OK, stand back: here comes the rant!
As a guy who's an author, I take language seriously. And when I see the my mother tongue being brutalized, I hang my head in shame. Such as when people start using a "word of the month" and put it all over the place, often incorrectly.
I had this discussion recently with a friend who's launching an online program for sale. (I won't reveal the program because I wish her nothing but success, especially after she's put a great deal of work into creating her program.) She's referred to is as being a "Challenge", and titled it that. OK, sure... but then she does nothing to make that concept work for her. My problem is: it's not a challenge at all. Referring to a "challenge" when there is nothing revealed as challenging about the subject matter... well, that's just wrong in my book. But it's the word of the month and that's why its being used! (She insists, BTW, that I'm the only one who mentioned this of the handful of people she has checking her work for typos, etc. Ah yes, but that doesn't count. You see, most people will never take the time to express displeasure with verbiage. Why would they? The issue is, however, will the "silent majority" fail to sign on to her program because something just doesn't seem right? It would sure cause me to walk away.)
But here's the point of this rant. Where "Challenge" was last month's word, "Curated" is the current one. Have you seen how often this word is being bandied about now? Everything is suddenly curated. It's crazy. Many people don't even know what the hell the word means. But that doesn't stop them from using it. And over-using it in silly ways.
curate2 | ˌkyo͝oˈrāt, ˈkyo͝oˌrāt | verb [with object] select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition): both exhibitions are curated by the museum's director.
Have a look at that ad up there in the corner and tell me this: explaining that your wonderful, languid, peaceful, relaxed, restful vacation in the Caribbean is gonna be curated... what is this supposed to do for you!? Why, the word is even BOLDED. Doesn't it go in the exact opposite direction of why you want to go to that secluded beach in the first place next winter? Surely a curated vacation in the sunny south is exactly what you want to avoid. Me too. I don't want organized busyness... I want relaxation.
But this is what the ad up there says. It's part of an expensive double page spread showcasing a "curated vacation" on a beach. Yeah, right. Son of a beach!! If the copywriter who dreamt up this nonsense worked for me, s/he'd be looking for a job elsewhere, penning their word of the month crap to others.
This kind of nonsense drives me nuts. But then, I'm just an author with a toolbox holding 26 letters and a few grammar rules: what the hell do I know? Still, at the end of the day, I figure it's up to folks like me to use these tools correctly, and I know other authors who agree. That means, very simply, you can’t use "curated" unless you really mean it. And a curated vacation in the Caribbean is simply a no-go. OK, sure, maybe on your "If-this-is-Tuesday-it-must-be-Brusssels" whirlwind European tour. But not on the beach.
Not on my beach, anyway.
Hi there. I've written 8 books so far and am working on others. Feel free to comment