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Crutch Words

Postby Slava » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:49 pm

A rather entertaining piece on so-called crutch words from the Atlantic can be found here: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertai ... rds/56748/
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:05 pm

I'd suggest a couple of sub-categories to the crutch words. The first that came to mine was adolescent slang that creeps into adult conversations. "Awesome" is the latest ruined term that turns to cliche in about a year, but may last ten years. The second category may be slang terms in general that become not merely cliches, but crutch words from their repetition by some individuals or even groups. I remember in college my best friend frquently led off with "let's face it," so I and many of our group caught the virus.
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:29 pm

I had a professor who used numerous crutch words. A group of us would each drew one of his common crutch words from a box before class. Then we would count the number of times he used it. The one who drew the most used crutch word won. There was no prize. It was a good way to pass the time. In church, as teens, we would time the various contemporaneous prayers during the service to see which deacon was the most long-winded. Perry, you are not allowed to read this post.
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:05 pm

Were I to read the post (which I didn't), I would query whether you meant "extemporaneous" rather than "contemporaneous"?
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Slava » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:07 pm

I have to ask, just what do you mean by "contemporaneous prayers"? Or does PL have it right?
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:23 pm

My bad. Extemporaneous is the word I meant. I merged the words extemporaneous and contemporary without intending it. The prayers of the elders in our church were definitely not contemporary.
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Slava » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:11 pm

Here is another one on crutch words, from the same source.

It's actually the origin behind the one first posted.
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:08 am

Actually and literally can be bothersome crutch words. Sometimes they may be called for. What bothers me more is someone saying literally when she/he actually means figuratively. My three year old granddaughter, feeling quite precocious, literally started every sentence with actually until it figuratively drove us nuts.
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:48 pm

Many or any word(s) can become crutch words from repeated use. We get into habits of repeated words or phrases that we lean on. Probably, "uh" is the schwa of crutch words, turning up everywhere unless we are careful.
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:15 pm

As a demonstration of the law of entropy, all vowels seem to be headed toward this abysmal grunt. I could modify a famous line by Swinburne and say, "Thou hast conquered, O pale sound of schwa; the world has grown grey from thy breath...'' However, I won't do that because I don’t agree with Swinburne's original line.
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Re: Crutch Words

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:51 am

I am not sure if this is a crutch phrase or just a really irksome habit. Many people say, "I would like to thank John," instead of "Thank you John." Could we start a campaign against such wishy-washy statements? John might reply, "Then please do thank me." On the other hand, with weighty problems like the fiscal cliff on our minds, this suggestion is probably in the noise.
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