On The Meaning and Usage of the Word “Obviously:” A Slightly Unhinged Rant

Words have meanings. I know, this is a shock.

The hell, you say!

The hell, you say!

“Obviously” is one of those “words” with a thing called a “meaning.”

SHOCKING

SHOCKING

It’s meaning is this:

obvious

See that? Something that is obvious is self-evident. Apparent. Unmissable.

Okay, we got it. Obvious = DUH.

Okay, we got it. Obvious = DUH.

The thing is, if something is genuinely obvious, YOU DON’T NEED TO STATE IT. BECAUSE IT IS OBVIOUS.

Right, Cosby? RIGHT.

Cosby is sick of this shit, too.

If you think you might still need to state it, because it might not be apparent, THEN IT’S NOT OBVIOUS. If this is the case, and you use the word to describe it, you are using the word incorrectly. So:

Seriously. Knock it off.

Seriously. Knock it off.

The truth is, the word “obviously” should almost never be used. Think about a scenario in which the thing you are describing is actually self-evident, but its existence also needs to be stated. Pretty much never happens.

"This has never happened before, I swear!" Right. Except the thing I'm talking about really doesn't happen.

“This has never happened before, I swear!”

In sum, before you use the word “obviously” to describe something, ask yourself: is this actually obvious? Use the synonyms, if you must. If it is obvious, then ask yourself, does its existence need to be stated for some independent reason? If the answer to either question is no, do my blood pressure a favor and refrain from using the word.

Thank you kindly.

Thank you kindly.

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