If you’re looking for misuse of the English language but don’t want to hang around with politicians, doctors or civil servants, consider reading press releases. My inbox is full of the things and they frequently cause rude, rude noises to come out of my mouth.
“Guestspert”? Are you (bleeping) kidding me?
Whaaat? When did “e-tailers” become a word?
“Turntabalist”? Your parents must be so proud.
Sometimes, though, neologisms have their revenge: They become so ubiquitous that I find myself using them, either in print or aloud.
When I say things like “repurposed,” I want to smack myself. On purpose.
Or how about “I know, right?” and “going forward”? How did these get to be such earwigs?
Since I see no reason to suffer solo, I’m sharing some of the most egregious examples with you. All are from press releases. Names are being withheld, to protect those who ought to be ashamed of themselves.
It’s no game
“Reputational capital” – Regarding about a certain large bank’s decision to charge a monthly fee for debit cards. (That decision was later rescinded, apparently to salvage what was left of the company’s reputational capital.)
“Gamification” – This is apparently the process of turning something into a game. I propose a second, related neologism that’s just one letter off: gagification, the process of turning someone’s stomach with words like “gamification.”
“Bigfooting” – The practice of going out on a Sasquatch hunt. (Not too far removed from a snipe hunt, I’m afraid.) Breaking my promise of anonymity: This one’s from the TV show “Finding Bigfoot,” which my friend Linda B. and I think would make the greatest drinking game ever. Any time some says “Bigfooting,” “’Squatching,” “’Squatch,” “’Squatchy” or – my personal favorite – “Blobsquatch,” take a drink. Just have a non-drinker around to call 911 when you all keel over from alcohol poisoning.
(This is not to say that I don’t think Bigfoot could exist. I have no doubt that an animal could hide out in some areas. After all, Anchorage has resident bears, lynx, porcupines, coyotes and wolves, among other critters, but I rarely see them. But until the folks from “Finding Bigfoot” can display more than Blobsquatches and cryptic hair samples, Linda B. and I remain unconvinced.)
“Favorited” – Sometimes I get an e-mail saying someone has “favorited” one of my tweet. I’m not sure I want to live in this world, especially since I just used the word “tweet” even though I am not a bird.
“Patroning” – Apparently consumers are “patroning” specialty food shops, even in the recession. Apparently times are so tight that the person sending the press release couldn’t afford the extra “zi” that would have saved the word.
“Boundaried” – If you guessed that a psychotherapist used the sentence, “You have to be very boundaried,” you’d be correct. And I disagree: I don’t have to be boundaried at all. In fact, I reject this state entirely.
“Customer experience transformist” – This is an actual job title. It makes me want to lie down with a cold cloth on my eyes.
“Wardrobing” – The act of buying a product from a retailer (most commonly high-end clothing, but it can be other items as well), using it and then returning it for a refund. This could just as easily be called “fraud,” but no one seems to want to do that. (I know, right?)
Readers: Got any neologisms of your own to bemoan?