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Banished Word. Actually not truthfully

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Are we actually doing this? What’s actually going to happen? Who do you actually like? I actually had fun. All of the previous sentences have one thing in common. They are functional, if not better, without the word “actually.” If given the power, I would eliminate the word “actually” from the English language, because this word is a misrepresentation of truth. Instead of something being the truth, it’s “actually” something else.
The word “actually” really means “the truth or facts of a situation,” or “to emphasize something that someone has done or said.” “Actually” is predominantly a word used for emphasis. Using the word “actually” in writing is a good way of saying “I was wrong the first time and now I must correct myself.” People who use this word incorrectly are either ignorant about its true meaning or they are ignorant about the use of the English language. People mostly use this word out of context. The word “actually” is a cousin to the word “literally,” another over-used synonym. It’s amazing how often people use this word without even knowing that they use it too much. The word distracts listeners more than it helps.
For example, Jimmy frantically runs up to his friends and exclaims “I got to drive an actual car!”
“ So it was an actual car? As opposed to an imaginary car?” retort his friends. Jimmy sadly sulks off to his house. Why did he sulk off forlornly? It’s simply because Jimmy used a word so clichéd that his friends were exasperated and made fun of him. The word “actual” or “actually” is one of the the most misused words in the English language, according to The New Yorker magazine. Because this word is so overused, it has become annoying, and has even lost its true meaning. If I was given power to erase this word from the dictionary, I would save a lot of people from the widespread plague of ignorance.

If the word “actually” was banished from the English language, the language would be one word closer to being perfect. Although there are many words deserving of being banished, “actually” is among the worst offenders. Thesaurus users unite! Let’s use smarter words to say smarter things.




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