KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Inventive Terminology

for stuffy nostrilsFor the last few days, colleagues on an editing-related e-mail discussion list have been posting about words and phrases that they dislike. Most of those either are overused or add no information to sentences that contain them.

But one colleague reported reading online that someone has an aversion to the word nostril.

Every time I see that word, I want to laugh: I remember how one of my precocious sons, lying in his bed and unable to sleep because of nasal congestion, phrased his complaint about the stuffiness. He didn't use the word nostril, because at 2 years of age, he wasn't yet aware of its existence. My husband and I, trying to sleep in the next room, heard him mutter:

Stupid one-hole nose-breather!

We had to stifle our snickers so he wouldn't know we were listening.

That 2-year-old is now a 14-year-old high school freshman, by the way.


libhom said...

I personally despise "utilize."

Funny about Money said...

LOL! I've loved the word "nostril" since learning its etymology: OE, "nose thirl," nose hole.

"Utilize": bad!! My favorite despicable word is "multiple," used to mean "a few," "many," "several," or "more than one." Makes users sound like they're speaking through a mouthful of marbles.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

I nearly always kill utilize on sight.

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