Monthly Archives: January 2009

Welcome to Lexicide.

Take a look at this.

“It’s fortuitous that we have time to revise the verbiage of the contract – but that begs the question, ‘Who is up to the sheer enormity of that task?'”

What’s wrong with that sentence? If your answer is “nothing,” then please move on along.  Nothing to see here.

However, if that sentence was like fingernails on the blackboard of your brain, then welcome to Lexicide. We’re fighting back against the misuse and corruption of perfectly good words in English language.

Of course, all languages change over time, and we’re fine with that. The trouble arises when people start using the language in ways that make it less powerful, less expressive, and less elegant. Take fortuitous, for example. Lots of people use it to mean “lucky,” probably equating it with fortunate, but that’s not what it means. Fortuitous just means “occurring by chance,” for better or for worse.  Or rather, it did, before people started using it as a slightly pretentious stand-in for “fortunate.”  And just like that, a word dies, the English language loses a little bit of nuance, all so some assistant manager somewhere can try to sound smart by adding another syllable to a memo.

Lexicide, then, is a shot across the bow of all those who would debase and defile the lexicon.  Let them know – the question-beggars, the initializers, the fortuitious, the beholders of enormity – that the pen shall once again be mightier than the sword.