Ban Words

Ban Words

Ban Words

Apparently, BAE means “Before Anyone Else”. All this time I just thought it meant Babe, but without the B. I thought it was just a time saver that gained popularity with the younger crowd.  Whatever it means, it was recently put on a list of words that we shouldn’t use anymore.  As someone who is nearly always ahead of the curve, I never started using BAE,  so to stop should be rather easy.   Another word we’re no longer supposed to use, according to the anonymous group of pizza eaters who came up with this list, is Nation. It’s not really the word we’re not supposed to use, it’s a particular context.  Cubby Nation, for example, should never be written or spoken, ever again. Badger Nation, Irish Nation, etc. Never again.

It’s nice of people to put these lists together for us. Some people use the lists annually to scrub their resumes, or their LinkedIn page. Others ignore the list and are Tweeting, right now.

Picking up BAE heading to opening day! #RedSoxNation

But we’re not these people, and so we learn and we adjust and we stop using stupid words that should have never been used in the first place. But one group loves using words in strange ways, and that group will never, ever, stop using them. Realtors love words. We love them.  But we only really love the same words, a handful of them, and we’ll use them until the day we die or someone takes our gold blazer from us, whichever comes first.

I have several sellers who hire me because they like the way I write real estate descriptions. They hire me to write something, then I write it, and then they correct it as if it were an 11th grade English assignment.  I had one seller tell me to remove the word “charming” from any description of their home. The home was boring, basic, not old and not new, it was just a house that I thought might do well to aspire to be charming. The seller said that charming was a word used to describe old cottages, and of course we know cottages are always, always, old and rickety, without plumbing, heat, and with the Daily News from 1922 serving as the only insulation. Charming was scrubbed. The home never sold.

And so with that, this: The short list of words we either have to straight away ban, or limit their use to the appropriate context. Bad real estate descriptions must be disallowed.  First up, BREATHTAKING.

Breathtaking Instagram


We can’t be doing this anymore. There was no further explanation of how this taking of the breath worked. Did the Colonial seize your breath and then give it back before taking it away again? It wasn’t clear. What was clear was that the property was a $200k type old house without any character or appeal on a lot that you’d never be able to remember if you actually did go see it. I have never had my breath taken away, never. I see kids on TV fall off skateboard ramps and they appear to have had their breath taken away, but none of them would feel the same upon seeing real estate, no matter the estate. So let’s stop using that word, forever.

HISTORICAL. What does this even mean? Is something historical just because it’s old? Is Black Point historical because it’s a point, and we named it black? What does historical mean?  It means, “of, or concerning history”, or “belonging to the past”. Does Black Point belong to the past? In this context, I suppose a super old, super vintage home could be considered historical. But can’t we just call it charming? If General Patton camped in a house before taking the adjacent city, I’ll allow historical to be used. Similarly, if a home was build in the mid 1800s or earlier, I’ll allow it. But a 1984 raised ranch? It can’t be breathtaking or historical, no matter what.


Above, a beautiful Lake Geneva sunset. Really nice? Yes. But if it took your breath away please consult your physician, immediately. 


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  • Bret S April 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Spun with vintage charm, this breathtaking post gives another historical spin on all things Lake Geneva real estate.

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