Annoying words, and Words You Hate

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Quizatzhaderac
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:13 pm UTC

Maybe he meant to say "rating of speed," because your speed is rated on a scale from 1 to 10 along with accuracy and level of difficulty.

"rate of speed" refers to the motion of motor vehicles in every instance I've heard it used, including this one.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby YellowYeti » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:39 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Maybe he meant to say "rating of speed," because your speed is rated on a scale from 1 to 10 along with accuracy and level of difficulty.

"rate of speed" refers to the motion of motor vehicles in every instance I've heard it used, including this one.


rate of speed sounds wrong, but rate of knots sounds fine.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:15 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Maybe he meant to say "rating of speed," because your speed is rated on a scale from 1 to 10 along with accuracy and level of difficulty.

"rate of speed" refers to the motion of motor vehicles in every instance I've heard it used, including this one.

No, it's definitely referring to one of those big signs the cops hold up with a number between 1 and 10.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:08 pm UTC

Oh, you mean this cop? I forgot about him.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby SirAdrian » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:55 am UTC

"transitioning"
It somehow escaped corporate meetings and infected the general public. Just use "changing" or "switching" or even "in transition to" for crying out loud.
"leveraging" likewise. I can't even tell what people mean when they use leverage as a verb. I don't believe it has an actual meaning related to leverage at all.

"emails" used as plural. I check my email, not my emails. I received some email, not some emails. I hated the use of email as a noun for a single "piece of email" back when that happened, but time and usage have mellowed it to mild dislike.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby SuicideJunkie » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:51 pm UTC

SirAdrian wrote:"emails" used as plural. I check my email, not my emails. I received some email, not some emails. I hated the use of email as a noun for a single "piece of email" back when that happened, but time and usage have mellowed it to mild dislike.

The problem seems to be that Letter(s) have become Email(s), rather than something more scale-appropriate like Byte(s) ;)

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Grop » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:16 pm UTC

As a French man, saying email for emails would feel super weird, but as is the case with so many English mass nouns. My email messages are naturally emails. Did you notice I sent you three pieces of email about new year's? feels quite non-practical.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:29 pm UTC

SirAdrian wrote:"transitioning"
It somehow escaped corporate meetings and infected the general public. Just use "changing" or "switching" or even "in transition to" for crying out loud.

These days, I mostly hear that term for people in a gender transition, MTF or FTM. The term seems appropriate in that context, since it is more specific than "changing" and the process is called a transition, not a change. More generally, some psychologists, sociologists, social workers, and gurus distinguish "change" as a term of art to refer to change in external factors and "transition" as a change in internal factors.

"leveraging" likewise. I can't even tell what people mean when they use leverage as a verb. I don't believe it has an actual meaning related to leverage at all.

"To leverage" means "to use as leverage in a negotiation." If I am negotiating with the oil lobby and am on the committee that will decide the approval of new wells, I can leverage that power to solicit large campaign contributions.

"emails" used as plural. I check my email, not my emails. I received some email, not some emails. I hated the use of email as a noun for a single "piece of email" back when that happened, but time and usage have mellowed it to mild dislike.


I guess logically, since pieces of mail are not "mails," email messages should not be "emails." But they clearly are, to basically everybody. I think it makes sense. You can send many things through the mail, including letters, parcels, postcards, and more. You can only send emails through email.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby SirAdrian » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:04 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:These days, I mostly hear that term for people in a gender transition, MTF or FTM. The term seems appropriate in that context, since it is more specific than "changing" and the process is called a transition, not a change. More generally, some psychologists, sociologists, social workers, and gurus distinguish "change" as a term of art to refer to change in external factors and "transition" as a change in internal factors.

Oh, I agree that 'transition' is better than 'change' etc. in many cases, but it would be 'make a transition' or 'be in transition' or the like rather than 'transitioning'.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:27 am UTC

OK, I get the noun vs. verb thing. Though, at the end of the day, the new use is hardly surprising.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:39 pm UTC

Not words, but the pronunciations of words like "biases," "processes," and "premises" that use a long E bother me. It makes me think the singulars must be biasis, processis, and premisis.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:31 pm UTC

I don't think I've heard any of those pronounced with a long "e", unless I'm misunderstanding.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:24 pm UTC

In IT lots of people say processees and it bugs me a lot.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Sizik » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:15 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
"leveraging" likewise. I can't even tell what people mean when they use leverage as a verb. I don't believe it has an actual meaning related to leverage at all.

"To leverage" means "to use as leverage in a negotiation." If I am negotiating with the oil lobby and am on the committee that will decide the approval of new wells, I can leverage that power to solicit large campaign contributions.

That may be its etymology, but the way I've heard it used is as just a corp-speak version of "use", e.g. "We will leverage the new devops framework to containerize our microservices."
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:34 pm UTC

That's the first I've heard of it. But business jargon seems to get everything wrong. If I see someone saying they are "leveraging assets," I would normally assume that means they are getting more leverage from them, like by borrowing against them at high interest. It would not occur to me that they just mean "using what they have."

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:52 pm UTC

To my ear "to leverage" just means "to use as leverage", which basically means to use as a force-multiplier, like in the literal sense but more often in business in a figurative sense: leveraging whatever to do something means using the whatever to be more effective at doing the thing.

Like, in a martial arts match, a small but fast person might leverage their speed against a bigger, stronger, but slower opponent.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby freezeblade » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:20 pm UTC

I can definitely attest to "leverage" as used in corporate culture to mean "use (but buzzword-y!)".

