“Basically”= “umm, I don’t really know”

I had the good fortune of having Melanie Spiller edit a recent article for the upcoming CoDe Focus issue on Tablet PC and Mobile PC Development. (Free issue by the way, subscribe here).

One of the habits she noticed was my use of the word “actually”. We talked about it a bit and she happened to mention that another problem word is “basically” which, she told me, people use when they are guessing. That actually (see, I use that a lot) makes a lot of sense. Of course, being THE editorial blogger for technical authors, I was able to find a blog post where she talks about “actually”, “basically” and some other oft misused adverbs.

I wonder what she thinks of the infamous “So…” that begins every sentence of Microsoft employees when they answer a question…

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