“Why do you use the word “Actually” too much?”
“What?” – I reacted.
“Yes, actually you use the word actually too much while speaking. And because we talk daily and you use this word a hundred times, even I actually started subconsciously using the word frequently now” – that was a compatriot’s observation on the upshot of my subliminal treatment of an ostensibly trivial word in English literature.
I was happy that somebody is at least unconsciously and subconsciously trying to ape me. My reply was quite simple-
Actuallyit is a quite harmless word, so does it really matter?”
Yes, it might not matter. But do I actually use the word “Actually”too much? That’s the question.
I never noticed, or bothered to introspect it till this question was popped at me today. Until this was told to me I had under no circumstances realised that I was using the word in my tête-à-tête recurrently. I had this habit of making fun of people over the years that had this one special word in their vocabulary that was being used in regular conversations, be it the Hindi professor at SN, who used to repeat the words “kehne ki baat hai” after every Hindi phrase for some unknown reason, and my Business Management lecturer at NCM who used to start every paragraph of his lecture repeating the often insignificant phrase of “not only but also”, which ultimately ended up giving him the sobriquet of “NOBA”.
This was the first time that somebody had highlighted a slender aberration in my vocalizations. In spite of not being bothered initially, a few moments of deliberations led me to realise that like the instances mentioned earlier, this word might actually start to be attached to my persona and associated with my distinctiveness.
There are quite a lot of people who have been stereotyped due to the use of a singularly inimitable style and usage of phrases, words and sentences. And be it politicians, teachers or just any other person around us, it is always a funny feeling when people are observing you.
All of a sudden, I actually became a bit too conscious about the words I put into use. And on the phone, I was actually short of words. It was a feeling like there were no others words in English lingo and we abruptly shifted to Malayalam.
These are funny things always suddenly strike you out of the blue. But at the end, it is always a good feeling that there people who actually listen to you, and the words you speak has an imitación efecto on them. As William Jennings Bryan once said, “Eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but rather from heart to heart.” So actually how much ever we try to cut, copy and paste words and phrases from the perfect vocabulary, when we speak from the heart, consciously or unconsciously, we always tend to bring our own signature into it. Actually might be my signature. And even though am not much proud of it, there is nothing much to be apologetic either.