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Lucy Karsten Headshot

You Can't Say That

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Words matter. What we say matters, who we say it to, and how we say it matters.

Here are some words I would like you all to stop using:

1. Much-loved. If I see another well-known figure described as 'much-loved', I will start sending them individualised hate mail in such vast quantities, that I personally will prove this monicker to be a lie. I don't understand why anyone would wish to be 'much loved', a thing which sounds terribly time-consuming and sticky, or think that someone else would like to be described as 'much-loved', which surely is just a euphemistic way of saying 'inoffensive, and recognisable to general members of the public.' I can think of hundreds of things that actually are 'much-loved' (those little circles you tap your Oyster card on, the lone Ken doll who 'practised' with your harem of Barbies, finding money unexpectedly in your trouser pocket) but most people who are 'much loved' prefer to keep that sort of thing private.

2. Amazeballs. Goldenballs. I can't think of any others at this precise moment, but really any portmanteau which ends in 'balls'. Stop saying it. The only people who are allowed to say 'balls' several times a day are football coaches. The rest of you just sound vulgar.

3. New and Improved. The fact that advertisers continue to use this is a daily slap in the face to the rest of us, and shows just how stupid they really think we are. Let me explain, in the simplest of terms, what 'new' means. It is the opposite of 'old'- so it has only recently come into being. Something which has only recently come into being cannot be already improved. To be 'improved' suggests a motion from an old, worse state, into a current, better state. A new thing has had no time to do this.

4. Paris (when you don't pronounce the 's'). Yes, I know, that's how the French pronounce it. Unless you are speaking in French, you do not need to pronounce it as they do. In fact, you certainly shouldn't pronounce it as they do, because you'll sound like a twat.

5. In my honest opinion. Personally, I don't think you should be allowed to even say 'in my opinion', but 'in my honest opinion' makes me think you shouldn't be allowed to speak at all.