Taking Tea in the Kasbah

It may come as no surprise that last week’s question brought about a complete and thorough landslide victory for the whisperers. Not one of you opted to SHOUT your way through life and I, for one, am grateful. As more than one person pointed out, if the other person can’t hear your whispers, there are a multitude of ways to communicate.

[whispers]  And as you might have guessed, I have joined the whisperers in their quest for a more gently spoken world.

‘Nuff said.

[back to regular, non-shouty voice]  And now, on to this week’s question…

Would you rather be able to ban a word or phrase from general usage


What will you eliminate?

– OR –

have the ability to instantly popularize a word or phrase into general usage?

photo credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton via photopin cc

What will you create? photo credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton via photopin cc


So, which will it be? Will you strike from popular lexicon a word or phrase you just can’t stand to hear or read? If so, what word or phrase would it be? Or will you create a word or phrase and have it go viral? Do you have one in mind and if so, please do share it. To eliminate or create, that is the question. Sit, sip, ponder, and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.


19 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Would You Rather Question: Eliminate or Create

  1. on ,
    Marcia said:

    Without a doubt I would go with “the ability to instantly popularize a word or phrase into general usage,” rather than ban existing words or pharses. Think of how fun it would be to get all those great made-up words that are under appreciated or dismissed, into our general vocabulary!

  2. I’m still debating the issue, but I know how my kids would answer. They’d want the ability to eliminate a phrase – more specifically, they’d want the ability to limit certain words or phrases to the ages they deem appropriate. So the next time I said, “just sayin'”, the daughter could turn to me and say, “No more. You’re too old to say that.” And I’d never say it again. Just sayin’…

    • I don’t know if I could hold a conversation with anyone if I couldn’t use “just sayin'”. It’s a multigenerational sort of phrase that never goes out of fashion. If they submit that as their answer, I’ll deny it. We can’t have those kinds of shenanigans goin’ on in the kasbah. Just sayin’.

  3. I’d have to go with the ability to instantly popularize new words and phrases. My books would fly off the shelves. They wouldn’t be able to print them fast enough. How rufus is that?

  4. There is one phrase that bugs the heck out of me, but it’s apparently non-offensive to others, so I give it a pass. That phrase? “My bad.” Hmmm. I look at that now and wonder if it wouldn’t bug annoy me if I pretended it was a sentence frag. My bad grammar habit. My bad decision. My bad egg attitude.

    OK. I’m now at peace with that phrase. Thank you, Tami!

    I knew without thinking [convenient since I haven’t yet finished my first cup of coffee] that I would go with create a new phrase.

    I am on a personal and stupid quest to create a cliché from twists on the phrase floats my boat.

    Pops my kettle corn, toasts my marshmallows, snaps my garter…

    There are more deviations variations. My brain refuses to spew forth with them this morning. Perhaps I need more coffee to yin my yang.

    • I must confess to using the phrase “my bad”. I know, my bad. But now that you’re at peace with it, I feel free to use it here once in a while. On sentence frag day. Like this.

      Hmmm… so, you’re looking for variations on floats my boat. I like toasts my marshmallows and yin my yang.

      *brain searches for other options to share*

      *brain fog has firmly encased my noggin due to three fun-filled days with friends from out of town who were here visiting*

      *vows to return to the kasbah at a later time to help Gloria in her quest*

  5. I confess there are certain words I’d like to eradicate from the English language — such as “learnings”. But that’s awfully negative isn’t it. Far more cool to be a trend-setter and coin some fantabulous phrase and have the world follow suit. But I have no idea what word or phrase I’d choose.

    • Learnings? I don’t think that’s a common one in America. I wouldn’t like it, either, if I heard it here. What does it even mean?

      I agree, way more cool to be the trend-setter and create some new words or phrases. I think it fits more with our creative souls.

      • “Learnings” is one of those business speak words Suzanne mentioned. It means… things that have been learned… or in fact LESSONS!!! I simply don’t understand why the straight “lessons” cannot be used. I’m pleased to know you’ve not heard it!

  6. Delete a word??? OMG – that would be a horrible and senseless death 🙁
    OF COURSE (shouting, sorry) I would choose to Create words. (Gloria, I will begin using “snap my garter” right away.)

    Yes, there are words & phrases that we all find useless. I especially detest “business speak” where everything becomes a noun instead of a verb. Where they talk about Rationalizations, instead of just rationalizing. Or Optimizations instead of just optimizing. I suppose when you make it a noun, no one has to take responsibility for it.

    But for me, let me coin words. I want to be like Shakespeare and coin my own 400 new words!

    • Ooh, I detest business-speak as well. I always feel like I’m being conned when I hear it. Very annoying.

      Creating new words sounds like way more fun than thinking of the all the words I’d want to do away with. Taps into the creative, rather than destructive, part of ourselves, right? 😉

  7. While I don’t have a particular word in mind (would I have the power to eliminate any mention of Miley Cyrus or the Kardashians?) I’d like to popularize. I don’t believe in trying to manage language. It’s like wrestling an octopus. If I could create enough great words like “truthiness,” then those would push out the ones I hate.

    • I like “truthiness”. I’m going to start using it. Don’t worry, I’ll totally credit you with it when Merriam-Webster comes asking if they can put it in the next edition of the dictionary.

      • Ah, you’d have to credit comedian Stephen Colbert with that one. The defintion is 1 : “truth that comes from the gut, not books” (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” October 2005)

        2 : “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true” (American Dialect Society, January 2006)

        It’s now in the dictionary because, unfortunately, it’s meaning still holds true in our culture.

        • Ah, good to know. I love Colbert, but hadn’t recognized it as one of his words. It’s a great word that captures so much, isn’t it?

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