Actually, Thank You, Claire Carusillo; Actually

“Actually” Is the Most Futile, Overused Word on the Internet

By Claire Carusillo

We didn’t think anyone had noticed the abuse the English-speaking world is heaping on a meaningful and often powerful word, when used properly; that word is the adverb Actually.

Turn on your television, open your various iterations of the computer, read other things on the internet (after finishing this, of course). There it is, poor Actually, overused, misused, and generally making commentators appear foolish and speakers unable to expound precisely, or find the correct expression for their shock and awe about a new Kardashian outfit.

Claire Carusillo’s article, “‘Actually’ Is the Most Futile, Overused Word on the Internet,’ which appeared online in the New Republic and the New Statesman provides those fascinated by language and usage, as well as those sensitive to and irritated by sloppy writing and speaking not only assuagement to their aggravation at listening to CNN and FOX newscasters and their brethren shred English but also how all this abuse came about.

I am personally grateful to Ms. Carusillo, grateful that others notice. Perhaps now, possessed of this comforting knowledge, I won’t find myself flinging back a some announcer in a disturbingly loud burst: “Actually, actually, actually, (various expletives).” After all, as you can imagine, such explosions of frustration tend to call the wrong kind of attention to yourself in the gym as you pedal rapidly to nowhere.

Okay, now that we are aware of “Actually,” what will be next? I’ll be waiting on my gym bike as I reread Claire Carusillo’s piece. c/w


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