Lesson Transcript

Alisha: Hi, everybody. Welcome back to English Topics. My name is Alisha. Today, I'm joined by…
Davey: I'm Davey.
Alisha: Hi, Davey. Sorry. I don't know what I was doing there. Anyway, today, we're going to talk about Words that Americans Overuse. We're both American. We're from different areas in the US. I'm from West Coast, he's from East Coast-ish, sort of. Tennessee?
Davey: More from the South.
Alisha: What? You're from Tennessee-ish, Nashville-ish, aren't you?
Davey: That's the South. Tennessee is the south.
Alisha: I have an image of that as being more like easty coasty than southy.
Davey: Don't say that to like a real Tennessean.
Alisha: Okay.
Davey: Watch out.
Alisha: Okay. I'm in trouble.
Davey: I left when I was 18. I haven't been back in a long time.
Alisha: Because, then, you went to Seattle too.
Davey: I live in Seattle for a long time.
Alisha: Okay.
Davey: Seattle is my second home.
Alisha: So, you've picked up all kinds of different vocabulary, perhaps, more so than I have. Alright. Anyway, let's talk about words Americans overuse. Let's begin. I have a huge stack and I'm going to make some combinations of words. I'm going to start out with the one that I think I say way too often which is the word, "like." It's used as a filler word. When I'm thinking, I use, "like," "like," "like." When I want to, of course, make a comparison, I begin it with "like" but that's a bit different. So, used as a filler word, I use the word, "like" a lot for sure. For sure, I think lots of people do.
Davey: I was going to say anything but I'm glad that you've copped to that.
Alisha: Using the word, "like" a lot.
Davey: Yeah.
Alisha: Yeah, I do. I'm aware.
Davey: JK. Just kidding.
Alisha: I'm "like" aware. I'm very "like" aware. So, "like" is definitely a word Americans overuse. I will probably forget to be hard on myself in this episode. I will use it.
Davey: I feel like a lot of people, Americans, a lot of people including Americans, really sort of despise the overuse of that word, and yet, they'll still do it.
Alisha: It's because it's just a filler word. The same way we use "um" or "uh" or "hmm." It's just a filler word so "like" also falls into that category.
Davey: True.
Alisha: Yep. Okay. Do you have another one? What's your first one?
Davey: My first one is "awesome." "Awesome…"
Alisha: "Awesome."
Davey: …is the most generic and common adjective that Americans use, I think. Everything is awesome.
Alisha: Mm-hmm.
Davey: All the time.
Alisha: Right.
Davey: And so, it's lost maybe some of its original meaning which is to say, "inspiring awe." Oftentimes, when this word is used now it's not to describe something that is awe-inspiring but something that is simply awesome, something that's just pretty good.
Alisha: Pretty good, cool, nice.
Davey: A lot of people are really bothered by this word as well. They hear people use this word a lot and they say, "Use something else. Be more descriptive." But it doesn't bother me that much, I think "awesome" is okay.
Alisha: Yeah, awesome is fine. Like you say, it's important to understand that person's barometer like the level or maybe a meaning associated with that word because if somebody uses "awesome" as their least cool thing, if that's just their base level of maybe judging some things excellence…
Davey: Okay?
Alisha: … where do they go after awesome? If they started "awesome," what's like their next level up adjectives?
Davey: Super awesome.
Alisha: Super awesome.
Davey: Maybe.
Alisha: Could be. Okay. But, either way, I feel awesome should be kind of further up on the spectrum.
Davey: Sure. Should be reserved for things that are really truly awesome.
Alisha: Indeed. What is truly awesome in your mind?
Davey: Ooh. So many awesome things.
Alisha: I had an awesome bowl of curry risotto earlier this year.
Davey: That sounds awesome.
Alisha: That stands out in my mind as being an awesome meal.
Davey: That sounds awesome. The weather was awesome today.
Alisha: Indeed.
Davey: Really awesome weather.
Alisha: Mm-hmm. So, something that is like a cut above, it's a bit better than average. Significantly better than average, I feel. Something that stands out. Inspires awe? I would say we don't use it in that way so much.
Davey: Not so much.
