Of course, we didn't list all the crutch words, because it appears we're living in a crutch word epidemic. There are so many! Many of you got in touch to share your own hate-favorites as well as to complain about your experiences with coworkers who are always saying, "Let me be clear," or otherwise beloved friends who won't stop peppering their sentences with fascinating when you're pretty sure they mean anything but. Others complained that we were being too judgy about crutch words, and perhaps they're right, but whatever. Here's a handy compendium of additional crutch words, those verbal (and sometimes written) pauses that we just can't seem to help using, culled from your comments and emailed insights, along with a bit of our own. No adverb is safe, as one person informed me. She may be right. Right?
And so forth and so on. Via a dialogue in our comments:"I have a co-worker that uses and so forth and so on many times in a conversation. It's infuriating." "Yes! It's like the person is either leaving out part of the story that you may want to hear or just doesn't care much about what they're saying to you. Not a fan!"
Definitely. Definitely! Also: Absolutely.
Essentially. "A highbrow version of basically."
Exponentially. "How could you leave out exponentially, a crutch word that might be used accurately once in a thousand times? Something grows exponentially when it grows by the same factor repeatedly over many periods of time, as in compound interest or the population of rabbits in the absence of predators. The exponent can be negative as well, but when used as a crutch the speaker never is referring to that aspect!"
Fantastic. "I've noticed that a lot of people say something is fantastic but don't at all mean to suggest that the thing comes out of the world of fantasy and imagination. People say something is incredible but they don't meant it's devoid of validity, but mean they were unprepared for the event. People say something is unbelievable when the thing doesn't require belief at all, just a pair of eyes to see what's in front of them," explains one commenter.
Fascinating. Rarely used with earnest intent; prone to seeming patronizing even if it isn't. Try it, say fascinating like you think whatever it is you're responding to is, in fact, fascinating. It's difficult.
Going forward. Better to give an actual implementation/start date to which one will go forward, because save a time machine, we are not going backward. A commenter says of this one, simply, "Ugh."
If you will. One commenter marks it as the sure sign of a whopper, making an example of Dick Cheney: "They're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Read the full list at The Atlantic.