Stress & Language (Or Words to Avoid for Writers)

Image result for stressed out and speaking

According to Lindsay Dodgson, “Using any of these words could indicate that you are more stressed.”

Stress, of course, is not a funny thing. However, what’s funny about this list of words is that it’s a real what’s what! for budding writers to avoid.

In a beautifully shaped nutshell:

  • A new study has identify words linked to high stress levels.
  • It found that “really,” “so,” and “very” can be giveaway signs.
  • Researchers determined stress by examining white blood cells.
  • They believe listening to medical patients’ vocabulary could let doctors give more accurate diagnoses.

Or, to paraphrase a little-known writer, last name King, first name Steve Baby, “Stay the **** away from adverbs like they’ve got a raging case of ***ing face herpes and toe jam.”

Further to that, and per Ms. Dodgson’s article, paraphrased:

If someone is stressed, they tend to talk less, but they also use more adverbs like “really,” and “incredibly.” According to Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona and lead author of a study on this subject reported to the scientific journal Nature, these words may act as “emotional intensifiers,” suggesting the speaker is more “aroused,” meaning excited or alert.

Now, of course, the other funny thing is that I think we already knew that, not by the adverbs, but by the colourful language most of us display when we’re stressed out. For example, consider the following dialogues and check (O) for “stressed out” or (X) for “cool as a head of napa cabbage kimchi”:

1. A: How’s it going?

     B: Well, I just got ****ing fired from my *%$&* job at Pet Smart for mistakenly feeding the birds to the cats this morning, and came home to an eviction notice from my ***hat super.

2. A: Sorry to hear about your exams. You really shat the bed, huh? Fully parked a trout on those bad boys. I guess that’s four years down the drain.

     B: No, no. It’s all good. I look at it as money well spent on supporting our economy. Go Falcons!

3. A: Hey, did you just shave?

     B: Nope. Raging case of face herpes, I’m afraid. Gonna $%&^* kill the guy at work who thought it was funny to lick my face this morning ’cause I smelled so $%&*ing good.

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