These Words Are My Words



“People will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words.” Khalil Gibran

What would your seven words be?

(1) “Hmmm”

Some might say that this isn’t really a word but I originally had it with an extra “m” and the spell checker suggested hmmm, therefore it must be an actual word, right? I read somewhere once that saying “hmmm” to people when you are unsure of the answer or solution they are looking for puts them at ease, more so than if you just start blurting out words. I can’t remember where I read it or I would share it. Upon trying to use Google just now to find the article I just kept coming up against this. Anyway, wherever I read it, it’s stayed with me and has been quite useful in my job where people expect me to know all the answers, all the time – which I don’t, never will and never want to.

(2) “Stuff”

A fantastic word. I use it a lot when I either can’t think of the correct word to describe something or if I just don’t know – most often the latter.


This is nothing to do with Facebook likes or blog post likes. It’s maybe a bad habit of mine and I use this word too much i.e. “I was, like, I couldn’t believe it and he was like, what did you mean?” But a really good use of this word is as a form of greeting in Aberdeen – prefix it with the word “fit” and you have a fantastic way of saying “hello, how are you” – Fit Like

(4) “Yeah”

Something was pointed out to me a few years ago when I worked with my flatmate. He said I used “yeah” only at work, never at home – at the end of a sentence when I was asking people to carry out tasks for me i.e. “Will you tidy up the stock room, yeah?” It obviously worked as he would tidy up at work but never do his dishes at home. I still use this all the time – it’s like a way of making someone agree to do something without them really realising.

(5) “So” or “To” or “Is”

I use these three words in equal measures so they count as one.  I use them to get people to tell me more information that I don’t know…or should know but I need to make them tell me so it looks like I do know. Say a sentence and end it with one of these words. Follow it up with a pause and a lean in of head. The information will then come pouring from the person…

(6) “Y’know”

Not strictly one word, however, this is my list. I do a lot of presentations and when I watch other people present,  I always look out for words that they use far too much and quite often unnecessarily. I’m guilty of it too but I am conscious of it and try very hard not to do it. Common ones such as “basically”, “obviously” and “okay” are ones that I listen out for and often tally up how many times they are used. These would be the ones that most people spot easily. I’ve recently started using “y’know” in place of those common words as I keep telling myself this word is a “new kid on the block” and nobody has spotted it yet. Perhaps this is not true but I’ll carry on in my misguided ignorance for now. An extra benefit of using “y’now” is it gives me a second or two to think of my next words, or the word I really want to use but need a second to recall it.

(7) “F*ck”

Yes, it’s a profanity but it’s a one of the great swear words. It can be fitted in almost anywhere and can really emphasize anything. Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not a constant swearer and I can judge the time and place that it is acceptable to get my f**ks out. It really annoys me when people get that so wrong. I don’t appreciate people who I have only just met swearing in my presence and I certainly don’t appreciate people swearing in an open office where everyone can hear. Those f**king people can f*ck off – that’s just f**king rude.

(7.1) Should”

I used to say “try that, it should work now” when I already knew 100% that it would work. I’ve learned to be confident in what I am saying so I have removed “should” from my vocabulary and replaced it with words such as “will”, “sure” and “confident”

What about you – what would your seven words be? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014

6 thoughts on “These Words Are My Words

  1. Reblogged this on Steve Says…. and commented:

    I’m reblogging this because I forgot to add a word that I am trying so hard not to use:
    “Should” – I used to say “try that, it should work now” when I knew 100% that it would work. I’ve learned to be confident in what I am saying so I have removed “should” from my vocabulary and replaced it with words such as “will”, “sure” “confident”. Sorted.



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