Paucisyllabism

Today’s writing prompt at Daily Post is No, Thank You.

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

Words have a power all their own

Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

I’ve developed a dislike for use of the word “utilize” instead of its shorter counterpart “use”.

Why do people use the word “utilize” when they can utilize the word “use”?

If we banned it, as the Daily Post suggests, we’d have to amend the language laws. We’d have to enforce them.

The US Secret Service provides security for Po...

The US Secret Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’d need Language Police to do so. Maybe a Language Secret Service that would monitor people’s usage and take appropriate action against violators. A prison sentence seems excessive for this type of violation; perhaps a fine would be an appropriate consequence. Repeat offenders would be sentenced to community service, and perhaps be listed on a national registry.

We don’t want to be draconian about this. Perhaps there are exceptional situations where the word “use” does not suffice and “utilize” is required. For those situations a permit would be issued. We would need a committee to review applications to determine the legitimacy of need. What about performing background checks?

What about writers – should a Writer’s License automatically grant one immunity from prosecution against using banned words? I think this will require some study to determine the best way to balance the rights of writers against general public interest.

Or instead of all that, we could just diligently endeavor to eschew the deployment of a polysyllabic entomological construct when a paucisyllabic replacement will suffice.

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2 Responses to Paucisyllabism

  1. Pingback: A Word I’d Like To Drop | The Jittery Goat

  2. Pingback: Prompted| No more HATERS! |

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