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“Look”: A Favorite Word of Politicians and Pundits

Too many sentences are launched with this imperious imperative.

Brandt Johnson

When politicians and pundits hold forth on issues ranging from health care and national security to the state of the economy, they often begin their comments with "Look."

Look, every American deserves affordable healthcare.

Look, we need to protect our national interests.

Look, the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

“Look” has a perfectly legitimate place in our language, but it’s overused and misused.

If you intend to establish a confrontational or condescending tone, express frustration, or have someone’s eyes turn in a particular direction, “look” may be just the word you need to start your sentence. However, if you are using “look” to fill space, consider a pause instead.