Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Misuse of Vocabulary

One of my biggest pet peeves (as someone with an English degree) is when people use words in the wrong way or in a way that has nothing to do with their actual meaning. The people I work with tend to do this A LOT and it drives me nuts. I will now list some of the majorly annoying misuses of words and give you some examples as well. I will also provide the dictionary definition according to dictionary.com.

#1 Opportunity
Definition: a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal/a chance or prospect, as for advancement or success.
Example of misuse: "What are your opportunities?" As in what qualities do you need to improve on?
Words they should've used instead: weakness, flaw, areas of growth, etc.
How it should be used: "I have been offered an amazing opportunity!"

#2 Wood
Definition: the hard substance composing most of a tree/timber, lumber, or firewood.
Example of misuse: "Please put away your wood" As in put away your shoe boxes.
Words they should've used instead: boxes, shoes, cardboard, etc.
How it should be used: "I need more wood for the fireplace."

#3 Play
Definition: a dramatic performance/activity for amusement or recreation.
Example of misuse: "Everyone should be playing" As in meeting their work expectations.
Words they should've used instead: participating, engaging, taking part, striving, etc.
How it should be used: "Let's go play outside."

#4 Commit
Definition: to pledge oneself, to give in trust/consign for preservation.
Example of misuse: "How many credit cards can you commit to opening today?"
Words they should've used instead: attempt, goal, try for, strive, intent, aim for, etc.
How it should be used: "I will commit this poem to memory"

Those are just a few examples of the misuse of vocabulary at my work. I'm sure there are a lot more but I can't think of any right now. I do want to add that there are some random words and phrases used in the work place that just get under my skin and I can't stand them.

Word: Juicy
Ways I've heard it used at work: "This contest is soooo juicy!" "Here are some juicy results for you." "This is soooo juicy!" Etc. It just sounds gross and out of place. I hate when people use it...

Idiom: On deck
Ways I've heard it used at work: "You're on deck!" "Am I on deck?" Etc.
It's stupid. Just say that someone is next. Like 'Hey you're next up to sell'. I just don't get why we're using a nautical phrase to refer to a sales floor. It also makes me think of baseball or something when someone is actually up next to do something. With retail it just sounds dumb and out of place.

Well that's about all I have to rant about for now. If I think of anything else or hear any other misused words whilst in the workplace then I'll be sure to add them later.

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