The dilution and evolutions in the meaning of words, combined with a ratcheting up of noise, makes truly connecting with individuals or an audience increasingly difficult. Our only choice is to be impeccable with our words.
I find myself using the world truly a lot. I get that it’s viewed as filler, an unnecessary adjective taking up room on the page, but I can’t help myself. I truly can’t help but use it. I stare at it on my screen and think, ‘Do I really need that word?’ My answer is most often yes.
I feel the need to emphasize that the word I’ve chosen, was done so intentionally. That this isn’t a word used out of convenience or for emotional effect, but because it is the right word. That this word might be simple, overused or misused, but at its core there is a very real and powerful meaning that we should pause and take note of.
For example, there are things we desire, and things we truly desire. There is caring and truly caring. Serving and truly serving. There is a layer deeper than our first reaction which requires us to pause, think and feel for a moment.
If I was a better writer, perhaps my message would come across without its use. Or maybe our words are losing their meaning. Our language is in a constant state of change and we are in an accelerated period of change; insert your personal opinion on millennials, Trump, social media and marketers.
The bottom line is I find it difficult to truly communicate without noting my authentic sincerity. This is the problem facing many companies as content replaces marketing and distribution becomes the new circulation, all while the volume on the noise dial is set to 10.
I think ultimately the answer to all of this is not “truly”, but rather consistency. If we say what we mean and mean what we say for longer enough, people will come to understand that the words, images and experience we choose are meaningful (full of meaning), that there are principles and values behind them, a depth to these words born from an authentic desire to truly connect.
Perhaps someday I’ll feel I don’t need the trulyies.
Also published on Medium.
Crutch words are interesting. They can give us needed pause to think, accentuate, or sometimes they’re just sitting there in our lizard brains. There’s a small cohort of them that most people use in life and in business. This grouping of (30-50 crutches?) tells a lot about who we are as a people and how we operate and relate with one another….but we can leave that to linguists.
As for truly, yes, it could be you’re using it for emphasis. It could be that you’re wanting your effect to drive home. It could be you need bold print. It could be that you feel you live in a world where you think it’s necessary because others aren’t feeling the gravity, or the truth and genuine depth you feel. It could be (to use two negative examples) you believe you have a monopoly on truth. Your truth. It could be it’s more like a second cousin of “honestly” (where the use is inverse to with which someone is honest) —- and you’re adding emphasis because authentic sincerity left the building long ago.
“Whatever the case may be” “going forward” “at the end of the day” you’ve “essentially” made me “literally” reconsider my language for the next hour, and “going forward” I “basically” won’t be able to talk correctly. “TRULY.”
Good stuff here, full stream.