Tag Archives: Words

Resist the initialization of the world (please)

Over the holidays, I was in the store formerly known as Mountain Equipment Co-op. Great name, isn’t it? Without even trying, you can tell it sells outdoor recreation gear and clothing. One of their taglines is “Outside is our place. Canada is our backyard.” Nice. In 2013, the company decided to rebrand itself as “MEC” […]

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New misused words join the list to be banished

Post-truth, on fleek, Dad bod and listicle are among the terms that made the 42nd annual list of words and phrases the wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University in Michigan want to banish for “Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.” Distressingly, making the list does not, in fact, banish awful jargon and overused terms. The hated […]

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Jargon and insider language? The Olympics have ‘em

The Olympics can’t keep up with the corporate world when it comes to jargon, but they sure have a vocabulary all their own. With the 2016 Summer Olympics in full swing in Rio, let’s take a look. The most noteworthy/cringeworthy is how achieving a medal has become a verb. Athletes are now “expected to medal” […]

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Abuse of ‘resonate’ weakens a strong word

Have you ever noticed that some words suddenly become popular, and you see them everywhere? Next thing you know, a solid word turns into overused jargon, or it gets mangled by misuse. Lately, I keep tripping over the word “resonate.” I understand its popularity. Resonate is a strong word that reflects the original musical sense […]

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Show some love for neglected expressive words

What knavery is this? With so many words at our disposal, we’re ditching some perfectly delightful and expressive words. Wayne State University, for one, is having none of it. Each year, the university’s Word Warriors column lists the top 10 words “that deserve to be used more often in conversation and prose,” drawing attention to […]

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Ditch the fragments, and other caption DOs and DON’Ts

A photo caption’s job isn’t to tell the whole story all by itself. Ideally, the photo captures attention; the caption adds meaning and leads the reader to the story for more details. Of course, there are plenty of rules about captions (also called cutlines). A discussion this week with a fellow stickler for detail brought […]

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New Scrabble words? Don’t tell Mom

You watch; my mother will probably get “bezzy” on a triple in one of our usual spirited Words with Friends games. So don’t tell her about the words that Scrabble now officially accepts, including: Augh: An interjection expressing frustration (shades of Charlie Brown!) Bezzy: Best friend Cazh: Casual Eew: Exclamation of disgust Emoji: Digital icons […]

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Stop using this phrase like a boss

Not to be like the old guy on the porch yelling, “You kids get off my lawn!” or anything, but here’s another phrase that’s starting to annoy me: “Like a boss.” (I last vented about “hacking your life.”) The Telegraph reports the meaning as “well achieved.” The Urban Dictionary says it’s “The act of doing […]

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Set the tone with words

Anything worth doing is worth doing with WOW. So says online retailer Zappos, which for years has been a name synonymous for great customer service. At least, that’s what I had heard. I hadn’t experienced it myself because Zappos no longer ships to Canada (after a brief trial where they discovered how painful cross-border shopping […]

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Please stop ‘hacking’ your life

Don’t tell me you’ve found a way to “hack” your life, or your morning, or your productivity. The tiresome term appears to spring from the standard dictionary definition of “to alter (a computer program).” It gets a nod as slang for “cope with, manage, tolerate, or accept.” The Urban Dictionary calls it “a clever solution […]

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