As per the Dictionary (yes, I am someone who enjoys reading the dictionary from time to time, its also my favorite app on my phone), the word Word is a noun which is defined as a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed.
That’s quite lovely, isn’t it.
So as someone who loves words, reading, writing, speaking, and generally everything connected to language, I find it strange when sometimes words, which are overused, just end up looking like (of feeling like) meaningless squiggles. Even professionally, as a Lawyer, I read (and write) tens of thousands of words every day, and at times my brain tricks me into thinking that some words (overused, or most repeated) are incorrectly used/spelled or just plain nonsensical. So much so that I HAVE to run a spell check just to be sure that I’m not using a word incorrectly.
Which brings me to my next sentiment about overusing words, while I certainly appreciate when people (or even myself) can articulate a thought well enough to get the point across, the flip side is that overused words tend to lose its effectiveness. For example, I have a friend (who is one sweetheart of a man) who used to refer to pretty much everyone as his “close friend” or “best friend” including random strangers he has probably met only once. I never paid too much attention to it till one day when he called me his best friend, so I was unsure whether it really meant anything, or if its just a word that he liked to use.
Often, words used by people reveal a LOT about who they are or how they feel. One only has to pay a little attention to understand what the other person is feeling. So I’ve started to be more conscious of what I say/write, since I have caught myself over using words like random (when I can’t think of anything better), or love (instead of the more genuine sentiment of like). This doesn’t necessarily mean that I am editing myself, or trying to be deceptive, or that am afraid to say certain things. It is more about avoiding overusing certain adjectives/phrases to the point that it loses all meaning, and is reduced to a bunch of squiggles (or the emotional equivalent of it). And reserving certain words for times when they deserve to be used.
Of course, the ONLY exception to this is any genuine expression of Gratitude. Gratitude to me is an acknowledgment of not taking something for granted, and this will never seem/feel meaningless, unless done insincerely (which seems difficult).