Why Do We Have To Have New Words When The Old Ones Are Fine?

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Tarser | 09:14 Fri 22nd May 2020 | Society & Culture
48 Answers
During the pandemic, we keep hearing of a 'Road Map' to return to normal life. We used to say 'strategy' or 'plan'. Why the change? What's wrong with the old words?

Schools used to have a 'Curriculum' but they now talk about 'Learning Journeys'. Everything seems to be 'journey' now. I've heard people talk about their 'illness journey'. No doubt they need a road map for all these journeys.

I can't see anything wrong with 'Personnel' but despise its replacement - 'Human Resources'. I suppose it's honest in admitting that's the only way employers think of their employees. The sweeper is the same thing as the broom to them.

For a few months now, people no longer say 'thank you for contacting us'. Instead it's 'Thank you for reaching out to us'. 'Reaching out'? It sounds like a toddler wanting to be picked up.

I can understand why some words have changed. Feminists didn't like 'Manpower' etc. - anything that seemed to exclude women, but I don't understand why perfectly good words are so regularly replaced with new words or new expressions that suddenly leap out at us and demand that we adapt. (OK, I admit it! I'm grumpy!)


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My children had a book split into 3s, heads, bodies and legs, they could make different funny people, an old man in a tutu wearing waders etc. We developed that into a conference-speak book, three sections to make meaningless sentences and the aim was to use as many of these trite sentences. Much more fun than the crossword sitting at the back! My road map is in...
10:47 Fri 22nd May 2020
"The so called 'singular they' is hideous but I've heard it defended by academics.

'Please ensure that your child remembers their coat on Monday'.

Nobody used to say or write things like this in the recent past."

Chaucer thought it was ok :-) "And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame, They wol come up..." — Chaucer, "The Pardoner's Prologue" of The Canterbury Tales
BTW, I don't think replacing 'heels' with 'heals' is ever going to catch on! :-)
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Fitzer: Well spotted! It was probably a slip of the brain or finger, but I'm going to blame the curse of predictive text to save face!

I can't understand the popularity of 'roadmap' with so many wimmin in positions of power. :-)
I much prefer 'they' to 'he or she', and I prefer it to using a generic 'he' as in 'we don't know who did it but he will be found' when you don't know it was a male.
I hate those Americanisms that have crept in: sleepover/cupcake/I'm good etc
^ and 'my bad'
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Nickorwan: 'We don't know who did it but THEY will be found' implies there's more than one criminal involved. Isn't 'he or she' clearer if they don't know the sex of the criminal?

Ellimay1: I agree and I refuse to say 'I'm good'. Again, there's nothing wrong with the word but there's also nothing wrong with tradition. What's wrong with 'fine, thanks'? It's what we say in the UK and suddenly, it isn't!

Missing out 'I' too....

'Love it!'
'Loving it'
'Glad you liked it'


The loss of a distinction between 'practise' and 'practice' in America. It will get here soon, I'm sure.

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To end in a positive note, I want to thank everyone for contributing to a really fascinating discussion. I really enjoyed it and what I like about this place is that it's all so civil, unlike Amazon where you can get your head bitten off for expressing an opinion.

Stay safe!

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