Monday, July 13, 2009

Word Up and Down

Over at The Guardian, a quintessentially English topic: what words make you wince? Some respond to the way they sound, some to their meaning, and some to the way they are abused. Some of the words I 'm not fond of:
  • Anything from "corpospeak," such as "synergy," "leverage" (especially when used as a verb), or "disconnect" when used as a noun.
  • "Bling."
  • "Peeps," when not used to refer to those yellow polymer-based Easter treats.
  • The suffix "-gate" appended to any type of scandal. "Watergate" was called that because it involved the Watergate Hotel. Likewise, the suffix "-holic" "or "-oholic" added to any kind of addict, like "chocoholic" or "workaholic." Someone who drinks excessively is called an "alcoholic" because alcohol is involved.
  • "Text" as a verb, but I suppose I shall have to learn to live with it. Same with "friend" as a verb.
  • The phrase "[x] is the new [y]."
  • I really can't stand emoticons, or any other form of Instant Messaging shorthand, such as lol, btw, etc., especially when they seep into actual writing. I can see how they are useful on handheld devices that are unwieldy to type on, but when typing on a proper keyboard it's just uncalled for.
  • Other Internet-coined words such as "meh" and "pwn" (instead of "own") make me want to chew my own head off.
  • "Proverbial" when used to refer to something that is not mentioned in an actual proverb.
  • "Literally" when used in place of "figuratively" (i.e., "he literally exploded with laughter," which would be rather messy).
  • I used to have no problem with "segue" but then that dorky scooter came on the market and now everyone spells it "segway."
  • I also am not a big fan of the word "blog" on strictly aesthetic terms but, again, I suppose it's something I shall have to live with. Same with "podcast."
  • I've also never liked profanity all that much, except under extreme circumstances. Lately I've taken to reverting to quaint and archaic interjections like "egad," "dang," and "zounds," primarily for my own amusement.
Matt Groening has put out yearly lists of "forbidden words" (and phrases) that sensible people would do well to avoid. I'm embarrased to admit that at times I use some of these, usually when I'm just being lazy.

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