Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Musicality Of Leveraging Your Repurposed Words

The English language is a beautiful thing. It is complex, hard to learn, and, when used eloquently, can move a person to tears. At the same time, watching the Olympics has reminded me that there are words that aren't really words at all. Sports announcers have ways of making them up to fit a situation. Other times they just say stupid things to fill the void and then, when you think about what they said, you wonder...What did they just say?

We all know that texting has taken the English language to a new low. Some people say we're "evolving" the language and that all of its dumbing down is here to stay. Devolve or die, they say. Give me death.

In addition to dumb sports words and the dumbing down of texting and Twitterage (aka, the language of Twitter. I just made that word up.) there are those sayings that are just annoying. The business world is loaded with them and whole some of them might be meaningful, many of them are over used and downright annoying. I'll cover a few here.

  • One of the things my wife heard on the Olympics yesterday was something to the effect of "His routine had wonderful musicality to it." Musicality, hmmm. I'd like to ask that announcer if he made it up or if that's one of those skating words that only he knows?
  • Musicality is the ugly sister to Physicality, one of my least favorite words used during the NFL season. It might be a real word, but it sounds so stupid, I'm not even going to look it up. Real or not, its stupid.
  • Leverage. As in, "We need to leverage our investment." No, you need to leverage your vocabulary and stop trying to sound so trendy and cool. It's overused and I can't like it. I can't. 
  • Repurpose. As in, "The building was repurposed." I really have no explanation for why I hate this word so much. It's probably because before last year I'd never heard the word, and now I hear it almost every day. That's the sure sign of a trendy buzz word.
  • Price point. My daughter hates the word "moist" mostly because of the way it sounds. That's me with price point. How about just, price?
  • Cloud. As in, "Why not put your data in the cloud." Overused, but probably going to be around until some other dumb word takes its place. Watch, it'll be "heaven". Yes, our data's in heaven.
  • Authoritative content. This is one that is common in the GIS industry, as in "You can get to your organization's authoritative content." Just sick of hearing it, that's all. Oh, and does my organization have non-authoritative content?\
  • "Running with their skis" or "letting the skis run." Do skis have feet? Furthermore, do skis walk? I prefer to ski with my skis and run with my shoes...on.
  • Ping. As in, "Why don't you ping Bob and let him in on things." Why don't you just call him or email him. 
  • Skill set. Like we can only do that which falls inside our "set". Skills don't come as a set, dishes do.
  • Just sayin'. Do I need to outline all the ways this word is exasperating? If you're just sayin' it, why do you need to tell me that you're just saying it again?
  • Face time. Yeah, or talking to someone in person.
  • Big data. Another IT buzzword. You got big data? Big deal, I'm not impressed.
  • Like. Like, you know when like, someone is like, talking like this. It's like, just really like, annoying.
  • Right?. When someone ends a sentence with, "...right?" It's a condescension to the receiving party, as if to say I'm in charge because I'm doing the talking and that by saying "right" at the end of my sentence, I'm asserting that you agree to what I'm saying whether you do or not, right?
That's just a brief list of overused or irritating words and phrases. Everyone has some that bother them. Now you know mine, what are some of yours?

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