Bob Lee sends a new one on me:
Because my employment as a computer programmer requires that I read books and articles written about the so-called “object-oriented” programming, I am often assaulted by the following non-words: “instantiation,” which means simply an instance of something; “instatiate,” a verb which means to create an instance; and the various forms of the verb, including “instatiated” and “instatiating.”For those software engineers who report to me, I can insist that “instance” always be used in place of “instantiation.” However, I cannot police the entire software industry. I’m told the misuse of these terms originated with military programmers who wanted to sound educated through the use of big words. Have you been exposed to “instatiation?” Can you recommend a way to discourage its use?
Editor’s note: To bastardize an old joke — “How do you keep
a programmer from charging? Take away his stock options.”
Mitch Wagner can hack no more of the following from public relations flacks:
“(Whatever) just got easier.” as in: “Cleaning
viruses off your hard disk just got easier…”
“Taking (whatever) to its next level” as in: “Taking virus-scanning to its next level…”
“Raising the bar on (whatever).” After we raise
the bar we dance the limbo, and then we do the hokey-pokey and we
turn ourselves about. And that’s what it’s all about, hey.
The company executive quote that starts, “We are proud to be
working with XYZ Corp., an acknowledged market leader.”
That’s a double-cliche there, “we are proud” and “market
leader.” The executive is sometimes “excited” rather
Rory Thompson posits a rave and a challenge:
I’ve had QUITE ENOUGH of the (un)descriptive phrase, “State
of the art…” I used to relish tearing into lazy reporters
who tagged the phrase on whenever they had nothing creative to say
about a new product. Can any of your more seasoned correspondents
tell me where “state of the art” originated? I need to know
so I can wave it in contributors’ faces when they try to slink it
into one of their features pieces.