Alisha: But, definitely, oh, that's a word that we use. Alright. I just used the word myself so I'm going to introduce it. "Definitely." "Definitely" is a word that we overuse. I overuse the word "definitely," absolutely. I definitely overuse the word, "definitely." "Definitely" means 100%. That's all. "Definitely." But, it's used as an agreement phrase and it's kind of is used to end conversations too. Like, when you run out of—oh, God, I'm using "like." When you run out of things to say sometimes, you can use, "Yeah, definitely." "Yeah, definitely," in that tone. Especially, among young women, I feel. They'll say, "Yeah, definitely. I know. Definitely." Right? Definitely.
Davey: Definitely.
Alisha: Mm-hmm. So, for example, just used it there because I thought, "Well, I should probably go on to the next thing," and I wanted to communicate that I agreed with you and I felt that "definitely" showed my agreement but also was a nice way to conclude the conversation.
Davey: Yes, I agree. It's often used that way. It's a good kind of finisher. "I don't have a lot more to say about this, definitely, I'm on the same page." You know, "We have we have the same opinion or feeling about this, let's move on."
Alisha: Yep, yep. So, it can be used to end a conversation but--and that's why I feel that it could be overused because maybe people aren't so good at conversations so they don't know what else to say.
Davey: Yeah.
Alisha: "Yeah, definitely."
Davey: Definitely.
Alisha: And, finish.
Davey: I have more words but I feel like we're finished because we've been saying "definitely" so much.
Alisha: Oh, my god.
Davey: Oh, we're not. I've got another word.
Alisha: Okay.
Davey: "Sure." I wrote this down before the video and I just became conscious that I've been using it while I'm sitting and listening to you. "Sure." I use that a lot when I'm reacting to other people listening just to acknowledge that I understand what they're saying and I'm following along. I'll say, "Sure." So, that's one that I overuse and I think other people overuse a lot too.
Alisha: Yeah, that's one that I actually recognize I have heard you use that. Not specifically just today but just in general in the time that I've known you. You use "sure" a lot. But, you always say it in a very upbeat way, though, like to show that you're listening.
Davey: "Sure."
Alisha: You go, "Sure! Sure."
Davey: I'm saying it now and I'm nodding, I'm not doing it ironically. I got my natural thing, I bring that you'll the natural way I want to respond is to just say, "Sure."
Alisha: Sure. Because it feels good, it's comfortable. It's become a habit. These are words we use too much just like I've been saying the word, "like." I can't stop.
Davey: When I say, "sure," I'm trying to assure you that I'm listening.
Alisha: Aah.
Davey: So…
Alisha: I see.
Davey: Sure.
Alisha: I see. Great. Totally. Alright. And, "totally" is my next word. "Totally" is another word that I overuse and I know some Americans overuse as well. "Totally" is a word that we use in the same way as we would use a word like "really" or "very" or "so." It's an emphasis word, "Yeah, totally." Another agreement word, "Yeah, totally." That "O" sound gets sort of opened up a bit. "Totally, yeah, totally." So, it's a bit different from "definitely." "Definitely" has that finality to it, sort of that endpoint. But, "totally" sounds like, "let's continue the conversation. Yeah, totally. I know right, yeah."
Davey: "This is totally awesome."
Alisha: Mm-hmm. "This is totally awesome." So, totally is another one that I think Americans overuse. I think these words, too, are also maybe not only used by young people but tend to be overused more so by young people.
Davey: I think you're right.
Alisha: I would say, perhaps.
Davey: I agree with you.
Alisha: So…
Davey: Yeah, but, no, I think maybe all generations overuse certain words but that's a good point. I think maybe young people overuse certain words and older generations might overuse different words. So, my next word is, "yeah, no…" "No, yeah…" And, gosh, how do we use this word? I mean we use this expression a lot I think kind of noncommittally. If someone asks us a question or makes a statement and you sort of a slightly agree or slightly disagree, you say, "Yeah, no…" "No, yeah…" I think the word that comes next that's where the meaning is.
Alisha: Right.
Davey: So, if I say, "Yeah, no…" I'm really saying no.
Alisha: Really?
Davey: I think so.
Alisha: I'm trying to think of how I use that expression. This also feels like a little bit of a filler where I can't make a decision. It's like the equivalent of "maybe" for me.
