Words

Credit: Flickr / Onyx Blackburn
Credit: Flickr / Onyx Blackburn

For a while now I’ve been trying to eliminate “crazy” and synonyms from my vocabulary. It’s been hard. Not because I typically comment on other people’s mental health (I’ve long tried not to comment on things that are none of my business). But because I often used “crazy” or “bonkers” to mean ‘unexpected and good”.

At first I felt like I had to change my whole way of speaking, in particular my tendency to hyperbole. Finally I’ve got to the point where 1) I notice myself falling short on this 2) I notice other people’s use, and 3) I will occasionally suggest to people that maybe they too could find an alternative word.

British-English has so many synonyms for crazy (a personal favourite was “as mad as a bag of cats”). But ultimately I keep working at this because I think that language matters. It’s easy to think something is unimportant because it’s unimportant to you but if it’s important to people you care about it’s worth adjusting.

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