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Monday, December 1, 2008

Wordbunnies

Did you know that if you google "dust bunnies" you will get -- in about 0.23 seconds -- close to two and a half million hits? If you google "dustbunnies" you still get 486,000 hits in 0.10 seconds. But it seems there are only 646 Websites that include the word "wordbunnies." Of course, I didn't go to all of them, but the ones I looked at were very vague about what a wordbunny is.

Well let's end the confusion. A wordbunny is one of those clumps of words that you see scattered about the surface of text that do little more than simply hold together as a clump of words. They don't really do anything else. It's like some form of static electricity pulls them together, and they lie there making it clear that the text owner doesn't like to text clean very much.

Here is a list of some of the wordbunnies I see most often:

  • at the very least (as opposed to the penultimate least?)
  • at the very most (ditto)
  • not to mention (oops, it's going to be mentioned)
  • that being said (we've already talked about this one)
  • suffice it to say (then what is the rest of the text doing here?)
  • in the final analysis (?)
  • when all is said and done (will we still even be here?)
  • as everyone knows (then please don't tell me again)
  • that's not to say (yes it is, you just said it)
  • every now and then (that means always, right?)
  • with no disrespect (hmm, I'll be the judge of that)

Of course the list goes on. And to be fair (see what I mean?), these pesky little creatures have a way of showing up in even the most meticulous text owner's text, and often times right before company. There's nothing technically wrong with them. They just don't add anything to the text.

What wordbunnies would you like to see added to the list?

16 comments:

  1. Not to self...be careful how you word things over here. Just saying.

    Thanks for your vote on Spicypage. I appreciate it. Have a great day. :)

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  2. How about:
    Not for nothing but...
    Or:
    It goes without saying...

    Sheesh!

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  3. I saw a cute little wordbunny jump right out of a lady's mouth at the grocery store today. We were chitchatting about raising children and she actually said "Its so ironical..."

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  4. Oh, that is so ironical, Ann. :0)

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  5. Well, Grandpa, as an editor too I have my own little list of word bunnies that hop right out and thwack me with their delicate little furry white paws whenever I'm reading. Here's a couple of my faves:

    "With all due respect..." That's when you know that no respect, due or not, is about to be seen.

    "Basically speaking," which is riddled with faults that I won't go into here.

    "At the end of the day." What does it even mean?

    "To be perfectly honest." Hmmm. Well. You know what's comin', yeah?

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  6. Hehe... I notice it now that you say it! ;)

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  7. Wow! great information. I never heard of this before. Thanks, Grandpa. :)

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  8. "With all due respect.." I see Braja has used this also.

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  9. "With all due respect" should qualify, except that it usually predicts an insult and thus serves some purpose. Great post. you chould charge us all for lessons. ;-)...Aloha!

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  10. "meticulous text owner's text, and often times right before company"

    GREAT! Original & instantly clear.

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  11. Thank you, Cloudia.

    And on your first post, I would charge if I knew how. But then I'd probably give out scholarships and grants so I wouldn't make any money. But thanks for saying I could. ;0)

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  12. "Not to change the subject" and then they do.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I agree with you that it's visual mapping, which I have problems with after five numbers. Must be the ADD.

    I enjoy your blog and will return. I added you to my blog list to insure that I do.

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  13. Thanks, Joy. And I'll definitely be going back to your blog regularly.

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  14. How about, "I'll be honest with you"? Or "May I be frank?"

    Actually, there are some wordbunnies that my family members use that I now find quite endearing when I hear them. My grandpa always said, "and this and that." And my favorite aunt says, "I'm like you. . . "

    I don't find "you know" endearing, however ;).

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  15. Braja has some good ones -- all much favored by the English. They also like to precede insults by saying, "I'm not being funny, but . . "

    On the other hand, I do sometimes like that phrase -- just to turn the thought, you know.

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  16. In a printed text wordbunnies are not so very much to be appreciated, I agree. Somehow I like them in the blog world, though. They often transport feeling and mood, humor or, in a fragmented way, the reason a person blogs.
    Wordbunnies are also very cute when I compare them to the worddinosaurs my brother has cultivated in his dissertation. There seems to be something to prove when people finish University with a degree and a loud bang that will sprinkle unimaginable worddinosaurs in all directions. I'm just glad that our little sister doesn't finish her degree in law.

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