Even though I use words to make a living, my vocabulary is starting to suffer because of the growing list of terms and expressions that I either refuse to use or am wary about using because they’ve come to mean different things to different people.
Take the word “sharing,” for instance. Apparently, no one “tells” anyone anything these days. They “share” it instead.
For people who think this is simply a nice way to say “tell,” “report,” or even “confide,” let me put this in perspective. Let’s say that Bob has VD. Which would you prefer: that he share it with you or just tell you about it? I’m just saying.
Here are some other buzzwords I find bothersome.
Stakeholder — This is either an interested party or it’s the guy who holds the stake while Dr. Van Helsing drives it through Dracula’s heart.
Problematic — an automat for problems. You put in a dollar and out pops a problem.
Delmarva — Most people who say this don’t even know where it is. Unless you can do this in five minutes or less — name the nine counties of the Eastern Shore, the two counties of the other Eastern Shore, and the 14 counties on the Delmarva Peninsula — don’t ever say this word again, except if you’re talking about the chicken industry.
Water feature vs fountain — A fountain squirts water, sometimes out of a cherub who apparently couldn’t wait. A water feature is a fountain paid for with government money.
Grant vs fund — People say, “grant funds” all the time, but what that means is “money, money,” unless it’s a land grant, which would save the recipient money, money by virtue of having been granted a grant.
Transparency — Government term for “peek-a-boo” or the nature of something through which you can see whatever it wants you to see.
Extremist — anyone who doesn’t agree with me.
Patriot — an extremist who agrees with me.
Going forward — otherwise expressed as “proceed,” as in, “We will proceed, going forward.”
Socialist — someone other than me who gets government money. Also the opposite of “government subsidy,” which is money I get because I deserve it.
National debt — 1. something you don’t care about when you get the money; 2. Something that will ruin the country when the other guy gets the money.
Signage — the product of a sinus infection; a more important way of saying sign, as in signage language, or in horoscopes, “What’s your signage?”
Closed fist — So what, exactly, is an open fist?
Property rights — freedom to do whatever I want on my land, and tough noogies on you.
Storm events, rain events, snow events. Same as storms, rain and snow, but planned by the special events department.
And with that, I’ll be signing off. Or signaging off ... going forward.