BASICALLY is this year’s top superfluous word, it has been confirmed.
The Institute for Studies found that increasing self-consciousness about saying ‘literally’ around grammar pedants had triggered a thousand-fold increase in the use of ‘basically’ as verbal padding.
Professor Henry Brubaker said: “Basically could be even bigger than literally, it’s a highly versatile term that’s perfect for when it’s not enough to say a thing, but you also want to say that you’re going to say it.”
Dr Stephen Malley said: “Patients nowadays feel insecure unless I use basically at the beginning of sentences.
“For example if I say ‘We need to amputate your hand’, they look at me blankly because that isn’t basic enough.
“However if I say ‘Basically we need to amputate your hand’ they nod furiously.”