Eliminating the “interesting”

By Mary Schrack

Everyone’s heard the phrase “That’s my name; don’t wear it out.” The statement applies to over-used words too. When we use a word to describe everything, it loses its meaning.

An excellent example is the word “interesting.”

Back in college, my Hispanic Studies professor forbade the word from his classroom. He called it a “non-word,” that it didn’t really mean anything or offer insight. He wouldn’t allow us to say simply that something was “interesting;” instead, he required us to describe what made it so.

His rule forced us to make great verbal leaps—an acrobatic feat in Spanish—to avoid using the word.

I still try to live by his advice today. Weeding out the over-used words and clichés of the English language has made me a stronger writer and more eloquent speaker. My words carry more meaning and, as a result, I’ve become a more creative communicator.

What is one word you wish you could ban from your workplace?

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