The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

09 September 2011

Abolish the word

We all have words that drive us right around the bend, either because they are incorrectly used or used to point of being drained of all meaning. Some words send shivers of revulsion to our bowels for personal reasons. I happen to dislike 'pus' because of how it sounds and because of what it names. Some set our teeth on edge because of their clunky, awkward, inept construction and usage, or their suspect origin.  For example, I deplore the current trend of turning nouns into verbs, such as 'agenda' as in "Let's agenda this for next week."  Is it too difficult to say 'schedule'?

Pus and agenda aside, my first offerings for this inaugural Abolish the Word post are:

Orientate/orientated.   Makes my toes curl every time I hear someone say "I am show-jumping orientated." or "When I got to the mall, I tried to get myself properly orientated."
Say it with me, folks: ORIENTED!

Guys.  This word is overused to such an extent that you might almost believe there is no other word to use for a group of people. Are there alternatives?  How about folks, gang, group, class, people, ladies & gentlemen...just as an off-the-top-of-my-head start.

Are there words that simply curdle your inner word critic?


  1. Bwahhahahah!!! It is, indeed, far too difficult to say "schedule" when you say it "shed-ewel" instead of "sked-ewl" like our British cousins do. One word that drives me to drink only does so when mispronounced. When said correctly, it bothers me not one whit. The word is, "apposedly" instead of "supposedly". And not when mispronounced by a four year old, but when it is mispronounced by a grown person who really, by this point in life, aught to know better. Especially if they are a person I know as I am sure to have corrected them at every instance of it's miss-use in my presence! Other than that, I think Uranus is a deplorable name and should be struck from usage altogether. Barf, also, can go. Vulgar, unpleasant.... it's a horrid little word.

  2. “Cool” This is a word often misused because the speaker’s vocabulary lacks appropriate descriptive words.