Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mandatory kill

That's wire-service speak for "Oops, that story/photo/graphic was a mistake. Do not run it."

I suggest a mandatory kill on a few words, at least in specific contexts:
  • Artisan - This is a good word when you need a gender-aspecific way to say craftsman, but I'm tired of seeing it applied to cheese, chocolate, wine and any other food that can be made well. Yeah, I get it. Grafton Village cheddar, Moonstruck chocolate and Zerba Cellars 2003 syrah are better than generic mozzarella, Hershey's milk chocolate and Thunderbird. But for Christ's sake, artisan duck breast? Alas, yes. So it is time to strike artisan, no matter how convenient a longhand it has become for "good."
  • Improvised explosive device - It's a homemade bomb. Or maybe even a roadside bomb. This phrase is even more annoying when it is Improvised Explosive Device (unless that's the title of a book).
  • Comprise - Only a minority apparently knows how the fuck to use this word correctly, so fuck it, let's just throw it under the bus.
  • Issue - Are you speaking about an edition of a magazine? A political topic? Cool. A problem? Not cool. You didn't go bankrupt because of financial issues any more than Enron collapsed because of accounting issues. They're problems, damn it, problems!
There are others, of course. Perhaps you can think of a few, too!


lulu said...

"Issue" is one of my least favorite words. When I lived in San Francisco I had a crazy new-age boss who I couldn't stand. After much passive-agressiveness on my side (it was fun!), she finally confronted me and asked me if I had "issues" with her. I told her that I was from the Midwest and that we didn't have issues, we had problems.

gorillaboy said...

My cubicle-life is full of "issues". In my experience, I've found it amazing that "issues" can be discussed productively but problems and concerns can't as people get defensive with the negative inference of the latter 2 words.

I don't mind having problems and concerns directed towards me because I'm not afraid to admit I'm wrong if I can learn from it and works in the big picture. Heck, I've even termed myself the idiot of the team a few times. Unfortunately, many in my cubicle world don't share my belief. They will continue to have "issues".

MWR said...

I'll nominate "in harm's way".

Alasdair said...

"In harm's way" will be brought to justice with swift and decisive action!