My current sticky word is “again.” I’m annoyed by it. My colleagues are annoyed by it, but why does this happen? I think “again” started coming out of my mouth when I was trying to emphasize a point. Now, I say it when I blank on the next word or need an extra moment to organize my thoughts.
This isn’t new for me. I remember being a teenager and using the word “like.” “She was like, it didn’t happen. He was like, that really happened.” Around the end of high-school my Mom and Dad threatened bodily harm if I didn’t remove “like” from my vocabulary. I don’t think they really meant bodily harm. It was more LIKE no car for a week. (Now who got the last word? Mu ah ha ha!) At least, I could attribute that sticky word to the Valley Girl era.
That being said, I did it. I got rid of the word “like” and went off to college. Guess what? “Like” turned into “all.” That’s right. “She was all, that didn’t happen. He was all, yes it did.” What? Screw that! How did that happen to me? I had no explanation. I carried that word around in my vocabulary through my early 20s. It vanished right around the time I got my first corporate job.
I think I was safe for awhile. I’m sure my friends will remind me if I wasn’t. The next time that I remember this problem happening was 2011. That was the year of “#Really?” Suddenly I was snarky and social all at the same time. That one still pops in to my conversations, but at least I stopped saying it at the end of every sentence. Then sometime in 2013, it became the year of “awesome.” Everything was awesome; even when it wasn’t. I can only claim that I was a “Lego” movie fan and wanted to to put the Piece of Resistance back on the Kragle.
Does anyone know the name for my word stickiness? Is there a syndrome? I did a quick Google search and nothing came up, but I did find this pretty funny Reddit post. I’m not alone. Other people admit to silly phrases that creep into their vocabulary. I wonder if this an ear worm game. The one where you sing the most catchy annoying song you know. Can you transfer a sticky word? If so, I’ve got a slightly used “again” for sale. Scratch that. I’ll give it away for free!