Wordkill

Standing around a long table laden with annual report designs this morning, it was already taking all my discipline not to walk away as a sign of my complete indifference and lack of interest in what people thought of trees and diamonds and chess pieces. It didn’t help that this was being done on a Monday morning after a long weekend, and it didn’t help that I’ve been preoccupied with the potentially life-threatening situation I’m currently in.

As the mindless debate about which designs would be presented to the ones whose opinions mattered the most, how they would be presented and what flibberty-gibberty would be conjured up to sway said opinions to our side, I felt The Eyebrow (my left eyebrow, which has oft been solely responsible for the repulsed expression on my face) began to furrow as the word struck a most unpleasant chord in my head: playful. On and on it went: “Playful, playful, playful…”

That the word was in and of itself being used to describe an annual report cover already picked at my irritation nerve. That it was being repeated while describing two or three other designs threatened to drive me over the edge and result in my putting my hands over my ears and screaming for the word to disappear. And with that, I mentally added the word playful to the List (see below).

It’s no secret that this country has never been famous for its standard of English, unless it’s viewed in ascending order: lowest standard first. The language has been butchered and thrown into a melting pot of languages comprising the local tongues to produce one common language mastered by anyone who can speak a smidgen of English.

So it was with much astonishment and derision that I learned, not far into my current job, the words that people were using in their daily (professional) communication, misusing and abusing them to an appalling degree. And as the months went by, my irritation at hearing them increased exponentially with the number of times I heard them. Some of them were not used in the wrong context, but the frequency of their appearance made it look as though they were used as generally-accepted terms, and not because anyone really knew what they were for.

And it has now come down to me cringing, rolling my eyes, and swearing (under my breath or out loud) whenever I see or hear these words — normal, everyday words that I’ve added to the List of Words I’ve Come to Hate Because of My Job (which has been broken down into two categories):

Overkill: Words that are overused and overrated
Advise
Kind(ly)
Assist(ance)
Discuss(ed/ion)
Challenging
Playful
Strategize
Noted
Clarify
Verify
Liaise
Seek

Humiliation: Words that are misused because people don’t know their real meanings
Revert
Embargo
Escalate
As per

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