7 Words That Just Don’t Belong in Your Vocabulary

Do you really kiss your mother with that mouth?

There are certain words we all use each day that seem so innocent, and so harmless that we don’t even think twice about using them over and over again.

And no, I’m not talking about dropping f-bombs or any of those other “colorful” words.

I’m talking about words that are much worse.

My hopes with this quick post is that you’ll get a better understanding of what these 7 words mean, and how they can cause nothing but trouble for you.

1. If

If only I was better at this…

This is easily my most hated word ever. There is no word in the entire English language I can think of that shows more doubt and more uneasiness than the word if.

Isn’t it just a bad feeling to not know something? To not feel confident? To me, that’s what this word is all about, and that’s just not for me.

How to live without if: Be confident and, live without doubt. To use if is to show a lack of confidence.

Instead, say: will

2. But

I want to buy that car, but it is too expensive

This word basically turns your ideas upside down, and makes you lose focus of the original statement. It acts as a giant contradiction and is the “silent killer” of logic.

When you say you “want to buy that car” and decide that it is “too expensive,” what is the takeaway from the statement? Your mind will come to the conclusion that you can’t have it, and you’ll most likely put it off — rather than putting effort into raising the money.

How to live without but: Say what you mean, and know what you want. Put focus on what you were saying before “but” came into the picture, and decide whether you meant it or not.

Instead, say: and

3. Maybe

Maybe I was wrong…

Similar to “if,” this word shows that you doubt something, or just don’t really know what you’re doing. It’s impossible to know and to be sure of everything, so this word doesn’t need to be completely erased from your vocabulary.

How to live without maybe: Take control of the situation and know what you’re doing. Don’t be that person who just drags along with everyone else, know the situation.

Instead, say: will, won’t

4-5. Yes & No

These two words are a little different, and are the most demanding of any of these 7 words.

I have seen people’s lives fall apart because they use these words outside of their comfort zone. I’ve come to realize there are three kinds of people in this world:

  1. The ones who want to make everyone happy: Truth is, this just isn’t possible. Being the person that says “yes” to everyone is too demanding, and will ultimately hurt your own well-being if you don’t learn to say “no.”
  2. People who keep to themselves: You’re not obligated to help everyone and have the right to say “no” when asked for a favor, but it doesn’t hurt to help people out every once in a while. It will even make you feel good too.
  3. Those who know their limits: Then there are the ones who are comfortable enough with themselves to say “yes” or “no” when only necessary.

I can go on for a long time about these 2 words, and I think I will expand on this in a future post.

6. Try

I’ll try, but I don’t think I can do it…

If we were truly passionate about something, and really wanted to achieve our goals, we would not use the word “try” to describe anything.

How to live without try: You have to know what you are doing, and be determined enough to always succeed at anything you do.

Instead, say: do, will

7. Never

I’ll just never be good enough.

“Never” is a pretty powerful word. If people actually understood what it meant, they would realize that it means that something is 100% impossible and will actually never happen.

Like a baby being able to lift 100 pounds with one tiny little hand. Or being able to have an intelligent conversation with a giraffe. Ridiculous stuff right? Those things will literally never happen.
But to tell yourself you will “never be good enough” or “never smart enough” is not only hurtful, but will keep you miles away from getting what you want.

How to live without never: In most cases, we use “never” because we are overly emotional about something and have doubt that we will fail at something. Always believe that you can do anything, because really — the sky’s the limit.

Instead, say: soon

Let’s Get Even More Offensive

There are plenty of other bad words that I haven’t included, and will maybe have to revisit someday. But for now, what are some words you would add to this list?

About the author: Alex Mangini is an 18-year-old web designer, blogger and founder of Life Notion. He has been helping people online since the age of 14, and hopes to inspire even more through the blog. Follow him on Twitter →

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Derek Jensen September 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm


I’ve got one! “Will”. Instead “just do it!” and if you aren’t doing it right now then either you need to start or just forget about it for the time being.

Alex Mangini September 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm


Hah, that’s a good point. I guess “will” can just be another word to make procrastinators feel better sometimes.

Thomas Frank September 19, 2011 at 3:38 am



It’s better to apologize than to ask permission.

Alex Mangini September 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm


That’s true, but what if I need a favor? :D

Luca September 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm


Hey Alex! Congratulations for your new website. Your new Thesis custom template rocks (as all the previous ones)!
Kudos for your skills and good luck for your new project!
Too bad that those you sold your sites to did not continue your awesome work! I was about buying your themes but I had not the time. Hope to be able to find them online again one day!
Best of luck!

Alex Mangini September 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm


I appreciate the support Luca! Hope to see you around the blog more.

Dinesh September 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm


Great design and all the best for your latest venture.

Alex Mangini September 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm


Thanks Dinesh, glad to see you over here.

Mushfique September 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm


Alex, you have the power to transform a simple theme to a rocking one. Excellent Design!
Was searching to add a word but couldn’t find one! Seems those are the words I normally use and should use the ones you preferred :) Great Post !

Alex September 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm


Thanks, glad you enjoyed the site!

Nicholas November 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm



I can’t stand it when people use that word. And to top it off, technically it’s grammatically incorrect to use it at the beginning of a sentence.

I like the new site, Alex! See you around.

Alex Mangini November 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm


I’m with you, people should be more confident! Nothing wrong with using the word “when.”

And I hate grammar.

Glad you like it man, hope to see you here more. :-D It’s definitely my most serious blogging venture since Blogussion.

Deeone December 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm


Alex, you are so on point with this post!!

Within the last year, I have started practicing being very mindful of the words I use and the thoughts I allow to take shape in my mind. This post was incredibly powerful and I *will* definitely be adding these to my daily practices. I’m totally writing them down too. Good stuff, buddy! :)
Deeone recently posted..Tulip Flowers, Life’s Purpose, and Lesson’s LearnedMy Profile

Sean Davis December 9, 2011 at 2:49 am


I would add “How?” to the list.

Something about that word (as a question) just bothers me. I have always felt that it should be kept to yourself and only used when you have no other option.

I think my beef is with the fact that people are so quick to ask “How?” instead of trying to figure things out themselves. They skip out on the brain riddles that make people smarter. I can’t stand it. When thought to yourself, it’s all fine and dandy. But don’t ask me how unless you absolutely have to!

Also, people lean on the “how?” too much and forget to focus on the “why?” I won’t get into that, though. We all know where I’m going with this. :)
Sean Davis recently posted..13 Reasons Why I Hate Your Blog (Part 4)My Profile

Akos Fintor December 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm


Hey Alex,

Nice list of weak words.
Totally agree, they should be eliminated from our vocabulary…permanently.
I read in michael losier’s book that the subconscious mind doesn’t know the meaning of the words no, not, never.
When you say: I don’t want to be sick” the subconscious hears “sick” so your vibration lowers since it’s a negative term and you get sick or sicker.

Great share


Ps: have you changed your site’s theme? looks neat!
Akos Fintor recently posted..Power of Outsourcing | Odesk | Why? Not! :) Part 1My Profile

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