Monday, December 28, 2020

Really stupid words, Chapter 15

Whereas the beginning of a New Year is the traditional time for Americans to elect to pursue goals and objectives in order to improve their lives and the lives of others; and

Whereas speakers of American English routinely abuse, misuse, overuse, and exhaust words by excessively employing trendy usages and clichés in misguided attempts to sound fashionable and knowledgeable; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that in the New Year of 2021 and forever after, speakers of American English will eliminate these tired, hackneyed, banal, threadbare, and altogether stupid word usages from their vocabularies:

·   source, when used as a verb (rather than its proper function as a noun) to indicate the location and acquisition of products or services or ingredients.

·   pivot, unless specifically referring to rotation around a fixed point (and not in reference to any and every change or adjustment).

·   curate, when used outside its common meaning pertaining to museums and exhibits (more precise but less trendy words such as choose or select are preferable for other uses).

·   unpack, when referring to discussion or explanation of a complicated subject (rather than when removing items from a crate, suitcase, or other container).

·   surge, to describe any increase of any size (rather than the intended meaning to indicate a rise or movement of remarkable strength or speed or force).



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Not sure why I was removed, Rod.
    All I did was mock Wichita's $71 million boondoggle baseball stadium . . .. in its already departed team -- the Wichita Wind Surge.

    1. No slight intended. It just seemed the comment was a bit off-topic.

  3. I enjoyed your latest post about stupid words. It's a good source of hackneyed phrases we should all pivot away from because it's useless to curate this kind of language in terms of clarification. When we unpack the complicated issues facing our society, we risk a surge of unintended proportions.