5 More Everyday Words That Are Making You Look Stupid

We all overuse certain words without considering what they mean and how they make us look. And while our original 5 Everyday Words That Are Making You Look Stupid list was a good start, it just scratched the surface of verbal pitfalls waiting for you out there.

So take a look at this list of five more common words that are making you look dumb, and if you're guilty of overusing (or misusing) any of them, definitely stop. Literally.

1. "Various"

Need a way to pad out a sentence without adding any meaning and cause an authority figure to roll their eyes at you? This is your word. Various ruins perfectly good school papers and resumes. It betrays that you were unprepared to lay out a full list of examples or supporting arguments, and hoped one word could cover it for you. It doesn't! Be thorough and ditch various.

2. "Of Course"

It's time to assess what we use as punctuation in between clauses. "Of course" is overused in conversation as an empty affirmation in between statements: "Oh, of course! I totally, emphatically want you to think that I agree with you. Now that I've pretended to agree with you, let me just quickly say the exact opposite."

3. "Definitely"

We mean well, but at what point can we keep saying definitely without sounding like Rain Man? It has a satisfying amount of syllables and makes us feel like we've said something definitive when we have not. Those around you will pick up on your need to show that you are sure of something, and the more you use definitely, the less mindful you'll sound.

4. "Wow"

You're wondering: That's barely a word, right? How can it make you look dumb? Interjections like "wow" are bandied about so frequently you don't notice them. The most annoying is the person who wants to convey that they're impressed or flabbergasted by something when they're not sure which it should be. "Wow, just… wow." How do you know that the other person(s) around you understand why you found it wow-worthy? Was that a "good wow" or a "bad wow"? Use your words for an honest reaction.

5. "Literally"

Also mentioned in this list of dumb words, it's a polarizing word. Its technical misuse (using literally like "figuratively") had become so ubiquitous that it literally became its secondary meaning in the dictionary. Unfortunately, this did not quell the anger of pedants everywhere, which means literally is still a touchy word around certain company. If you want to stay out of the debate, just nix it altogether.

What dumb-sounding words or phrases when heard cause you to grit your teeth? Unburden yourself in comments.

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