Another Nonsensical Modern Day Term


Further to my post here on Angie’s (September 2nd) “Misusing words the modern day obsession”,  here is yet another exasperating example of buzz words taking over.


In my old age I grow more and more annoyed of late as totally nonsensical modern day terms are seemingly replacing normal ones.

Take ‘Pay Down’ as the latest example of this nonsensical trend when referring to paying off fiscal debt.

Whether you are a government, business or a private individual, we all accumulate debt which needs to be reduced. Most of us ‘pay off’ our debt by instalments using the direct debit method, cash or cheque, be they monthly, weekly, or annually. If you are richer than Croesus however, like our merchant banks and their share brokers, chances are they will delay paying anything off.  Instead they prefer offsetting it against another product that only appears on paper; hence the global financial crisis.

So what idiot came up with the buzz word term ‘Pay Down’ I ask myself?  What is wrong with simply saying ‘I’m reducing my debt, or, paying it off?

Just because the President of The United States of America used the term very recently to describe what he and his government need to do to reduce the US national debt, in no way means that it should become an accepted new term among economists and journalists worldwide. As for the journalists, they should know better. After all the English language is their business and stock in trade.

  1. Avatar of Andrew Sacks
    Andrew Sacks says

    Jack, thank you for your constant vigilance and customary common sensical advice regarding the correct and appropriate use of our language.

  2. Avatar of Jack Eason
    Jack Eason says

    There are some things that really grate Andrew, nonsensical ‘buzzwords’ are but one. 😀

  3. Avatar of Pat Bertram
    Pat Bertram says

    There are so many words that grate on me. In this day of hyper-awareness of gender-biased words, people still accept “co-ed.” Co-ed means co-educational and is a term coined in the 1930s when men’s colleges began admitting women. Used for women, it’s belittling. It only makes sense if used for both men and women in college.

    And don’t get me started on 24/7 and giving a 110% percent . . .

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