This article will take you two (2) minutes to read – equivalent to the consumption time of one breakfast taco.

1. No More LUY

Puffy and Louis

Puffy says, “Pour out the LUY.”

What is LUY (rhymes with MUY)?

Is it that nice bottle of alcohol that people drink in the VIP section of the club? Answer: No. LUY stands for: Like Um You Know.

Let’s get something clear. These three pieces of verbiage are deflating your communication skills. I teach a class at UT-Austin which centers around leadership development. During the “effective communication” module, we target these three terms as the leading causes of speech casualties. One exercise we use to draw attention to our casual usage of these deflators involves yelling, “No We Don’t!” whenever someone says, “You Know?”.

Instead of trying to go cold turkey, just speak slower and replace each term with a moment of silence. Start today.


2. “Me Personally”

Have you asked someone a question, and heard the person start his/her reply with, “Well, me personally…”?

Have you ever wondered, “If it’s not personally you, then what is it?” Could it be “impersonally” you? If so, that would be very unfortunate. You and I are having a conversation, and you have decided to become impersonal with me. That is not very kind.

Here’s a simple remedy: Replace “me personally” with “I”.


3. Irregardless (It was painful just to type that faux word…)

The fight to eradicate this word from the human vernacular has been unsuccessful. I hear this word once a week and the sound is like the implosion of a million baby bottles.

In short, “irregardless” is a double-negative that has no comprehensible value. Now, I believe there are rare moments when double negatives should be used (please don’t tell Mrs. Judy Hinson, my senior English teacher). I am not a grammatical purist. And at times I will begin a sentence with a conjunction. But “irregardless” is where I draw the line. Stop. It. Now.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Holly

    Well said. My top pet peeves to add to the list:

    1. Exaggeration/emphasis via the atrocious phrase “we’ve got to (do x, y or z)!” We have got? What? How did this become acceptable? Politicians use it regularly. I’m horrified that it has become so accepted that it is also widely used in children’s books. See the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt as one of many sad examples. This should be replaced with “we need to”, “we have to”, “we must”, “it is important to”, or if you really need drama, “it is imperative that we”.

    2. “Whole ‘nother”, as in “that’s a whole ‘nother topic” or “that’s a whole ‘nother story”. This may be a regional phrase that is only prevalent in the South, but here it is used regularly by educated people who otherwise speak intelligently. It is a bizarre mish mash of the word “another” and the inelegant phrase “whole other.” It should be replaced by “another”, or for more emphasis “an entirely different”.

    I believe overemphasis and overuse of sarcasm are root causes of many communication blunders. “Like” has become prevalent due to the insistence on repeating a speaker’s exact words (to act out and emphasize their attitude) rather than simply paraphrasing what was said and then communicating the attitude by explicitly saying, “she was very happy” or “she was clearly annoyed, and very condescending.”

    • Daron K. Roberts

      Wow, you have inspired me to write a Part 2. “Whole nother” is absolutely atrocious, and I hear it all of the time.

  • Daron K. Roberts

    I agree with all of you points. Wow…this is a really good list.. Perhaps we should co-write the sequel?

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