Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Banning words from my vocabulary

            I’ve decided to stop using the word ‘nice.’ Over the past few weeks I’ve realized that I can’t stand the word, and can’t think of an instance in which it has any real meaning.
            “What do you think of this paint color?”
            ‘Oh, it’s nice.”
            Translation: I could take it or leave it. Meh.
            Or how about, “I met so-and-so today. She’s ok. She’s nice.”
            Translation: I can’t think of anything else to say, so I’m falling back on the nice neutral word ‘nice.’
            One more: your child is talking and you’re only half listening, so when they pause you nod and murmur, ‘oh, that’s nice.’ You’ve totally tuned them out (I know because I’ve done it). What the heck?
            No more for me! Nice is a boring word. It’s a word that reminds me of a living room full of beige tones on the walls, beige curtains, beige carpet, and perfectly coordinated and fluffed beige pillows. In other words, snoooooze. Can’t we punch it up a little in here? How about a lime green throw rug or something?
            I want descriptive words. I want words that have real meaning. Isn’t that why we love those books that draw those amazing word pictures and you sigh and go ‘yeah, that’s awesome.’ (Here’s another dilemma though—‘awesome’ is over-used too. Ugh). Anyway, I guarantee those writers aren’t using the word ‘nice.’
            Instead of ‘nice’…how about actually being descriptive? What about using something like: brilliant, vibrant, dull, detailed, meticulous, driven, focused, sharp, wishy-washy, peppy, magnificent, agreeable, kind, enthusiastic, witty, cavalier …or whatever you come up with. I guess it comes down to this—get creative with your speech to say what you really mean, and maybe that means you’ll banish ‘nice’ from your vocabulary, too.

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