Just read a rather prolix* journal claiming that the word "basically" is nothing but a meaningless placeholder word in English. The person does admit their first language isn't English, despite their obvious fluency with it, so maybe that explains it.
Just to put this out there: I was a very curious kid when I was younger, and one day I stopped and thought about the meaning behind saying "basically" and "technically" and if they were really just words people randomly employed in order to sound more educated.
We've all heard Carlin's routine about airlines, right?
Ready? Basically, the words do have a specific meaning, and they clue the listener into whether or not you're giving them a basic overview of a topic or a technical description that may require some understanding of relevant jargon.
Technically, they are adverbs employed as sentence modifiers that indicate whether a statement is a broad description of a topic's fundamentals in order to convey the essentials, or if the ensuing description is instead going to be precise or "technical" in nature, where the former is understandable by a layperson and the latter intended for those with topic-specific foreknowledge and familiarity.
If you abuse these words, or use the wrong one (meaning you either don't know what they mean or cannot differentiate between a broad overview or an in-depth description), then that's your problem.
The English language is extraordinarily flexible, and there are few redundant words in our lexicon.
That said, most of us have no idea what the fuck we're saying and suck at our own language, so hey, whatever.
* pot, kettle, whatever. Shut up.
6 years, 2 months ago
06 Oct 2012 09:56 CEST