Situation: You've been assigned a project by a manager, one that you don't know how to do, because it's not your job (this is known as a "stretch assignment". they are the devil). The manager will likely tell you to "leverage your contacts" in order to complete the assignment. This means to go ask around the office, hoping that someone will help you do this assignment that you were likely not hired to do.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:45 pm UTC

That does sound annoying. If you hadn't told me that and someone asked me to "leverage my contacts," I would think they wanted me to use them as actual leverage (like "I know important people, so you should do what I say!"). Definitely a different feeling.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Raidri » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:45 pm UTC

Related discussion: Microspeak: Leverage from The Old New Thing blog. It describes the use of leverage as a verb at Microsoft.
It can simply mean to use, but also to use to your advantage or to take advantage of which comes nearer to the original meaning (IMHO).

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:04 pm UTC

Charles can be leveraged to actually execute tests if Donald can drive him with these asks.

I'm gonna throw up. Doesn't this just mean "Charles will do the tests if Donald insists"?

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby freezeblade » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:36 pm UTC

Essentially. I hate corporate buzz-speak. It's part of why I left one of my previous jobs, and now work in a much smaller office, free of that 80's style corporate environment.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:22 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Charles can be leveraged to actually execute tests if Donald can drive him with these asks.

I'm gonna throw up. Doesn't this just mean "Charles will do the tests if Donald insists"?
As I understand the connotations:

"Leverage" means to use for something other than than most obvious purpose. Windows 2000 uses Windows 2000 Active Directory, Windows 95 (maybe) leverages Windows 2000 Active Directory.

An "ask" has something of a formal process around it. Do these test fall under Charles' purview? Yes, we know because we have written stuff saying X wants Y done for reasons Z.

"drive" has connotations of motivations, whereas "request" and "order" have connotations of the relationship.

Charles doesn't have to obey Donald, and may not care about Donald's requests, but Charles does care that the work gets done; however, one can convince Charles that doing the tests will help get the work done by referencing the asks, despite the fact that testing isn't usually part of Charles' job.

Of course, many people aren't aware of such fine distinctions and just use words because people around them seem to be using them. Or just use these terms for inappropriate audiences.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:36 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Not words, but the pronunciations of words like "biases," "processes," and "premises" that use a long E bother me. It makes me think the singulars must be biasis, processis, and premisis.
I'm thinking I may start advocating that the CS noun "process" now be spelt "processis".

As in "The primary processis (the one with the highest priority of all queued processees) processes the datum..."
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby freezeblade » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:49 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Of course, many people aren't aware of such fine distinctions and just use words because people around them seem to be using them. Or just use these terms for inappropriate audiences.


Herein lies the problem. Nobody in corporate settings (besides possible higher-ups who took a managing seminar) are taught these alternate meanings, so they are consistently used in an incorrect manner in order to fit into the "corporate culture." Thus the words become meaningless buzzwords when used in corporate contexts.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:16 pm UTC

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:45 pm UTC

"Tourney", as in "Tournament". A structure imposed on an activity to make it more dramatic and competitive, and the word is given a cutesy/diminutive form.

freezeblade wrote:Herein lies the problem. Nobody in corporate settings (besides possible higher-ups who took a managing seminar) are taught these alternate meanings, so they are consistently used in an incorrect manner in order to fit into the "corporate culture." Thus the words become meaningless buzzwords when used in corporate contexts.
I've only worked at big corporations and I haven't really seen much of that.

I'm not so much sure if it's a regional thing (there's a certain pressure in the south-east to be able to act down-to-earth) or that fact the pop culture has been mocking corporate jargon for decades, but I'd presume a low-mid-level manger would be presumed an oaf if they used too many buzzwords too sloppily.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby DavidSh » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:42 pm UTC

I wouldn't call "Tourney" a cutesy/diminutive term. In English it dates back to about 1300. Maybe it works better as a verb, however, as in
By a knight of ghosts and shadows
I summoned am to tourney
Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end:
Methinks it is no journey.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:08 am UTC

Okay, I was wrong about that. But I'm going to keep hating the word without reason.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:36 am UTC

"Tourney" just sounds stereotypically British to my ears, though I get how it also sounds cute (in the mold of words like "cutesy"). It's like a rooty tooty point-n-shooty.

(Incidentally, I think "rooty tooty" is actually American and might come from pro wrestling.)

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:46 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:"Tourney" just sounds stereotypically British to my ears
Funnily enough, to my British ears, it sounds American. (I've noticed the same mutual foreignness when Americans refer to "canoodle" as sounding British.)
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:20 am UTC

I don't think "canoodle" sounds British, just weird. Apparently it's uniquely American, and I do hear it from time to time.

"Tourney" really is British, and you don't hear it much in the US.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby solune » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:31 pm UTC

Everytime I hear CCTV there a little voice in my head saying "it's not CC".
Closed Circuit is supposed to mean that only the store manager watches it ; and if it's recorded at all, the record will be safe from the hands of the government until a crime has been commited.
Where I see the word CCTV nowadays is in a government-run train station where the video feed is exported to a central authority, and analysed big-data-style to check that my demeanour is within a standard variation of the average citizen's demeanour.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:13 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I don't think "canoodle" sounds British, just weird. Apparently it's uniquely American, and I do hear it from time to time.

"Tourney" really is British, and you don't hear it much in the US.
Actually, the usage that sticks out in my mind by the Penny-Aracde folks, who are from Seattle.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Ranbot » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:19 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:"Tourney" really is British, and you don't hear it much in the US.
Actually, the usage that sticks out in my mind by the Penny-Aracde folks, who are from Seattle.

I think "tourney" is pretty common among people who play in card game tournaments, e.g. Magic the Gathering, which probably has some overlaps with Penny-Arcade folks.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:59 am UTC

I just got a corporate mail about „ leveraging the innovation we have done in the last 2-3 years [to help a specific customer with a thing]“
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