In all honesty I don’t think there is a word I would like removed from the language, quite the opposite in fact, the vocabulary bank should be stoked up much more.
If there is one thing I would like removed about language, it is a trait I share with Stephen Fry, it is what I believe is termed Valley Speak. I don’t really know how best to describe it, but is speech patterns no doubt picked up from shows like Buffy, My So-Called Life, Sweet Valley High etc. The most irritating aspect is the misuse of the word ‘like’, which in this scenario seems to be a symonym for said. You have people saying “He was like my name is Michael and I was like no way”. He ws like my name is Michael, just look at that written down, it is grammatical nightmare. But it’s not just limited there, a lot of speech quirks actually make very little sense. Yesterday I overheard two guys chatting and the conversation when like this:
“I turned round to this guy and said blah… blah. .. Then he turned round to me and said blah blah, So I turn round to him… and he turned round to me…” I was sat there thinking, what is with all this turning round? Were you sitting on spinning tops??
I think one of favourite sayings is one my Grandmother and Mother use as an exclamation of frustration/anger/surprise: “What the blood-and-stomach pills?”, the intonation of the word ‘what’ pretty much indicates which mood the phrase is being used to express. The only time I have heard it used elsewhere was by Ivy in the TV sitcom ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ usually directing it at Compo et al or her hen pecked husband Sid. Since LOTS is Yorkshire based sitcom and my maternal family hails from Withernsea, I’m guessing this is a Yorkshire based expression of the senior generation.