Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Words mean things

I wont post rants all the time but it IS my blog so here's one:

I love words. I consider my vocabulary to be way above the average but now and then I run into a word that irritates me for some reason. Usually it is a "new" word, some made up piece of useless jargon that some group of "eLiTeZ" have decided is "de rigeur" for the moment. Usually, the word is unnecessary as it replaces a perfectly good word for no valuable reason.

An example of this is the (usually incorrect) usage of "sourced" to replace "supplied."  "Supplied" has worked just fine for years. What is the added value of mis-using the word "sourced"? None that I can see. Let's look at a concrete example before moving on. Back a few years when I was still "gainfully employed" (wouldn't "working" have been better? More concise for sure.) Anyway, back when I was working I got a memo addressed to "All those sourced from 01."  Obviously 01 was a location, but where was a mystery. My boss didn't know what or where 01 was. Eventually I discovered it refered to a particular warehouse. Then I was in a "quandry," (See:  Large vocabulary. Puzzled or confused would have been better communication.) I was almost certain that despite the fact that the warehouse in question supplied us with more than 25,000 items, NOT ONE of them was sourced there. They only passed through. Unloaded from one truck which may or may not have come from the source, those products lived a transient existance (There he goes again. Those products were only in the warehouse temporarily) and then they were shipped out to one or more of 128 stores. So here is a guy whose mom still buys his groceries looking cool (to himself) because he failed to communicate. (I had 5 phone calls that day asking me what "sourced from 01" meant.) Sadly, the word "sourced" has remained in use with clever youngsters everywhere and now the most incompetent of those have risen to higher positions.

Anyway, that's not the word that irritated me today. Nor was it "quirky" a word used exclusively by the ever so "precious" food and travel writers of the world.

Today's winner is "unreconstructed" which apparently means "not reconciled to some political, economic, or social change" I'd love to see the etymology of that. So, how often do you use that word in a sentence? Maybe I am wrong, but wouldn't "old-fashioned" do the job without the need to find a dictionary?

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear!!
    I'm with you 100%, Tom.
    I have also come across people who use such irritating words and who have no idea themselves as to the meaning of the word. But they sound knowledgeable and "with it", which is extremely important - to them.