What Did You Say?
I started noticing this a few months back during the morning news. The newsperson said if you were going through a certain town to be extremely careful when in a ‘safety sensitive zone’ as the fines would be five times the normal rate. She then explained that a ‘safety sensitive zone’ is a school zone. Half way through my tirade, Char turned off the news.
There are other words and phrases that bother me. How about ‘impervious surfaces’? Why don’t we just say concrete or parking lots? Another one is ‘population density centers’ – I’ve always liked calling them cities and towns. I recently completed a report that asked me to explain the ‘currency efficiency demand’. Explain it? I can hardly say it! It took an hour and a half and three phone calls before someone told me that is where I tell them how we spent the money.
But, the one that bothers me the most happened at a recent conference. The speaker was going on and on about the placement of ‘global coolers’. After awhile I stood up and the conversation went something like this:
Me: Excuse me but what are ‘global coolers’?
Speaker: Oh, I’m sorry. That is our term for trees and shrubs. (There was a fairly larger rumbling across the room; I don’t think I was the only one who didn’t know what ‘global coolers’ were).
Me: Why don’t you call them trees and shrubs?
Speaker: Well, those are not catchy enough words to give them the attention needed. They are outdated terms.
Me: So you’re saying trees and shrubs are no longer sexy?
I’m not sure what his answer was. I was telling the lady next to me, “I’m more like a tree than I thought – outdated and no longer sexy.”
So, what are the words, terms, or phrases that rattle your cage – that means disturbs you?