Unreal words

Firstly, apologies for the lack of posting in a little while. I have, however, added to the main site with a page to help you in planning your San Francisco trips – so no excuses!

Today’s subject has been inspired by a Sprint ad currently running on television, Sprint being a mobile phone company. This advertisement proudly boasts that Sprint has “got rid of ugly overages”. Excuse me? What was that? Overages? Since when is that a word for anything?! From the context of the ad, it is clear that what they mean by this is the tariff imposed on calls once the monthly minutes allowance has been exceeded (and is therefore usually quite steep). This seems a perfectly reasonable concept to require a word, so I have no particular objection to a word being added to the language. But it’s such an ugly word. It sounds like sludge. And midges. Maybe that’s appropriate if Spring considers them ugly, but couldn’t they have mined the appoximately 600,000 words in the English language to come up with something better?

Another example of this American tendency to make up horrible words is the verb ‘de-train’, as heard on CalTrain thus:

“Now arriving Millbrae. Those requiring San Francisco International Airport should de-train here.” 

Presumably, this has evolved from de-plane (which is also a horrible word). But why not use some perfectly serviceable words, such as depart, leave, exit or descend?

It’s bad enough that Americans insist on misusing the language (jam, jelly, pavement) without adding whole new monstrosities.

Next time, why music isn’t as good as it was in my day, and more bufty topics 🙂

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