tr.v., -soned, -son·ing, -sons.
1. To cast overboard or off: a ship jettisoning wastes; a pilot jettisoning aircraft fuel. 2. Informal. To discard (something) as unwanted or burdensome: jettisoned the whole marketing plan.I had not heard the word before space travel became the norm in the 1960s. It occurs when the capsule comes to a point where it has to rid itself of the booster rocket that propelled it into space and no longer serves a useful purpose.In recent years, I have made a serious attempt to jettison certain words and phrases from my everyday vocabulary. In the spirit of full disclosure, this has not been a 100% successful venture but I’ve made significant steps in the right direction. Which words/phrases and why I chose to eliminate them follow:
· Worry: It has been my experience that most of the things that we ‘worry’ about either never come to fruition or are beyond our control (e.g. Stock market, world peace, weather). That is NOT to say that I don’t exercise concern or care for the people whom I love and the ‘stuff’ that I own. It seems to me, however, that excessive worry is a useless exercise or emotion.
· Try: In most cases it is either something that I will or will not do. It does not make sense to say that I will ‘try’ to eat better or exercise or get up earlier or work harder or work less or be more courteous or whatever. Either I will or will not. Try should not enter into the equation.
· Argue: I would much rather reason, discuss, compromise or examine. To argue is to try to convince someone who has no intention of agreeing under any circumstances and seldom leads to a good ending.
· Hate: The word has such a demeaning and negative tone to it that it often says more about the person using it than the person/issue being discussed or hated.
· Great: This is perhaps the most over-used word in the English language. It is used so indiscriminately in commercials, ads, discussions about celebrities and politics that it has lost its meaning.
· But we’ve always done it that way: So what? Maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe there is a way that is faster, easier, safer, more cost-effective, smarter etc. etc. etc.
· Yeah, but…: Anytime someone says, “Yeah, but…,” it means that he or she is trying to dismiss everything that was said before hand (as in, “Yeah, your idea is okay but this is why mine is so much better…yada, yada, yada.” (see ‘Argue’ above).
· I’m no good at…: That has such a negative connotation. Even though it might not be one of my strongest skill-sets, there is no reason to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. I heard a professional speaker get all of in the audience to repeat time after time, “Up until now (and then fill in the topic) such as “Up until now, I could not hit a driver.” That gives you the opportunity to admit the driver might not have been your best club in the bag, but as for the future–who knows?”
· At the end of the day: I can’t stand clichés and this is one you hear a dozen times every day.
· Been there…done that: I can’t stand clichés and this is one you hear a dozen times every day.
· Think outside the box: I can’t stand clichés and this is one you hear a dozen times every day.
You most likely have some words and phrases that you have jettisoned or would benefit from doing so. If that is a fact, I would be interested in hearing about them.In the meantime, say the things you want to say but give some consideration to jettisoning the rest.
Bill Sheridan–SHERIDAN WRITES: bio under Guest Authors
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