Linda and Barry,
For the record, hopefully, I'm not just the iconic "little ol' lady in
tennis shoes" when I recreate in the woods (sounds more like a
coupling) or seriously observate, but, then, I'm not the decider of
what others be thinking of my activations.
If I'm like most others, much of what I write in an email is off the
top of my head, not edited, and awkward phrasing and barbarisms do
appear, but a more formal presentation deserves care. Barry, your
comment about replacing actual thought is right on! I was deliberately
listening to news on the radio one day and about half of the broadcast
was made up of catch phrases and cliches.
"Plant search" is specific; you can make a mental image immediately.
"Botanize" is an amorphous term that can mean almost anything related
to botany or botulism. English is such a clear, straightforward
language and we mess it up with all sorts of cute inventions and
corrupted borrowed terms. Ah, Fuzzy Thinkers Anonymous lives on. Joan
On May 31, 2008, at 5:26 PM, Linda Feltner wrote:
> I hear you! (ohmygawd, I know I'm going to write something
> awkward!!). I've had government agency interpreters insist on using
> the word "recreate". For example. "People walk these trails to
> recreate." Instead of saying "People walk these trails for
> recreation." Or "They use the parks to recreate." Using that word in
> that manner sends shivers up my spine. It's a beaurocratic term that
> is used a lot. And saying the word "irrespective", that's another
> agency word. Oh, makes me grind my teeth.....
> I have heard the word "botanizing" for many years as a regular term
> with botanists, both professional and amateur.
> Another example is "birding" rather than "birdwatching". We no longer
> are birdwatchers, but birders..... It's often more respectable to
> some; perhaps an attempt to separate the serious "birder" from the
> "little lady in tennis shoes" stereotype.
> HA! you've made me think of all sorts of words, now.