Davey: Okay.
Alisha: So, if someone says, for example, "Are you going to a barbecue this weekend?" "Yeah, no, I don't know. Maybe I'm sort of thinking. That's my thought process coming out in my words, I suppose.
Davey: Sure. But, if you said that, if I heard you say, "Yeah, no…" If I invited you to a barbecue and you said, "Yeah, no…" I would assume that you're not coming.
Alisha: That's probably true. Well, I probably wouldn't say that to the person who invited me. I guess-- maybe it is different. Why would I use--when do you use, "Yeah, no…?"
Davey: When I'm thinking but I think the word that I end on is the way that I'm leaning.
Alisha: Ah, I see. I used that actually when somebody pitches me a suggestion and I definitely am not going to do that. When someone says, "Hey, Alisha, do you want to go skydiving in an hour?" I'll be like, "Yeah, no."
Davey: Ah. That's I think the intonation then. The way that you say it makes a lot of difference.
Alisha: "Yeah, no." The "yeah" shows that I have heard that and the "no," the emphatic "no," says no way.
Davey: Yeah, that's true.
Alisha: That's an emphasis thing.
Davey: "Yeah, no."
Alisha: "Yeah, no."
Davey: Definitely not.
Alisha: Mm-hmm. With the emphasis there. "Yeah, no." I guess so the ending of that really indicates the true feeling of the person.
Davey: I think it's how you say it.
Alisha: Okay.
Davey: More than anything.
Alisha: Okay. Good one. Alright, I'll go on to another one. I'll go with this one. I think people of many generations use this word a lot, the phrase is "oh, my god." And, I hear people who aren't even native English speakers use this word. It's overused among American English speakers. I guess, we, too, we will just drop the "oh, my" and just like "god!" as sort of an expression of frustration. But, "oh, my god" is used for surprise at any level. It can be a small thing or a big thing. I've seen people at weddings or people who are watching weddings go, "Oh, my god. It's so beautiful." Or, it can be a small thing too, "Oh, my god. I can't believe you got me flowers." There's just a range of emotions that can be applied to "oh, my god."
Davey: That's true.
Alisha: But they don't have to be positive they can be negative as well. You know?
Davey: Yes, I agree. "Oh, my god. Alisha, how could you?
Alisha: I'm very sorry. So, using "oh, my god." I think that's why "oh, my god" is overused because there are so many different situations where we can use it.
Davey: That's a good point.
Alisha: Any sort of like--for anything--I used "like." Laughing at myself. For any sort of variation in emotion, we can use "oh, my god" to describe that. "Oh, my god. Did you hear about what happened yesterday?" Or, "Oh, my god. I lost my car." What? I don't know what to do with my car. That's probably--that is a situation though that should warrant--you should use something, perhaps, stronger than "Oh, my god. I lost my car." Like, if at that moment, I don't know in what situation you're in where you lose your car.
Davey: Big parking garage?
Alisha: Could be or maybe the car is towed. I don't know. "Oh, my god. I lost my car."
Davey: Or it looks like all the other cars.
Alisha: Maybe. But, in a serious situation like that, perhaps, your initial reaction can be, "Oh, my god. I lost my car." But then, there's got to be some other higher level of shock or surprise you need to use.
Davey: Yeah.
Alisha: Most people don't apply.
Davey: "Oh, my god." "OMG!" But, I don't know what's—
Alisha: Well, above that would probably be--we're getting into curse word territory that would be…
Davey: Mm-hmm. It's a different video.
Alisha: Right. But, "oh, my god," especially with that intonation, "oh, my god." "Oh, my god," as well. There are so many different things we can do there.
Davey: Sure. I've been trying really hard not to say "sure" and it's difficult.
Alisha: Seriously? "Seriously" is my last word. "Seriously" is another one of those versatile words.
Davey: Uh-huh.
Alisha: Where you can use it…
Davey: Sure.
Alisha: …to agree with somebody.
Davey: Sure.
