Word Bans

October 12, 2009 § 14 Comments

There are words I would like to ban, not necessarily for their being negative, but more because they are not positive. Words and phrases like may, hope to, will try, could, and so on. Most often, these phrases could be replaced with WILL.

While we do fall short in our expectations from time to time, I think a mindset develops around the not-so-positive phrases I alluded to. But in the words of Yoda of Star Wars fame: “Do or do not. There is no try.”

We should train ourselves to talk and think in terms of “I will” versus “I will try” or “I hope to” … more positive things may happen.

I have found that often what follows after the hope to, may, will try, etc. is a coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Oh yes, I know some people feel the word hope is important because they say it is all some people have. There are people who have led challenging lives. There are others who have overcome incredible odds. I want people to realize there can be more than hope.

Another phrase to eliminate isĀ  … I think. Either you know or you don’t know.

Wendy is right about the different interpretation of words. I think people sometimes just don’t realize the meaning of what they are saying. How many times have we been in a restaurant and the server has asked us, “Is everything okay?” In some diners, I have been tempted to respond, “shouldn’t it be?”

I know I can be anal, but okay to me is mediocre, nothing to write home about. When I have received exceptional service, I have even tried to do my part to train the server by responding, “Everything is much better than okay. It’s great, especially the service.”

Of course, the server should be rephrasing the question away from putting a standard on dining experience in the first place by getting the patron to describe their own feeling about the visit to the restaurant. Something like, “How is your meal?” Or “Have you enjoyed your visit to our restaurant?”

To me, okay is just … okay.


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