A word that always bugs me is ‘mandatory’. Not in its proper sense, but in the way that it’s used by every little oik behind a customer service keyboard and generally in a sentence including the phrase “company policy”.
This was exemplified in an email I received today after making a polite request that someone fix something. Since I need the income from my job I won’t post a copy. This is the reply I’d like to have sent.
No, you twerp*, it is not ‘mandatory’. There is no law that makes it so, and furthermore, to make a law that made your company policy ‘mandatory’, I would have to have given YOU the mandate to do so. Sticking that slammed shut word in the middle of pretty much most sentences is a plain ordinary orwellian use of language – and rude to boot. Got that?
*Strictly speaking, since a twerp means ‘pregnant fish,’this may not have been the best opener. But what the heck.