Monday, June 30, 2008

That's not a word!

One of my many language-related pet peeves is the random and senseless creation of new words. The English language is filled with wonderful words, there is no need to make up new ones. But it's happening all over the place. An example?

Irregardless - it's not a word. You mean regardless. My father-in-law uses it all the time, and I scold him every time I hear him. It's been 14 years, and I haven't gotten through to him yet.

And don't even get me started on making verbs out of nouns. Impact is a noun, and sometimes an adjective, but not a verb. Something can have an impact, but you cannot impact something. Use affect instead.

I take this pretty seriously and have been known to yell at back at the radio during NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition." My kids are used to my rantings. But my husband did think I was having a heart attack the day I heard Jodie Foster, who graduated from an Ivy League college, talk in an interview about the "impactfullness" of a movie.

Yesterday I almost crashed the car when I saw a new made-up word. I was driving north on Lamar after taking the girls to see "Wall-E" when I passed by a construction site. The sign on the construction fence read, "Architected by Such-and-such Company." I did a triple take, not sure I'd read the sign correctly, but I had.

I called my sister, who works for an architectural/design firm in Los Angeles to see if "architected" is an accepted term in her world. She assured me that it isn't, but she did say that she's going to put it on all of her work from now on - "Architected by Keeffer." She was at the office when I called her, and one of her co-workers overheard her say that and cracked up.

I need to drive by the place again and take a picture, just to prove what I saw. And then I may just send an e-mail to the company to scold them for their mis-use of the language.

Then again, maybe I need to get a life.

Updated: I got a picture!


Memarie Lane said...

I had to stop listening to NPR because of the way they always say "duh-TAILS" instead of "DEE-tails." Also it would drive me nits when they would seize on the word or phrase of the moment repeatedly. "Benchmark" was the last straw.

knittergran said...

Oh, please, please, please e-mail the company. This needs to STOP or I may go crazy. (The world cares, I know.) I used to tell my students that the English language has plenty of words and does not need them to make new ones.
Now, one that I do laugh at is in a TV ad for Dish network. The talking head is doing an impression of Bush, and he says that the Dish divver (hee, hee, hee) allows him to recordificate shows.

Becca said...

too bad you don;t live closer, we could SO be friends. My office mates and I (ed staff of a magazine) actually stand around and tell grammar horror stories like this for fun. (guess we're nerds)

Anonymous said...

I hate "eatery.' What is next, "readery" for libraries and "watcheries" for movie theatres?

Also, I get livid about the use of "gifted" for gave, e.g., "He gifted me with a ring." So annoying!

hokgardner said...

Readery - that's awesome! In a really bad kind of way.