Since Emily explained that we’ll be sharing fewer words with you this year, on a macro-blogging level, I thought it would be appropriate to run a little survey here in a similar vein.

First, a confession.  I stole the idea from a Facebook post by etsy.  The question was, basically, “What words are you sick of hearing?  What do you pledge to stop saying in 2011?”

Last time I checked, there were nearly 1000 responses.  Clearly, the question had struck a chord.  And everyone has an opinion about the language we all share.

So I’m asking you the same thing.  It doesn’t have to be a word, it can be many words – or a question or a catchphrase.  What do you wish would be retired from the English language, starting now?

I’ll go first.  I’m sick of the word “conversation.”  Has everyone forgotten that we used to engage in debate, discussion, and dialogue?

Sometimes we talked, or nattered, or schmoozed.   Subcategories ranged from chit-chatting to filibustering,  rap sessions to hate speech.  Some of these terms described unpleasant things, but at least there was variety.  And the words were colorful and precise.

Now, anytime someone speaks, even if it’s a monologue, it’s a “conversation.”  President Obama is a serial abuser of this word.  He’s always calmly inviting even the bitterest of his enemies to enter into a “conversation.” 

Other abusers are therapists and social workers, teachers and - this one is very obvious – NPR hosts.  The radio personalities are constantly encouraging us to “join the conversation.” 

I once heard someone say “conversation” three times in one not-so-long sentence on public radio, before I lunged to change the station.

So that’s my pick for the most overused and abused word of 2010.  Now it’s your turn!   Please, join the…debate.
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