words are words that we slip into sentences in order to give
ourselves more time to think, or to emphasize a statement.
Over time, they become unconscious verbal tics. Most often,
crutch words do not add meaning to a statement.
Actually is the perfect example
of a crutch word. It is meant to signify something that exists
in reality, but it is more often used as a way to add punch
to a statement (as in, "I actually have no idea").
The next word is one of the most chronically misused crutch
words in English.
This adverb should be used to describe an action that occurs
in a strict sense. Often, however, it is used inversely to
emphasize a hyperbolic or figurative statement: "I literally
ran 300 miles today." Literally is one of the most famously
used crutch words in English. The next one, however, may surprise
This word is used to signal truth, simplicity, and confidence,
like in "Basically, he made a bad decision." It
should signify something that is fundamental or elementary,
but too often this word is used in the context of things that
are far from basic in order to create a sense of authority
and finality. What's our next adverb offender?
This crutch word is used to assert authority or express incredulity,
as in, "Honestly, I have no idea why he said that."
However, it very rarely adds honesty to a statement. The next
crutch word is perhaps the most famous one out there.
The cardinal sinner of lazy words like
is interspersed in dialogue to give a speaker more time to
think or because the speaker cannot shake the habit of using
the word. Like should describe something
of the same form, appearance, kind, character, or amount.
But, very often, it is used involuntarily in conversation,
just like um. Our next and final
word is not so obvious.
This word should signify an action which is readily observable,
recognized, or understood. Speakers tend to use it, however,
to emphasize their point with regards to things that aren't
necessarily obvious: "Obviously he should have thrown
the ball to first base." What crutch words do you rely