Recently I was asked if there were any words I don’t like. Four words came to mind.
#1 Google (verb form, to search)
You will never hear me say “Google it”. Google does not equal search. It is one component of search, but not the only one. It is my default search engine at home, but I don’t start every search there. I search books on Amazon, movies on IMDB, history on Wikipedia, breaking news on Twitter, photos on Flickr and friends on Facebook. I could probably rattle off 20 more examples where I don’t start my search on Google.
I use the word search, because it has a broader and more accurate meaning than the verb form of Google. Mark Cuban did a good post on the change in search.
#2 Ink (verb form, business use)
I think it was the late 1990s when the business news started to use ink as a verb meaning “to sign”. It wasn’t good enough that Corporation X signed an agreement with Corporation Y. Now they had to ink a deal. I always found that odd and never cared for the word. Inked should be reserved for tattoo artists. I think using inked in business news is losing popularity.
The word busy is not only overused when applied to most individuals, but it is also celebrated. People praise those that are always busy as if it were always a good thing. To quote Tim Ferriss:
Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
And if it is used repeatedly as an excuse for not engaging in social relationships, then it can come off as insulting.
Busy by thesaltr
I don’t care for the word befriend, because it sounds sinister. Let me explain. The prefix “be” on a word often means “make”. It is the actions of one party to another. A person can belittle, berate or behead another person without their compliance. Yet the act of becoming friends can’t be thrust upon another. I can’t make you my friend. We collectively can become friends. I can try and befriend you, but there must be compliance. And because I know that I can’t force friendship, I will instead use the longer phrase “we became friends” because it sounds more accurate.
Did I make the case for any of my four words? Do you have any words you’d like to add to the dislike list?
UPDATE: My least favorite is actually “you should”. Did an entire post on that.