There are a number of individual words that are pet hates of mine. “Suddenly”, “Eventually” and “Proverbial”, for example. I can’t quite say why the first two annoy me except they’re vague and undefined and unnecessary and can always be cut without any loss from the sentence. They just seem lazy, somehow, like the sudden-zoom-in they use in film and television when something is supposed to shock you. I don’t know quite what I have against the word “proverbial” either, except it occurs far more in student magazine writing than anywhere else. “Ubiquitous” is a similarly disliked word for similar reasons.

“The ubiquitous Paul Frank.”
“The proverbial Paul Frank.”

The words just sound slightly pompous without being very clever.

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