People Share The One Word People Need To Stop Overusing

People Share The One Word People Need To Stop Overusing
Mimi Thian/Unsplash

I use the word 'literally' like, literally, all the time.

Am I a professional writer who understands that the repetition can lose some readers? Yes.

Am I educated and fully aware of the definition of the word "literally" and the fact that I almost never actually mean "literally" when I say literally? Also, yes.

Do I know it annoys some people? Also, also yes.

Am I going to stop doing it any time soon? ... ... ... I'll take that into careful consideration.

Reddit user matchless2 asked:

"What is a word that people need to stop overusing?"

So here's a whole article full of people who probably literally hate me. (hehehe)

Let's Just Start With The Obvious


- rs_yay

"I saw an ad for a meal kit service that said something like, 'My husband loved the salmon so much it literally killed him!' ”

"RIP husband."

- madamguacamole

"High school teacher here. Sooooo many kids use this every other sentence and don’t even understand the meaning. It’s annoying, to say the least."

- NorwegianMuse

"I was kind of irritated by 'literally' being used figuratively for a while, but then I found out that 'fantastic' used to mean something literally from fantasy."

"It would have been just as wrong to say 'that’s fantastic' if you weren’t talking about a dragon or something."

"Now when I hear it I just think 'language be like that sometimes.' ”

- TheRiverTwice

"I'm literally part of the problem... I let it slip into my vernacular and I can't stop 😩"

- Conscious_Camel4830


Define "Influence"


- B0J0L0

"Influencer cracks me up sometimes."

"Like the other day when someone tried trolling me by calling me an influencer. Ironically at the time he would have been the only person that I had influenced AND he had misread me anyway."

"Are that many people really influenced by 'influencers?' Wasn't the tag snake oil salesman descriptive enough?"

- Justthisguy_yaknow

"They do influence, just negatively."

- real_MainDepth

"Truly a word that has lost any positive connotation to it."

- floweytheflo

There's Usually A Precedent


- stupidmacaroni

"I would like to upvote this comment a million times. I flinch when I hear this word now."

- Lexjude

"The amount of times unprecedented has been used is unprecedented."

- Funktastic34

"Holy hell I hate this word, even reading it makes me angry."

- popcorntongue

"Same. Everyone on TV was using it, 'these unprecedented times, these uncertain times.' "


- stupidmacaroni

"Unless they say it is 'literally unprecedented.' Then you know they’re being for realsies. Because literally."

- GoodAsUsual

Gaslighting Is A Specific Thing

"Gaslighting isn't just another word for lying, it's a specific method of manipulation that involves making a person question their own perception of reality. It doesn't even require lying."

- CupcakeValkyrie

"And gaslighting is purposeful. The abuser is intentionally making you question your reality."

- hoyaheadRN

"It also doesn't just mean that someone is being stubborn or obstinate. If someone unreasonably or irrationally disagrees with you they aren't necessarily gaslighting you."

- 05110909


Not Neat

"OCD, without actually having OCD."

- nepenthe17

" 'I like putting my dishes away after I wash them, but I'm just OCD like that.' "

- ostentatiousbro

"This is one of my pet peeves."

"My ex mother in law had OCD and it wasn’t about being neat and keeping the cushions straight or lining things up right. It was a debilitating belief that if she didn’t do certain things, that bad things would happen."

- Tendontearer

"I've met people with genuine OCD."

"They don't care about tiles being ill-aligned. They're touching the doorknob in the exact same spot for 37 times to stop something horrible from happening."

- UnoriginalUse

A Versus Anti


"Preferring to be alone is to be asocial. Psychopaths are anti-social."

- andbingowashishomo

"Just explained this to my landlord today."

"I am Asocial. A."

"A! Not anti!"

"I am not going to poison your dogs for sure."

- Critical_Macaroon_15

"I’ve been saying this for years, but at this point I feel like it’s one of those situations where the language has evolved."

"I’ve literally never heard anyone say 'asocial', despite it being correct. And I feel like I rarely hear 'anti-social' used to describe actual anti-social behavior. It’s far more often used incorrectly."

- imaginaryblues



"We’ve got a war against nearly everything. It waters down the tragedy of real war."

"Such as: We’ve got a struggle against obesity, not a war. I’m not near as scared of being in the middle of a bunch of fat people as I am of being in the middle of a real war."

- traws06

"I’m not sure how common this is outside the US, but a few years ago (it’s still sort of around now, but its real heyday was almost a decade ago), the phrase 'War on Christmas' was all the rage."

"The inciting attacks of this conflict? Starbucks changed the design on their cups, more people embraced the phrase 'Happy Holidays', and schools changed 'Christmas break' to 'Winter Break'."

"Because of that, people started protesting by either boycotting Starbucks or ordering under the name 'Merry Christmas,' discussions were had on the news, and at least two full-length movies were made about this new 'threat' to our way of life: 'Christmas with a Capital C' in 2010, and 'Last Ounce of Courage' in 2012."

- Aegis_et_Vanir



"Anything -Gate"

"PizzaGate, Bountygate, now SlapGate.. plus 12 million others I’m forgetting."

- Xennial_Potato

"I will make an exception if Matt Gaetz is involved in a scandal, especially involving a fence."

- Dexaan

"I support calling the allegations against him PizzaGaetz, but agree that '-gate' in general needs to stop. I actually wonder if people think '-gate' is somehow synonymous with 'scandal.' ”

- NC_Goonie

Something To Be Solved


"The word is supposed to connote that something is difficult to resolve or decide, as in a problem to be solved."

"It was used to point out that ideas needed more debate because questions were left unanswered, or apparent contradictions were unresolved. It was a word needed more in academia than in daily discussion."

"Now it often seems to mean something along the lines of 'I do not like this person or their beliefs'."

- TradeDeadline


“Adversity when in the context of sports."

"For instance, if a football team loses two games in a row and wins the third the Coach goes on TV and says 'this team knows how to pull through adversity' and I roll my eyes every time."

"That's not adversity. That's sports."

- Upstairs-Try6583


I know you read through this list with more examples popping into your head the whole way through.

So tell us what they were!

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

Serving in the military is not for the faint of heart.

There are so many dangerous aspects to the job.

When people discuss it, we think about war and the sacrifice people make with their lives.

But there is a ton of scandal involved with the military.

Over the years, so much information has leaked about bad behavior and just everyday nonsense.

Just because a person becomes a soldier doesn't mean they're perfect.

Keep reading...Show less
Crying woman covering her face with her hands
Photo by Fa Barboza on Unsplash

It's always nice to think that parents are doing everything they can to raise their children, but as humans, they're all going to make mistakes.

But as many people will discover, their parents also taught them some terrible lessons when they were young.

Keep reading...Show less

Some people are not destined to be friends, and some are absolutely not compatible to date.

But sometimes we don't find that out until we're already dating them, and they reveal a belief they have that we feel is completely ridiculous.

Keep reading...Show less
Hollywood sign
Vincentas Liskauskas/Unsplash

People tend to gravitate toward various celebrities based on the work they do without really knowing who they are in real life.

For example, actors who play nefarious characters may have a legion of fans who love the rebellious persona but can be let down after discovering their personality is actually quite loveable.

We often tend to forget celebrities are people too, and their real-life persona may be contradictory to the type of characters they play in movies.

Keep reading...Show less