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The one major factor which can support the claim that we descended from apes is that we copy. We imitate others – their actions, words, accents, body language etc. – not only as children but also as adults. We do that sometimes consciously and sometimes by habit or sometimes just like that – without realising that we did. Think about that annoying song that you heard and somehow you keep humming it all the time even when you don’t want to. A colleague told me that it is called an ear-worm. Whoever thought of that word had gotten the idea right. The same goes with words. When people around me use swear words all the time, I find that vocabulary creepily trickling into my vocabulary as well. And, I am not proud of that. It is also with other words – I copy others. At the same time, I find myself using some words repeatedly. I infect others with my vocabulary too and people begin to use those words. The author of today’s article calls these words fingerprint words – words that we own and repeatedly use, often without realizing that we do. Lately, my fingerprint word was awesome. Which ones are yours?

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_word/2014/09/fingerprint_words_verbal_tics_that_define_us_and_how_they_spread_to_others.html

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