Words that make me ilk

Here are a few words I’d like to drop out of today’s lexicon of speech. Take a look then tell me some of yours.

Ilk – As in “You know, people of that ilk.” This word and people of that ilk who say it need to spend some time in McDonalds or some greasy spoon and get the blank stares of normal Americans–outside of academia–when they hear them say words like “ilk.” Say what? Milk? You want white or chocolate?

Clearly – As in “Clearly the Republicans are more moral than Democrats.” The word is used to speak the self-evidence of the phrase that will follow and the idiocy of anyone who disagrees. Drop that word like a led zepplin, and your sentence still makes sense but doesn’t start so unnecessarily with a throw away word. It’s over used in sports comment as well. Even one of my favorites, Jack Buck, uses it too much. Tim McCarver, however smart, just talks too much. I loved hearing them during the World Series, even though my Redbirds lost, I’d almost rather see the curse lifted and see the year end stories and see SI name the whole team “Sportsmen of the Year.”

Ergo – As in “Our economy is global, ergo Wal-Mart is buying more products from China and nobody seems to care anymore that stuff is not Made in the USA.” If one thinks “therefore” is a stuffy transition word and has taken to saying “ergo” instead, they’re full of stuffing.

Irregardless – As in “Irregardless of the consequences, we are going forward with plans for this freeway down and through the Grand Canyon.” “Irregardless” is not a word. The word is “regardless.” Drop the “ir.”

Especially – As in “I love Sonic, especially their onion rings.” Especially ain’t a correct form. It’s “specially,” unless you’re trying to add a Latin flare to your speech. In that case, get a Zoro hat and do it all the way.

10 comments on “Words that make me ilk

  1. I’m guilty of abusing two of these words but I will not reveal which ones…irregardless, I especially enjoyed this post.

    The only good usage of “clearly” was in the Motown song (Temptations?): I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way…


  2. How about the word “underneath”? Shouldn’t it be “under” or “beneath”?

    I have a relative who uses the phrase “that’s not unlike…” when he should just say “that’s like” or “this is similar to..” etc. I think he believes it sounds like a debater or something. It drives me bonkers.

    And I expecially don’t like it when people start a sentence with a conjunction, or use a preposition to end a sentence with. Irregardless of what they do it for.


  3. GT, your post today will for sure bring all the comedians out! I never knew you were an English major here at Harding. I guess I will have to be on my P’s and Q’s when commenting on your blog.

    I have a good friend that responds in the following manner when I ask him a question that he doesn’t have an answer for: “I have no IDEAL”. It drives me CRAZY, but I don’t know how to break it to him gently. Any suggestions? Oh boy, this ought to be good! 🙂


  4. I’d like to reduce the use of, if not eliminate completely, the word “interesting.” It is the default response when someone does not know how to respond to a statement. It also cloaks disapproval…poorly. It is usually accompanied with a “hmmm” and a head nod. If it is a strange idea the person is responding to, the thoughtful crinkled forhead will also accompmany the “hmmm” and the nod.

    I believe the word “interesting” should be reserved for that which actually evokes interest.


  5. Wow, Greg. I misunderestimated you. Supposeably, you’re this great theological thinker, but also you do really good at helping us speak right and even avoid mispronounciations and stuff.


  6. By the way, I’m still trying to figure out what’s wrong with the statement “Clearly, the Republicans are more moral than Democrats.”



  7. I am a grammar snob. I enjoyed your post. The problem is that I find so many errors when I read my posts over. It was nice to see some of my thoughts aired by someone other than myself (me)?????


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