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Words I Won’t Live By

Language peeves, pet and otherwise

lexiconThere are words that make me want to punch puppies and kick cupcakes. Most of these words are either new usages of old words or portmanteaus (words created by melding two other words together). Don’t get me wrong, plenty of these words have quietly made themselves at home in our lexicon.  The word meld itself is a blend of the words “melt” and “weld.”  It’s just that some seem incredibly forced and annoying; or even worse, foisted on us by finger-gunning business types who want to appear hip to the latest management lingo.

To date, my least favorite example has been “webinar,” although “blogosphere” runs a close second.  I get tight chested and angry just typing the word.  This changed earlier today, however, when I read a CNN article introducing the word “weisure” to the world.  As you’ve probably guessed, it’s a blend of the words “work” and “leisure.”  It’s also the biggest asshat of a word I’ve encountered in a long time.  I’m currently considering driving to Atlanta to kick someone’s ass.

The word isn’t necessary; it’s stupid and superfluous, and it makes me think that some douche who “recontextualizes his corporate paradigm by thinking outside the box” from his sailboat probably made it up after a couple of gin and tonics and thought he was hilarious, then spent the next six months regaling people with his genius at cocktail parties until the word started to stick.  Of course, I could be overreacting, but that doesn’t make me hate this word any less.

What about you?  Love? Hate? Indifferent?  What words do you hate?


May 12, 2009 - Posted by | Daily Whims | , , , , ,


  1. i hate it when people say “out of pocket.” Lawyers say that crap all the time “I’m going to be out of pocket most of the day, so let’s talk tomorrow.”

    can’t you just say “busy.”

    is the pocket your office which you plan to be out of?

    maybe you went to the pocket store and they were out of pockets?

    is this hot pocket related?

    something to do with billiards?

    now the word pocket has lost all meaning. it’s not even a real word.

    screw you, pocket! you’re not my real dad!

    Comment by DonnaMartin | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. that article makes me want to brick somebody in the face.



    Comment by DonnaMartin | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  3. “Impetus.” I know that impetus is a perfectly legitimate word; I just hate the people who insist on saying it like they just fucking invented it.

    Comment by Sarah | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  4. Everything that happens in an office from 8-5 gets on my nerves. All catchphrases included. “Phone tag” is a pet peeve.

    The new word makes me think of wieners. Yes, yes, everything makes me think of wieners. I just had a wiener. Probably something made me think of them. I am guessing it was seeing my brother’s wieners on the stove. This is getting into uncomfortable territory.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  5. Can I just take the time to say how much I hate “irregardless”. Irregardless is not a word! My boss loves to say it all the time and it makes me want to slap the shit out of him.

    Comment by silent noodles | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  6. sn, that word makes me stabby!

    Girls between the ages of 10 and 25 have ruined the word “like” for me.

    I also hate that my computer tells me I’m spelling telecon wrong, and tries to change it to telecom.

    Comment by Helen Skor | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  7. I had an entire discussion with someone who decided that a lot should be one word and therefore *knowingly* typed it as one word every time he used it. He cited awhile as an example of two words that combined to make one.

    But you know what? A lot is still two different fucking words, the article “a” and the noun “lot.” Also, it would then become a confusable with allot, and we have enough confusables, thank you very much.

    Comment by TheHobo | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  8. A coworker in the office next to me always says “flustrated”. It makes me want to beat her in the head with my stapler.

    Comment by Jamie | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  9. Blech, Jamie. I am on Team Stapler when that smackdown happens.

    Hobo, it’s only a matter of time. Remember when “all” and “right” weren’t living together in sin, under the rooftop of “alright”? The good old days.

    Comment by Ann Coulter | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  10. dammit! i always forget to change my name back when i play games!

    Comment by baby fish mouth | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  11. Am I alone in finding “flustrated” kind of hilarious?? It’s that point of being so frustrated that you start to get utterly flustered?


    Ok, then. It’s just me then.

    I do a lot of marketing writing for a very, very large software company out here in the Pac. NW. (Hint: My OFFICE has a WINDOW and I can see a lovely VISTA…)

    I recently had a conference call with a fairly high up guy in one of their divisions, talking about a writing project that I was doing for them. We started discussing the names of certain messaging pillars. He said something like:

    “I don’t believe that, at this point, it behooves us to focus our energies on the taxonomies of these particular value structures.”

    The ENTIRE conversation was like that. Seriously. Dude. I scored very well on the SAT verbal section, too. I just don’t feel the need to BRICK people over the HEAD with my VOCABULARLY! This dude was the Megan Fox of doosh-tawkin’. He just oozed dooshwords from his pores.

    Last but not least — every time someone says “Out of Pocket” within my hearing, I ask them what it means, really. Without fail, NO ONE can explain why they use that phrase to mean busy. NO ONE. People of the world: if you don’t understand a particular phrase, please don’t use it. It makes you look like a jackass.

    Wow. I feel so much better, now. I had NO idea I had that much stored up inside. I feel so free!!

    ::skips off into meadow::

    Comment by SeaKat | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  12. ::runs back from meadow to add::

    Does this mean we can now refer to business casual as one’s “weisure suit”??

    Shut up. It was, too, funny. Kind of.

    Ok, fine. I’m going back to the meadow. But not w/o my Zyrtec. Fucking pollen.

    Comment by SeaKat | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  13. Now, see I thought that ‘out of pocket’ meant that they were having to really scramble like a quarterback that gets ‘out of the pocket of protection’ because the other team’s defense was so good or the offense couldn’t be strong.

    This makes me think that I have said some really dumb things in response to ‘busy’ people.

    Comment by queencrone | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  14. Speaking of made up shit, check this out.

