I grimaced as I read an email send around to various staff today. Part of it included the phrase “for us to action this.”

I’m getting tense just reading it. Why do people in middle management insist on abusing language like this? No one else I know maltreats English in this way. Maybe they’re mimicking their fellows or superiors as they seek to carve out a corporate niche for themselves. If you spoke or wrote like this in school you’d get six of the best from the teacher and a royal flush from headmaster-appointed bullies.

If anyone who uses language like this is reading this post, here’s a tip for you:

“Action” is a noun denoting movement; it is NOT a verb. If you wish to indicate the carrying out of any activity, what about using “do”? As in “for us to do this”?

People have already perverted English enough by incorrectly adding “ize/ ise” to many words, such as “finalize”; I even caught myself typing “bastardize”. These, though, have become accepted in the last decade or so. For the rest, leave linguistic invention to the experts. And we won’t change a thing.

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