Thursday, February 7, 2013

prioritize: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, February 7, 2013

Many people disdain “prioritize” as bureaucratic jargon for “rank” or “make a high priority.”


  1. Replies
    1. All usage advice presented here comes from the Common Errors in English Usage Web site and book, by Paul Brians. Jargon is not a matter of making errors per se; it is a matter of being aware that others may perceive such language patterns as especially uncreative or cliche.

      I have had plenty of correspondence with people I respect and who seem to love business jargon, who want to touch base to make sure we're on the same page as we repurpose our content. It can communicate meaning just fine, but I try to avoid it myself.

      "Disdain" is too strong of a word for my feelings about "prioritize," but the word definitely has baggage, if I may use one cliche to describe another.