If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

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Last Updated on February 27, 2023 by the thought method co.

Words are objective and take on the meaning we give them. I would never ban a word from general use. Banning words is not the issue, the usage and message behind the words is. And the way people use words is a reflection of society.

We see this with the medical term “retard” being so overused in a derogatory fashion that it was replaced with “mentally challenged.” Mentally challenged was then overused in a derogatory way and now we say “handicapable.” We just keep moving the goal post without actually making any change or progress.

Similar thing with “vagina” and “penis” which are literally parts of the human body just like “foot” and “hand,” but are censored in medical shows.

With that said, if I had to choose a word to ban, it would be “should.” A lot of people stop themselves from fulfilling their potential or following their dreams because they feel they “should” be at a certain place in life or that since they are a [insert generalization] they “should” be doing xyz.

A light example is of a man might feel he “should” be welding when he might actually want to bake. And he might actually be an excellent baker. We’re missing out on some great desserts.

A deeper example is of a child of a prejudice person who might feel they “should” be prejudiced too, even though they truly want to love everyone equally. Or a young person growing up in a ghetto who wants to read poetry and learn fine arts but feel they “should” act hood and steal to get street cred.

And the worst of all, a woman who wants to leave her abusive husband but feels she “should” stay to not look bad in the eyes of the church. This “should” thinking could result in her murder.

The list goes on and on, and “should” thinking negatively impacts mental health, leading to depression and anxiety. It creates and harbors feelings of guilt. It forces people to do things that are bad for their health, and it keeps them from goals.

what do you think?

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