Funny examples of awful language usage


Perish the thought! :open_mouth:


omg. you’re right.

what happened after 2014?

Even the rare stuff that was published in scientific journals has a sort of fluffiness about it.

typical paper in 2014:

Reitveld, C., Esko, T., Pinker, S., & et al,. (2014). Common genetic variants associated with cognitive performance identified using theproxy-phenotype method. PNAS. PDF

typical paper in 2016

Shoard, C., Perry, P., Pinker, S., Keltner, D., Blackmore, S., & Greenfield, S. (2016). Psycho thrillers: five movies that teach us how the mind works. The Guardian.


I once had an argument over the word “stakeholder”. My opponent considered it to be unnecessary business-speak. But I can’t think of a word that would replace it to describe the disparate groups of people who have (hold?) a “stake” in the minerals-industry projects I work on. I need to consider the needs of employees, contractors, suppliers, local communities, first-nations groups, NGOs, shareholders, managers, lenders, government departments, neighbours, landowners etc. If I want to say something like “The plan we come up with to address this issue must be acceptable to all relevant xxxxx.”, I can’t think of a better word. Any suggestions? “Affected and beneficial parties”? Doesn’t feel like much of an improvement. I’m open to suggestions.


I am a Popo-ster child for awful language usage.


They used that word a lot when I worked at the FDA. I think it was supposed to mean patients, clinicians, and the industry we regulated. At one time a memo went around by some high level administrative flunky, which referred to regulated industry as “the customer.” Funny, we always thought patients were the customers. I guess it was an accidental toxic release of honesty.


depends if you like boingboing’s “consensus”.


I prefer practically. Much cleaner and easier in execution and understanding.


The overuse of “initial so” ruined it for those of us who used it to shorten sentences beginning with, “As a result… .” Personally, I cringe at hearing "Being that… " and wonder why the words “Because” or “Since” are so hard for people to use.


I’ve often used stakeholder in the same way you described. The only alternatives I can think of would be “all interested parties” or “all those affected/involved.”


Anytime I hear someone sharing their “learnings” or coming to me with their “asks” I die a little on the inside.


I see what you did there.


I think good old sloppiness bugs me more than jargon.

Past history. General consensus. Extra bonus. Compare and contrast (when a simple “compare” handles it on its own). They all feel like little examples of people going on auto-pilot.


People should cease and desist.


Afraid I have a pretty dim view of the social psychology underlying the affectation of the prefix-ing “So …”. Especially when it is used when replying to a query.

It strikes me as symptomatic of the present era’s business culture (and wider cultures economic sensibility), that literally places a transactional value on most information transfer . Rather than simply replying (conversing with in an open fashion) to the party one is in dialogue with, it pointedly identifies that the utter-er is about to reveal some information, (possibly with some reticence?). Seems this likely originated in business world micro-speak, but has naturally bled over into the greater culture.

Be that as it may, like most language it’s pretty catchy and I find myself falling into using it as a pause or crutch sometimes these days.


My linguistic pet peeve is “meteoric rise”, or “meteoric” being used to describe someone’s career in a supposedly positive way. Last time I checked, meteors fall at high speed and crash to the ground in a fiery explosion; not how I want my career to play out…


Hey, one of my best friends is a Valley Girl?


Getting worked up over split verbs is the most pointless/redundant snobbery there is.


Pinker looks like Carrot Top’s dad.



'Twas but another of my bad puns. Get it, evolutionary psychology, perish the thought?..tough room.