    The City of Topeka has this “City of Character” program, wherein they designate a “Word of Character” every month. Then they desseminate the propoganda all throughout the City. Billboards, bus stations benches, flyers, etc.

    Anyway, they also provide “definitions” to each “Word of Character.” And I use the quotation marks around the word “definitions” because they are, in fact, not even fucking close.

    “Boldness: Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.”
    Uh…excuse me? I know a lot of assholes who engage in “bold” behavior that is neither true, right or just. The guy who grabbed a handful of my ass, last time I went to the bar: Bold = yes, “True, right, just” = fail.

    Comment by shu_shu | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  15. SeaKat: re: “I don’t believe that, at this point, it behooves us to focus our energies on the taxonomies of these particular value structures.”

    I’m pretty sure the only reason this dude is alive is because he has conference calls instead of meetings.

    Comment by oneofthevoicesinmyhead | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  16. also, “weisure suit” was awesome.

    Comment by oneofthevoicesinmyhead | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  17. Okay, seriously, I always thought “out of pocket” meant “I had to pay for it myself.”

    You know, instead of the business paying for crap, you pulled your wallet out of your pocket and paid for it with your own money.

    I have never heard it used in any way that suggested someone was busy. Although I have heard it used to help someone describe that they were broke.

    As in “dude, we were promised a per diem, but I had to buy my dinner out of pocket, and now I’ve gotta eat ramen the rest of the week.”

    Comment by TheHobo | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  18. qc, I think you are right about the meaning of “out of pocket”. One usually finds the QB in the pocket during a play, so being out of pocket requires notifying the rest of the team that said out-of-pocketedness will occur. I presume that lawyers believe that they are the QB of the office in which they work, hence their use of the phrase “out of pocket”. I’ve also heard the phrase used by a department manager when telling the department that he would not be in the office the next day. But he used to play QB for his college, so it makes perfect sense that he would say that.

    Comment by WhoMee | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  19. Hobo — that’s what I thought OOP (as opposed to OPP. Or OP, for that matter…) meant!

    When my ex-boss (back in, like, 2000) said “I’m going to be out of pocket tomorrow” I honestly responded “You mean, like, you’re taking a personal day?” He looked at me quizzically and said “No… I’m going to be out of the office.”

    I just smiled prettily and noted to myself that said creep called the office his pocket. Which made sense, since those of us in the office were situated pretty damn close to a big dick.

    Comment by SeaKat | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  20. When I saw the word “weisure” I had no idea what it meant. I initially thought it sounded like someone who had a seizure while surfing the internet.

    Comment by blah | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  21. I too thought the definition for “out of pocket” was the same as Hobo’s. I’ve never heard it to mean you are busy.

    I also hate the word “irregardless”.

    In my office, some people don’t understand the meaning of “borrowed.” They say, “Can I borrow a tissue?” I say, “No. But you may have a tissue.” Because I don’t want that tissue back. Then that person gets defensive and says that they’re just trying to be polite. This is how you politely ask for a tissue, “Could I have a tissue, please?” Or “May I have a tissue, please?” But don’t be using “borrow”!

    *sighs* I really like this post and thread. 🙂

    Comment by rumour has it | May 12, 2009 | Reply

  22. I was the same with “out of pocket.” I always assumed it meant paying for stuff with your own money rather than expensing it. Then my former employer partnered with this ad agency and their “technical liaison” (i.e., the one person they employed who knew anything about computers) told me she would be out of pocket one day and I sat wondering why she was telling me that…and in such a confusing way. The next time she used it she wrote me to say she was having surgery and would be “out of pocket” for a couple weeks. I finally figured it out. Ever since then it has made me stabby.

    Expenses coming out of pocket=okay. You being out of pocket=time for new pants.

    I’m glad to know I wasn’t alone in my confusion over that usage.

    Comment by Lily the Pink | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  23. so – would the definition of weisure be:

    “1)an action performed by The Hags; specifically, commenting on Thundersquee all day while at work. 2) surfing the internet to find things to send to Thundersquee for commenting.”

    Because that’s the only way I can see why work and leisure would need to be meld together. And if WE’RE in the definition, I *might* be able to get behind it.

    Comment by AdmittedlyAddicted | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  24. Thanks WhoMee, that makes sense! 🙂

    I also hate the phrase: “No, you can’t do that.”

    Comment by queencrone | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  25. Ooh, yes. And, “we’re all out of chocolate” has been known to enrage me. 😉

    Comment by SeaKat | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  26. SeaKat and QC: Agreed, and I would like to add, “That was the last of the ice cream.”

    Mr.The Pink wants me to throw in “staycation,” too.

    Comment by Lily the Pink | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  27. I hear you rumor – it’s equally disturbing when people ask if they can use a kleenex. I mean, I’m sure you’re capable. Are you asking me to confirm your ability to you? Do I need to watch?

    Comment by Bizzzzle | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  28. Weisure makes me think of peeing in a leisurely way. Like maybe you’re writing your name on the ground or humming a nice tune while in the process?

    Comment by Bizzzzle | May 13, 2009 | Reply

  29. Hobo, I hate “behooves” it sounds like something from animal husbandry, and I don’t mean raising livestock either. I might have something to offer in the explanation of that term “out of pocket” I think it came from a confusion of the term indisposed. Maybe (and I do mean this is hypothetical!) someone used the term for being at someone’s disposal as “being in their pocket” and heard someone say that they were “indisposed” and confused the terms so that now being “indisposed” means “out of pocket”. The general population being either to dull or to apathetic (which is a synonym of indisposed) to correct said person simply adopted this new term. If this is the case, Idiocracy and Office Space have just collided in real life. (Sigh) P.S, I think that the term weisure, at least conceptually, is a word fused from contradicting terms.

    Comment by drgnsldr | May 14, 2009 | Reply

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