Two of the most useless words in the English Language are Should and Probably. Any time I hear either, my ears perk up and I pay especially close attention to what is coming next because it will usually will have a negative impact on those listening.
Before we explore why, here area a few recent and/or common examples of usage:
Someone should do something.
It will probably be fine
It should be ok.
Your order should be out soon.
Someone is probably working on that.
It will probably work out.
We are over 10,000 feet and Wi-Fi should be working. It will probably come on soon.
Someone should educate the public on the difference between Orthodontists and PCDs.
What’s the big deal? Why do the words we choose matter? THEY MATTER IMMENSELY.
Should and probably are words that allow us to pass on any responsibility and move on to the next topic. When we say these words it is tantamount to saying “it’s not my job” or “why are you asking me?” without the definitive and obvious statement that allows the listener to recognize that the speaker is denying any and all responsibility for the issue at hand. Should and probably are commonly associated with the nebulous THEY and SOMEONE.
THEY should do something.
SOMEONE is probably fixing it.
Use of these words allow the user to lapse into mental and physical laziness and facilitates a victim mindset that absolves us from the need to plan or work or assess or measure anything because we convince ourselves that it is out of our control. As you may have guessed by now, there is almost always an inverse correlation between the amount a person uses should and probably and their level of success. Think about and choose your words carefully.
Our thoughts create our words.
How we think and talk creates our reality.
Don’t believe me? Don’t worry – you’ll probably be fine…