Tuesday, May 29, 2012

looking for something

Whom am I to disagree?

I typo a lot.  Actually most of time I misspell or just can't remember the spelling.  Let's just say my built-in dictionary and thesaurus are running on my laptop most of the time.  Back in school I discovered a paperback version of a thesaurus and found hope for my writing.



Last week as I was crafting my post to perfection seeing if I could string three words together, I went looking for a better word than "utilize".  I was surprised to find my thesaurus has a bit of attitude in a few places.  Apparently "utilize" is pet peeve of one of the authors.  Read this and tell me what you think.

"This is a puff-word. Since it does nothing that good old use doesn't do, its extra letters and syllables don't make a writer seem smarter. Rather, using utilize makes you seem like either a pompous twit or someone so insecure that he'll use pointlessly big words in an attempt to look smart. The same is true for the noun utilization, for vehicle as used for car, for residence as used for home, for indicate as used for say, for presently, at present, at this time, and at the present time as used for now, and so on. What's worth remembering about puff-words is something that good writing teachers spend a lot of time drumming into undergrads: "Formal writing" does not mean gratuitously fancy writing; it means clean, clear, maximally considerate writing."
Wow!  I needed to share this with my fellow bloggers.


Do any of you pompous puff-word writers utilize your vehicles for transportation around your residence at the present time?


I do agree that -
"Some of them want to utilize you
Some of them want to get utilized by you"
would have ruined the Eurythmics' song.



another circus 

14 comments:

Tami Miller said...

At the present time, I do not prefer utilizing puff words when I recline in my vehicle or casually coast through my neighborhood in my mode of transportation.

lisleman said...

 that was a maximally cool comment - thanks

Joanne said...

Your thesarus is a little full of itself.  Utility is a fine word.  Done nothing to be denigrated by some thesarus.  Let the people use their words.  Don't hold back for some thesarus.  Well, I'm off. I have a blog to edit.

lisleman said...

 I'm going to build a puff-word detector in my next life.  All the best on your editing.

Lilly said...

A puff word detector - is that the same as a BS detector?  

I think the great thing about blogging is that our posts are a reflection of us. So if we use puffery from time to time I could care less. So ignore your thesaurus and just keep writing. Our differences set us all apart. I write my psosts so quickly I often have typos, misspellings and grammar errors. I should do better but detail is not one of my strengths. If my mother read my blog she would edit it but I think she is scared of what I am posting. Nothing really.

Off to write a blog post full of puffery. Have a good day my friend and thanks for some great music.

lisleman said...

Puff words are utilized (used?) often in BS statements so one might help you find the other.  My thinking of detail too often incurs a time penalty in writing.  "psosts" - good one.
I agree about the diversity and variety in blogs as being a benefit.
thanks

Barbara said...

Whoa, that's some attitude over a word! Very entertaining, though, and I agree with it. 

agnes said...

'some of them want to utilize you' :-D you're funny!!!

lisleman said...

 thanks

lisleman said...

 No need to be pompous but word choice is tricky.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I mostly agree. But there are times when it's better to use a variant of a word than use the same word repeatedly.  

Shrinky said...

Yikes (gulp), NOW what do I call my utility room, without sounding all puffed up grandiose?? 

lisleman said...

 I'm sure your room looks grand but many call them junk rooms.  We have the opposite of grandiose with street-talking-rapper pretenders.  Oh one more problem for you - the British accent is perceived by some Americans as being pompous but then those people still think you wear bowler hats and lace parasols.

lisleman said...

 Good point because it's not good to repeat words in good writing.  You notice I have a good way to go.

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