06 May 2011

U for "utilize" (and other pompous words)

This post is brought to you by the letter U.

"The full breadth of our past experience will be utilized in order to leverage a wide variety of training opportunities."

The truly sad part of that sentence is that it didn't take me more than about a minute to create it. This, my friends, is what is known as jargon, governmentese, or "complete crap." I like to think of it as Pompous Fancification. 'Cause it's just a fancy, pompous way of saying this:

"We have lots of experience with training programs, and they've all been great."

Of course, there are nicer ways to say that simpler version. But my major issue with the first sentence (besides the passive voice, use of the word "leverage" [which should never be used unless you're a pirate], and the repetitiveness) is the use of the word "utilize."

All "utilize" means is "I'm trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about." And frankly, it makes me doubt your credibility. And it makes me think you're pompous because, really, who in real life goes around saying:

"I need to utilize some centuries-dead plants and dinos to make my vehicle run."

Now You!
What words drive you nuts? (Don't be shy. Everybody's got a few.)