Bitching Brew

Monday, December 28, 2009

Words I'd Strike from the Dictionary

Fear not - I don't plan to turn my moribund blog into a pedant's corner. Instead, I intend to reinvigorate it for the new decade. Before then, however, I'd like to sign off this sour decade with a semi-whimsical fingering of words old and new.

  • Winningest. This ludicrous word reads like a dyslexic Dutchman's rendition of "to drink wine". What was wrong with "most successful"?
  • Burglarize. Teehee. I'm not one to look down on American English, as I think some of its words are markedly superior to their British counterparts. Nevertheless, this simply sounds daft. When I hear "burglarize", I think of a criminal version of Midas whose spindly poke turns Minoan pilgrims into inveterate thieves. Alternatively, perhaps the R***ssion has burglarized a cohort of the newly-unemployed. In either case, alas, "buggered" is a better fit than "burglarized".
  • Pre-Order. Think about it. An adverb is usually better than a prefix.
  • Pre-Select. I'd banish "pre-order", but I'd take a garrote to "pre-select".
  • Utilize. Here's a handy rule of thumb: never use three syllables when one will do. Oh, see that word I used? Oops, I did it again. Don't write like a technician; you're meant to craft your words, not engineer them.
  • Action - when used as a verb. This is exclusively uttered by corporate types who find plebeian forms of speech, such as "do", repugnant.
  • Incentivize. Three options here: motivate me, offer me some incentives, or find yourself in an incendiary situation.
  • Proactive. Why be proactive when you could be active? Why speak to the proconsul if you shot quail with the consul?
  • Enhanced. No object is improved, and certainly no sentence is improved, by the intrusion of this once-useful adjective.
  • Bonk. One of Britain's lesser contributions to language.
  • Deliverable - particularly when used as a noun. 'Tis an obnoxious neo-synonym for "outcome", which itself has been hijacked by MBA factories.
  • Do - when used as a noun. I refuse to go to a do (especially when held in a loo or a zoo). If crashing a party is beneath you, then surely you'd settle for attending a soiree.
  • Grub. It's hardly the most appetising noun, is it?
  • Snog. Another case where American English wins out. Its wee cousin Sprog also ought to be sent into exile.
Any additions to the list?

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