Bad Word Alert

There are certain words and phrases that somehow work their way into the consciousness of the world and won’t die. They are bad words. Here are three that currently that ought to make a new year’s resolution to go away forever.


One of those things that annoys me almost to the point of insanity is people and companies who overuse the word “solution”.

Like, there’s a a copy shop near where I live. It’s recently put a sign up proclaiming that it offers “copy solutions”. I want to go in there and say “Hi, I have a problem. I need to somehow get a copy of this piece of paper onto another piece of paper,” and they will say “Yes, we have a solution for you!” and stick the paper in a photocopier and make a copy.

“Solution” is one of those words that is well and truly living in TiredOldClicheville. It’s everywhere.

The company I used to work for had a division which offered solutions of some sort, and the company I currently work for has a solution section.

It just gets boring after a while when it seems that most companies, especially those in the information technology industry proclaim to offer some sort of “solutions”.

In Shania Twain style, any company who proclaims itself to offer or provide solutions simply don’t impress me much.


Another word that offends me equally is “pioneer”. Especially when used in relation to the Internet. It’s like anyone who did anything prior to 1996 gets automatically gets to call themself a pioneer.

It’s especially bad when it’s used to describe something that someone’s doing, just because they are the first person to do it in a particular area. Like describing someone as pioneering because they were the first to, say, open a McDonald’s restaurant in Hamilton.

Where It’s @

Also on my bitch list the phrase “where it’s at”. Everyone thought the song by Beck was kewl and rad. But society is being inflicted by this phrase way too much. A search on AltaVista for “where it’s at” and excluding the word “beck” came up with 15,020 sites.

When corporations, when 40 year old men with goatees try to be hip, it seems that all they can come up with is “where it’s at”. If the creative juices are really flowing then ‘at’ might get replaced with the @ symbol.


If Apollo 13 was around today, the astronauts would be maydaying “Houston, we have an issue.”

Issue is used as a kinder, gentler alternative to problem. Instead of saying, “there are some problems with this web page we need to discuss,” its “there are some issues with this…”

I’ve seen it used when the person isn’t sure if the “issue” is really a problem or if they just don’t know what’s going on.

I would be almost tempted to describe that use of the word “issue” as “politically correct” but as there’s nothing political or correct about as, and as I loathe that term, I won’t.

It makes sense that the opposite of an issue is a solution.

“Solution”, “pioneer”, “where it’s at” and “issue” deserve to be thrown into deep dark hole where they can hang out with other words that are about as meaningful as “thing” and “stuff”.

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