Most of us have some linguistic tic that we don’t like. It could be the professional athlete who drops in a “you know” after every statement or the manager who prefaces everything they say with “quite frankly.” So how do you put a stop to the madness? Acceptance is the first step to cure.Most of us have a linguistic tic that drives someone nuts, be it spoken or written. Of course, if we knew about the tic, we could do something about it, but most of us aren’t even aware that we have a tic (or whatever you want to call it).
Without analyzing your writing and speaking, these tics or errors or gaffes can be tough to spot. What you can do is review your words in search of the most common flubs. Over at Language Log, where they take words VERY seriously, there’s a 12-step program aimed at overcoming, or at least identifying, the linguistic foibles that drive some of us crazy. Among the highlights:
* Using “less” instead of “fewer”
* Passive words
* Hollow apologies
* Excessive jargon
* Missing commas