Alisha: You can use it to agree with somebody or you can use it to question somebody like, "Seriously? Are you saying 'sure' this many times in the video." "Seriously" or just, "Seriously," in terms of "Yes, I agree with you." "Seriously, I know right." So, some of these words that we've talked about today, we can actually combine to make sentences. You will hear the native speakers use that. I'm going to lead off with like because I've been saying it this entire episode. So, if you hear a native speaker say something like this, "Like, oh, my god. Totally." This is an emphatic agreement phrase. "Like, oh, my god. Totally." "Like, oh, my god. Definitely." These are expressions that we use to agree, to strongly agree. What? Did I do something wrong?
Davey: No, it's funny.
Alisha: It's true, though, right.
Davey: It's true. It's totally true.
Alisha: We just do that.
Davey: You're absolutely right.
Alisha: Or, we can we can put it in a different order. "Like, seriously. Oh, my god." We can totally—oh, my god! We can totally do it. It is absolutely a thing.
Davey: Sure.
Alisha: Alright. Can you do it? Can you add anything?
Davey: Well, mine are kind of one-off but stick an "awesome" at the end of any of those.
Alisha: Oh, "Like, seriously, awesome. Oh, my god." So, all of these words. This is an actual sentence. I'm sure. That's been said.
Davey: Yeah.
Alisha: But, these are real sentences. These are real things people say.
Davey: Sure.
Alisha: I don't have any more hands otherwise I would put something else. But, these are all just ways to emphasize, these are all words that are just emphasis words that native English speakers, specifically, American English speakers will use. So, as you can see, it's easy. It's really easy to mix and match them and there's not really that much change in meaning.
Davey: No, yeah, I agree with you. Tried that. It didn't feel right. I'm going to stick with my "sure." I'm staying with my "sure." Staying with "sure."
Alisha: Alright. Sounds good to me.
Davey: It's got me this far.
Alisha: Indeed. I'm overusing "indeed," lately. I don't know what's gotten into me with that. I like "indeed."
Davey: Okay.
Alisha: But, that's just me.
Davey: Yeah, use it. Rock it.
Alisha: Rocking the "indeed," definitely.
Davey: Sure.
Alisha: Okay, let's wrap it up before we destroy each other. So, those are actually quite a few words that Americans overuse. That was really fun to talk about and now, I'm extremely self-conscious about my speech. That was a lot of fun. Maybe you've noticed some other things that we say a little bit too much. Like, I've noticed I say, "I see," or, no, I say, "let's see" too much, often times as well, too. But, if there's something that you have noticed Americans use too much or if there's a word that you know you use too much in your speech, let us know in a comment. It'd be fun to compare too.
Thanks very much for watching this episode of English Topics. If you liked the video, please make sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel if you haven't already. Also, check us out at EnglishClass101.com for other good stuff to study. Thanks very much and we'll see you again soon. Bye-bye.


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Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Is there any word you oversuse?

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Sunday at 08:40 AM
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Hello Chisato,

Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.

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Saturday at 09:41 AM
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This episode is definitely one of my favorites. I totally enjoyed it. Thank you Alisha and Davey always for your awesome tips. By the way, I hear “kind of” as often as “like” as a filler word in English conversation.😊

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Wednesday at 01:34 PM
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Hi there Olo,

We're glad to hear that you liked the lesson.

In case you want to use the word "although" - it means 'in spite of the fact that' or 'even though.'

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Tuesday at 09:19 AM
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That episode so much funny😂 they make me laugh ,sure!,anyway I think of ‘although’ could used in the end of a sentence (when I say something as addiction)?

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Hi Jessica and Juan,

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Friday at 03:58 AM
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Alisha is very funny all the times

Sunday at 02:01 AM
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And the other word was overuse like literally