Like a bad cold virus, an annoying word can spread from carrier to carrier to the point where everyone is infected with its potential usage. “Going forward,” “at the end of the day,” and, “synergize” are a few annoying buzzwords that come to mind. And now, as a CNN article rightly points out, everyone seems to respond to any question with the overenthusiastic "Absolutely!" Absolutely, I would venture to say, is the new "I’m giving it 110 percent!"
"Why," one writer asks, "at a time of so much uncertainty, are so many people so absolutely sure of so much?" Some answers he gathered were intriguing. Here's account exec Liz Nicklos's theory: "Absolutely sounds confident and sure," she says. "In times of ambivalence, people could use a bit of semantic surety. When you use it, you just feel more confident."
Rex Bossert, an assistant dean at the University of California, Irvine's School of Law, thinks that we live in an age of pervasive lying, so "absolutely" becomes a way of reassuring the listener that we are telling the truth or providing a linguistic guarantee.
I don’t know about you, but "absolutely" as an answer sounds kind of cheesy to me, and makes me suspicious of the speaker. Does it annoy you? What other words do you wish would go away?