Who Is Nick?

Ban "Have To"

November 16, 2006 | 1 Minute Read

I’ve been doing work around a personal aversion to the phrase “have to”. When I hear it, and especially when said to me, I always react “I don’t have to do anything”.

I don’t think anyone “has to” do anything.

I say let’s use more descriptive “need to”, “should”, “obligated”, “would like to”. All of which are different then “have to”.

So why? Well, I believe this term is used and beaten with a stick. It’s a dead horse, so I suggest, let’s all get off.

“Have to” came around at the end of the 16th century, which is the end of the Renaissance. Is it a coincidence that for a time when everyone is running around the countryside asking “why”, that people came up with “because you have to”? They wanted a way to shut them up.

It’s used as a blanket statement for people who don’t know, or don’t want to know. It’s used for people who want compliance.

Here is an example:

Person 1: “You have to [insert task here]”

Person 2: “Why?”

Person 1: “Because, you have to.”