I Don’t Think You Know What That Word Means

Words are slippery little doohickeys. Over the course of time, they change in meaning, morph into taboos, and are molded from new popular new phrases. A perfectly respectable word can became the worst swear, or a harsh insult can transform into a humorous remark. Language is a funny thing that way.

Thus, using words in incorrectly is a common mistake. We all play a role in reshaping language. Yet, certain words in the wrong context bother me because their usage is inconsiderate, ignorant, or offensive. The people saying them often do not intend for this meaning, but that does not take away from the damage that can be done. So, remember that this post is not to judge but hopefully to shed light on what we might say without even thinking. Here are just a few of the words or phrases that are used incorrectly and bother me.

  • Starving – You are probably not starving unless you are anorexic, being abused, too poor to purchase food, or living in a place with famine or another such plight. People often use this word flippantly to mean that they are very hungry. Starving is different than hunger; believe me, I have experienced both.
  • Bipolar – Being moody is not the same as have bipolar disorder. Saying this would be like saying you are diabetic because you need some sugar or other sustenance. It is rather disrespectful.
  • OCD – See what is written for the statement above. This is a similar type of issue. Wanting things a certain way or neat is not the same as having OCD.
  • Literally – I am a very literal person. When you say something “literally” happened, you mean that is how is happened in actuality. Right? This confuses me often.
  • Mental breakdown – When I am at this point, I can no longer function in public. This might involve crying, screaming, curling up under a blanket, refusing to face any other humans, trying not to kill myself, etc. This word does not mean that you are simply stressed. This can be a life-or-death situation.

What are some words that are misused and bother you? Let me know in a comment.

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4 thoughts on “I Don’t Think You Know What That Word Means

  1. 80smetalman says:

    Very good points all.

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