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Joined: October 25, 2009  (email not validated)
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It also drives me crazy that I can't fix the typo ("It's drives me crazy" should be "It drives me crazy") in the message I just posted.

Rob October 25, 2009, 8:37pm

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What an interesting discussion!

I am a history professor at a service academy. I dislike "societal" because it is one of several 10-cent words that people use in failed attempts to make themselves sound more intelligent. "Utilize" (instead of "use") and "emplace" (instead of "place") are other examples. Cadets will ask to "utilize the latrine" instead of just using it. "Emplace" came into the language with Iraqis "emplacing" IEDs on the sides of roads, but now cadets will "emplace" a book into a bookbag. It's drives me crazy.

What I try to pound into my students' heads is that clear, clean, austere English works best. Why use a fancy word when a regular one works just fine?

Rob October 25, 2009, 8:34pm

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