Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Three things that bug me

By Rick Blechta

I guess that I’ve just been in a grumpy mood lately, but there are a lot of little things that I am finding irritating. I’m going to deal today with a few that involve words so I’m at least doing something that fulfills the mandate of Type M.

Maybe it’s just around Toronto, but I strongly suspect this is happening everywhere. Real estate is now sold by “teams.”

We drove north of Toronto for a brain-clearing walk in the woods yesterday. On the way we passed through an area that is rapidly being developed. All over the place were “for sale” signs and billboards that was being represented by teams. There is a lead name and then the t-word, as in “The Joe Blow Team.” I guess the reasoning is, that since Joe is very successful and well known for his real estate-selling skills, but they want to let you know that you may not be dealing with him, but one of his team members which is laudable. However, it strikes me as being overly precious.

While we’re on that subject, people who work in stores are now “team members” too. Either that or they’re “sales associates.” Want to work for any chain store or restaurant? You now are applying to become a team member. I guess being a team member or a sales associate is to make bottom-level employees feel more important, empowered, and valued — even if they’re still only being paid minimum wage. It’s all window dressing. Some bright boy or girl came up with this idea and every business has now jumped on the band wagon. Nothing has changed, of course, except the employees’ designation. Is anyone being fooled?

My last focus of complaint today is the one that really drives me nuts. Ever noticed how everything is now “curated?” The worst example I’ve seen of this was on a downtown Toronto convenience store that’s part of a chi-chi boutique hotel. They had a sign in the window trumpeting the fact that sold “a beautifully curated selection of convenience items.” I always thought that museums had the corner on curation. Now the guy who orders chips and pop in your local corner store has become a “curator.” It’s probably the most precious new phrase that’s crept into our vocabulary.

Do you have any current phrases that are bugging you? Let us all know. Come on, don’t hold back. We want to know!


blogcutter said...

The employment world is infamous for all these new-age euphemisms, teams being just the beginning! Employees don't get education or training any more, they "develop a portfolio of competencies". Your "curated" example is great too - it may be used for anything that doesn't "evolve organically", i.e. occur naturally without requiring the effort of "curating" on anyone's part!

Anna said...

I share your distaste for "curated." Next time I have a chance, I will hold a carefully curated yard sale.

Enz said...

This is the "new normal". I hate that phrase.

Roxanne Tellier said...

in the crafting and decor world, everything that holds something else is now a 'vessel.'
What might have once been a vase, or a pot, or an urn, pottery, container, receptacle or jar - is now a vessel. Which, to me, blends all containers into one. There's no nuance.

Judy Penz Sheluk said...

Circle back bugs me. So does Have a Good One. A Good One What?
Your post made me laugh.

Tanya said...

Others may not agree with me on this or may be better at going with the flow, but the use of "gift" as a verb drives me nuts. As far as I know, the word "give" still means what it always has, so I have no idea why "gifting" has replaced "giving." I realize that language evolves, but I'm hoping this one isn't a keeper!