Hate, Actually


I am beginning to actively hate the word actually
Don’t get me wrong, it has its uses.  But there is a segment of
the population who may or may not be trying to piss me off with
it.  Mostly this sort of behavior comes from the overeducated and
the annoying Anglophiles.

Here are some examples:
Bartender:  Whaddya drinkin’?
Jackass:  Um, actually, I’ll have a gin and tonic.

Caller:  May I speak to Mr. Smith?
Self-important receptionist:  Actually,  he isn’t in right now.

Why are they saying that damn word?  It isn’t necessary to the
transaction.  Now there are perfectly acceptable reasons to use
that word, such as:

Bartender:  Would you like to try our Sizzlin’  Chipolte Fajita Shooters and a MegaMangorita?
Non-Jackass:  Um, no actually, I’ll just have a beer.

Caller: Get that sumbitch Smitty on the phone!
Receptionist:  Actually, he isn’t in right now, sir.

It isn’t that the use of the word is incorrect, it is the cloying
pedantic tone and context that is employed when it is used.  Or
maybe I’m being pedantic.  If you don’t believe me, Doonesbury is saying almost the same thing, actually.


3 Responses to “Hate, Actually”

  1. sgazzetti Says:

    Though this is off your rant, it might interest you anyway. “Actually” is also what’s called a “false friend” in language-learning: a word that looks familiar, like a cognate, but has a different meaning. Many learners of English, and Slavs in particular, use “actually” all the time, but they think they’re saying “currently” or “right now.” I bet that pisses you off.Bonus comment: as the first commenter, I hope that I can stave off a slew of cheeky monkeys peppering their comments with pedantic “actually”s by predicting it.

  2. Ms. Anthrope Says:

    As a cure for this slight cerebral rash, I suggest two to five days of Valley Girl* in combination with Ridgemont High. If the irritation continues, Eubonics may be required, followed by a course of Emoticon**.* May cause statements, to be expressed as questions?** May cause scarring.

  3. Sarcastro Says:

    It takes a good friend to expose a false friend.

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