Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Words to watch

Buzzed words: If you read this blog long enough, you'll realize that I have my opinions about grammar, words, writing and editing. There are dozens of words that irritate me, words that are overused or pretentious. My "favorite" is facilitator, and, yes, facilitator is mentioned on this list of Overused Business Buzzwords.

When one person commented on this list, she said that her new favorite buzzphrase is "crisp it up," as in "We'll need to crisp that up before we can present it to senior management." Another woman mentioned "business verticals," which means departments in a company. I'd never heard of either phrase.

(I just found the term "publishing vertical" on LinkedIn.)

Check out the list; you probably use something on it.

I thought I'd pass along this paragraph from Ted Kennedy's obit in the NY Times. It's overwritten, and I had to look up Rabelaisian. It means "marked by gross robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism," and it comes from Fran├žois Rabelais (c. 1494 – April 9, 1553), a major French Renaissance writer, doctor and humanist who apparently was regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, dirty jokes and bawdy songs. Interesting.

He was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy.
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