Service of Words that Irritate
August 8th, 2016
I’ve written before about jargon that has driven me nuts since I first heard it. Judy Schuster wrote recently: “I’d love to see a post about the awful words that are being coined by people in business and in the media.”
I expanded the topic to also cover words and/or acronyms—even a phrase– that irritate.
Schuster shared some words that inspired this post:
- Repurpose (she once threatened to wash a colleague’s mouth out with soap if he used it again)
- Right sizing (otherwise known as layoffs)
Daniel McHenry, an actor, asked: “Why do people make up words? What’s the point of having a language?” He shared these examples:
Two young information technology experts—Josh Citrón and Brandt Ziegler–objected to the IT buzzword
- Quiesce—to momentarily/temporarily stop or pause or disable.
- Leverage our synergy to maximize our outcomes
- Core competencies
- Market volatility
While on the subject of words, Citrón and Ziegler couldn’t stop.
- One dislikes it when people say “On accident,” instead of “By accident” and he shivers when he hears the word “moist.”
- Citrón objects to all the ____gate words such as travelgate or deflategate [to describe under-inflated Patriots footballs].
If you listen to enough political talk on cable, you hear words the pundits pick up and repeat, like a tossed basketball, from evening to evening, such as “writ large” [MSNBC had an outbreak of this one a few weeks ago]. Eventually writ large made my teeth grind. Did you hear dystopia make the rounds? The word means “an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one,”—Google. [See the photo below.] I heard President Obama use it at least once in a press conference or speech after the Democratic convention.
Doesn’t it feel great to get annoying words or expressions off your chest? Do you have any to add? Do some of the ones listed also irritate you?