Readers know how much I despise the noun “Society” and adjective “Super.” To me, these words indicate rushed or even lazy thinking.
While our super irritating adjective super crops up mostly in speech, society just cannot understand why using society as a noun without any qualification seems so evil in my classes.
There. I got to use them both. And I feel soiled. Now I have a third word to indicate half-baked thought: disconnect. Not as a verb, when it has a clear meaning, but as a noun. Consider this popular bit of student-think:
A serious disconnect emerges between how the two characters think of their grandmother’s past.
Just. Stop. It. I’m adding the word to my Pet Peeves list, which means writers lose 10 points and have a week to regain some or all of them by revision.
This will, I fear, be a losing battle, but consider all of the options: misunderstanding, rift, estrangement, rupture, breakdown, gulf, and so so many more!
My argument is less with the word than with the lack of variety and nuance it evidences in student work. So please, writers, slow down and consider (with a thesaurus and many examples, if you must) the power of synonyms.
Keep hope alive; Elle Magazine published an article lamenting the overuse of “super.” We might be shouting into a hurricane, but civilization may survive, yet!
Send me misused or overused words, along with other good words and metaphors, by e-mail (jessid -at- richmond -dot- edu) or leaving a comment below.
Creative Commons image courtesy of The Noun Project