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Want to Sound Smarter? Stop Saying 'Anyways,' 'Literally,' and 'Very'

Sound smarter and more credible by decluttering your sentences.
ART Clare Magno
  1. Irregardless

As we've written before, "irregardless" is often incorrect—it's "regardless." The word has been in use since the early 1900s. It wasn't initially in the dictionary but after its widespread misuse, it was added. While it might now be considered a word, grammar experts still deem it acceptable to use regardless instead.

  1. Really and very

These modifiers shouldn't be omitted completely but in most cases, they aren't needed. There are better words you can use to replace these vague adverbs, and you become a stronger speaker and writer when you exercise clarity and brevity. For example, instead of saying "very bright" you could say "dazzling" or instead of "really good" you could simplify it with "superb."

  1. Literally

The word "literally" is not what it seems to denote anymore. More and more people are using it to mean "figuratively."If you're trying to emphasize an exaggeration, this word doesn't belong in that context. Take the sentence: The documentary literally took me back in time. It makes no sense, unless you really had been sucked into the screen and time-traveled back to the Victorian Era.

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  1. Actually and basically

Aside from tarnishing your credibility, the words "actually" and "basically" can make you sound pompous, depending on the way you use them. They may imply the comparison of two ideas, in which one is more valid than the other. Sometimes it may even seem like you are correcting the person you are speaking to. In most cases, these words don't serve a purpose in the sentence. Take a look at these sentences:

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Basically, readers quickly identified the premise of the article.

I actually have that model in all seven colors.

If you take out "basically" and "actually" in both sentences, you would still convey the same meaning.

  1. Period

There are correct ways and incorrect ways of saying "period." The mistake people make with this word is using it as a punctuation mark but saying it aloud. Don't end your sentences by saying "period," even if it is to emphasize the end of a point, its function is already implied. After all, we don't say, "Are you coming over for dinner. Question mark." Remember not to interchange the rules of written language and spoken language.

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  1. 'Til

The misconception with this non-word is that it starts with an apostrophe so most people think it's a contraction of the word "until" or "till." If you go and check Merriam-Webster, "'til" will most definitely pop out as a variation of âtillâ but many style guides advise against it.

  1. Virtually

It's become virtually impossible to get a reservation at the Eleven Madison Park after it was named the world's best restaurant. Not only is the use of the word "virtually" unnecessary, but it is also used incorrectly in the former sentence. It's a common tendency to interchange the meanings of "virtually," "actually," and "nearly." If it does not provide any vital information to your sentence, leave it out. It may still lend meaning to your sentence when you use it to refer to virtual reality techniques.

  1. Anyways

If you thought "anyways" isn't a word and is purely colloquial, you're mistaken. It was first used in the 13th century to mean "to any degree at all." Still, "anyways" is an obsolete term. It was shortened by dropping the 's' and the original root of the world has since been forgotten.

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  1. Detail-oriented

You're either a very detailed person or very oriented, no need to put these two together. Keep that in mind when editing your resume in the future.

  1. Though

Adding "though" at the end of every sentence has been popularized by the younger generation and serves as a sort of punctuating word. It sometimes means "in spite of" and most of the time lessens the sentence's conciseness. When you reply, "I just arrived at the venue though," the sentence would certainly mean the same thing even if the last word was left out.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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To the Person Who Does Not Know Any 1D Song

By: CJ Reyno

Never in my wildest dream I imagined to meet someone who does not know a single One Direction song or who does not even know, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and err… Zayn Malik. How did you spend your teenagehood without listening to their songs? The disrespect to my #StyPayHorLikSon. My initial reaction, Vas Happenin’?

Since I was 12 years old, that was way back on 2012, One Direction songs have been my official life soundtrip, my go-to songs whenever I feel happy, sad, mad, excited, and etch. I can still remember how people went crazy just to attend their concert here in the Philippines. I must admit, I was one of those. LOL. The group was also dubbed as, “The Biggest Boyband in the World”. They were an era. You really left me in awe when you told me that you do not know a single One Direction song. Their songs are gold. But I was a little hopeful when a new messaged popped up on our conversation, “Hey I know one, Make You Beautiful”.

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You do not know how my world collapsed after reading your message. I would like to say that I appreciate the effort, thanks, but they do not have a song entitled, Make You Beautiful, because it is, What Makes You Beautiful. I tried to explain but you said that they are just the same. (Tip: Never fight with a Directioner when it comes to this because we will not let our guards down). No! They are not the same. How can you make this big mistake? LOL. What Makes You Beautiful is One Direction’s debut song. Almost everyone knows this, “you’re insecure, don’t know what for,” ring a bell? The music video of this surpassed 1 billion views on Youtube. On my 21 years of existence, you are the very first person who told me this “I-Thought-It-Was-A-Joke-But-You-Are-Serious” statement.

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As a persuasive fangirl, I thought to myself that I should make you appreciate their music, that you should know that it is What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. The group may be in hiatus but their music is and will always remain superior. You are hard-headed lad. We even when to the point where you challenged me to treat so I can make you watch their music video. Am I even surprised that I agreed to this? HAHA. I feel like an agent trying to persuade her customer to buy a property on our company. You do not know how happy I was when you sent me your video listening to What Makes You Beautiful. I felt like I successfully closed a deal with my client. Not to exaggerate but I really jumped because of happiness after watching your video. It was the first message I checked that morning. Thank you for your effort, so much appreciated. Funny how our conversation starts with your innocence on One Direction until it goes deeper and last longer. Up All Nigh conversations which turned to almost Midnight Memories. Ironic how a Directioner had developed an admiration on someone who dislikes her favorite boys? Just like One Direction’s song, Change My Mind, “Never felt like this before. Are we friends or are we more?” I guess, like Liam’s line on Love You Goodbye, “It's inevitable everything that's good comes to an end. It's impossible to know if after this we can still be friends.”

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I was happy that I made you listen to One Direction. At least I made you appreciate and made you aware that there is a song called, What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. I am happy that you already found your Girl Almighty. Wish me luck on finding my Summer Love. xoxo, Your Directioner friend

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