It’s Criminal (or, at least, annoying)
Dysfunctional Literacy’s post “We Don’t Need A New Word For That” addresses one of the most heinous crimes of our time: making up fake words and USING them with impunity. (Okay, maybe it’s not a crime…but some of us are working to change that. I’m sure the Supreme Court will return my calls eventually.)
“Trendy” “new” “words” are annoying, especially when used constantly (for the record, word combos are not trendy, not really new, nor are they truly words). Using conventional words in an unconventional manner has also become a weird habit of our population, especially in corporate settings.
Some of my least favorite business jargon:
Speak to, verb, –as in, “That’s all I have to say about apples. Now, I’d like Suzie to come speak to the challenges of apple farmers.” I’m sorry, Suzie is not going to speak to the challenges. The challenges are unconcerned with her thoughts. Suzie needs to speak to the audience.
Ask, noun, –as in, “this is my ask. I’d like you to all bring in files tomorrow so we can discuss.” What? No. This is your request. Or, “what ask do you have for me?” The appropriate word here is question.
Around, prep.,–as in, “Let’s take a moment to talk around this issue.” You’re using a preposition, just not the right one. The word you’re looking for here is “about.” We will talk about this issue. (Of course, if you’re sitting in a circle, you could say, “Let’s go around the table and talk about this issue.”)
Back to the problem of wordinations (word combinations, and yes, I just made that one up); I admit there are exceptions. I have to give Hubby credit for coming up with “Cleverage.” This is his term for using cleavage as leverage.
Cleverage, noun, –as in, “Casey. Tug your shirt neckline down a little and use your cleverage to get the Lowe’s guy to help me load these bags of concrete. He’s ignoring me.”
Do you have a favorite wordination? What’s your nomination for “most irritating jargon?”