to be used so much?  Does it bring credence or amazement to what you are trying to say?

literally had to go back to that paragraph and italicize every one of those occurrences.  But, it is what it is.  Which brings me to the phrase:

It is what it is. Well no duh.  Luckily, this phrase hasn’t made it into any definitive publication (yet) but it is so overused, expect it to be acknowledged by professors soon.  People use this this one regularly for just about anything.  Listening to someone’s story about a bad day they are having?  Your response, “it is what it is” solves that one.  At the gas pump and the person across from you says “gas prices are way too high”?  In agreement, I guess, you proclaim, “I hear ya (because you did).  But it is what it is.”.  But, what if it wasn’t what it is?

The phrases and words made it to the urban dictionary – an online resource you can use to find definitions and meanings to words, phrases and more that are “unofficial”, created by everyday people and seemingly adapted by society.  You too can create something unnecessary and pointless and have a group or entire society use it enough that it will make the pages of the urban dictionary.  And it will, eventually with any luck, become so overused to the point it is annoying.  Literally annoying.  I wish I could filter out what I hear and what I read on social media.  Yes, people respond online overusing the word literally.  We get it – you actually did what you typed.  There really isn’t much you can do to avoid these phrases.  They will be used until the next one is created.  So I guess it is what it is.