I’m trying very hard not to say the word “totally” anymore. Why? Because I had a rare moment of clarity the other day and realized I sound like the movie Valley Girl. This movie is absolutely wonderfully awful. A classic. And though I may enjoy watching it, I would rather lose my voice permanently than sounds like any of the girls in this movie. Here are some examples of the things they say…

” Like, totally.”

“Totally to the max!”

“Gag me with a spoon. Totally.”

Notice a trend? It’s the word “totally”. And I have “totally” been saying “totally” way too often. I don’t know how it wormed it’s way into my speech like a language parasite but it definitely did. All of the sudden I am emphasizing everything I say with the word “totally”. It’s like my sentence doesn’t mean as much if I don’t have a “totally” in it. Terrible. Shameful. Ridiculous.

I realized this embarrassing fact about myself at work when I was in a meeting with a client. All of the sudden it hit me that I had just used the word “totally” 3 times in the same sentence. Gag. I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing myself say. The more I talked the more I realized I sounded like the world’s most ridiculous woman in the world. I was, like totally, humiliating myself to the max, ya’ll. Really.

It’s not that I have a problem with the word totally per se. I just think it is overused and abused in the the English language. I just don’t want to sound like a high school cheerleader because (shocker) I’m not a high school cheerleader. I’m a grown-up (ok I can hear you laughing from here…) I’m at least a somehow grown-up so I should try and speak like a somehow grown-up. Right? Actually, the more I think about it the more I realize I sound very little like a grown-up most of the time. Huh. I’m having another lightbulb moment……

Ok- new goal is not to eradicate “totally” from my speech all the time, just from my client meetings. Forget being a grown-up I want to be a high school cheerleader! (I really don’t want be a high school cheerleader)

You see how I changed my mind in the middle of this post? That’s why they call me contrary. And so it is.

11 thoughts on “Totally.

  1. well, not too bad, I have a friend who always say that, but in Portuguese (totalmente).

    i t sounds funny and not many people say it in Brazil.

    I love your blog

  2. That was a totally rad article. Like, thanks for sharing.


  3. Great post, but sadly my idea to work the word “totally” into my comment has become cliche. Darn it!

    • No worries! I often find my best laid plans foiled by cliches. Thanks for reading!

  4. Good luck with that, some phrases/words are so natural that it’s almost impossible for me not to say them. But i guess anything is possible.

  5. I definitely have words that I overly rely on so I can definitely sympathize there haha
    Great post!

    - Calhoun

  6. I agree with you. Totally.

    I feel the same way about “awesome” and “amazing.”

    Yet, the more I try to focus on not using them, the more I seem to use them. I think I may be contrary, too.

  7. oh my gosh me too. at work everyone is older than me and they all say, “like totally, mary!” all the time and it makes me feel so stupid! ugh.

  8. If it’s the way you speak, don’t go against the grain. We are always trying to stifle our voice, don’t stifle yours =)


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