We’ve all got words that our minds just seem to get stuck on, for no apparent reason and with no apparent cure. A thousand-word essay that I edited this spring used the word “comprise” three times. Incorrectly.* In interpersonal conversation, I lean on “genuinely” to express a strong feeling far too often (example: “I genuinely think that we need to buy more toilet paper”). The poor dope in the Kids in the Hall sketch above uses “ascertain,” then jumps to “delineate.” What are your unfortunate obsessions?
*The whole comprises the parts. The parts do not comprise the whole.