Harris Academy in Upper Norwood (south London) has banned popular slang words used by pupils in an effort to improve standards of English. No longer will words and phrases such as ‘you woz’, ‘bare’ and ‘innit’ be tolerated at . The school has put up signs with a list of ‘banned words’ – including ‘extra’, ‘innit’ and ‘like’, as well as beginning sentences with ‘basically’ or ending them with ‘yeah’.
Whether this will help or not, remains to be seen. But basically, I don’t see the problem with basically, as long as it is not over-used. The word “basically” basically indicates that what you are going to say is a simplification. Nothing more nothing less.
Some phrases are more problematic, however. When someone says to me things like “to be quite honest with you”, “honestly”, “If I was to speak my mind”, …, I always wonder what I can believe from all the other things he or she told me before.
Honestly, this is the basic issue: say what you mean and mean what you say.
Some further reading in favor of basically: http://http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/nov/07/in-defence-of-basically-steven-poole?CMP=fb_gu