Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I am often met with rolling eyes when I roll out my vocabulary. I read a lot—about a big thick book every week or so. I love words and study them. I learn new words, delightful, vibrant, lusty words and I enjoy using them.

I know how to temper things depending on my audience. In fact, I take great pride in my ability to simplify complicated processes or ideas. If I use a large—or unusual—word in your presence, it’s usually because I make the assumption if you’re reading my blog or if we’re having a conversation you can handle it.

What’s more I am annoyed and exasperated by both the lack of precision and the overuse of cliches and flaccid phrases found in most communications. In fact, if I ran the zoo I would fire people for calling websites “robust,” experiences “awesome” and anything “kewl.” (I would also boil in oil anyone calling me “Bro,” even my brother, Fred.)

Language is my currency. I try to use it carefully, surprisingly, attention-getting-ly.

Today I heard a story about language that really handed me a pretty good laugh. It involved a phone conversation between an account person, I’ll call her “Jill” and a client I’ll call “Wanda.”

JILL:                Wanda, what’s the matter. You seem a bit frazzled.
WANDA:         There’s a lot of shit flying here today and I’m feeling overwhelmed.
JILL:                Well, let me underwhelm you.

That’s all.

I’m done for the day.


Tore Claesson said...

if there's overwhelm and underwhelm, what then is a simple whelm?

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