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.