This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday Rest: dogfooding. Word Not To Use Today.

Do you eat dog food?

No? But why not? If it's good stuff and good value then surely you should.

This is the principle behind the word dogfooding.

The word dogfooding is used, especially in computer firms, to describe using one's own products when doing one's work. So Microsoft, for example, won't have an Apple product in the building, except possibly as a target for old coffee cups.

So what's wrong with dogfooding as a word?

Well, it's quite, quite, revolting, for an start. I mean, dogs are famous for gobbling up ancient bones, bits of old tyre, boots, and things too disgusting even to think about. So who wants his product to be associated with dog food?

Come to think about it, I'm amazed that even dog food manufacturers want their products to be associated with dog food.

The word dogfooding continues to be used.

I can only think it's a sign of a bunch of people with absolutely no imagination at all.

Word Not To Use Today: dogfooding. A possible origin of this horrid word is the president of Kal Kan Pet Food, who was said to eat cans of his dog food at shareholders' meetings. In 1988, Microsoft manager Paul Maritz sent an email titled "Eating our own dog food" about using the company's own products throughout the company, and that may be the origin of dogfooding as a verb.

In 2009, the new boss of Microsoft, Tony Scott, argued that the dogfooding was unappealing and should be replaced by icecreaming.

He had a point, except that icecreaming doesn't really work either, does it.


  1. Oh, I nearly missed this!
    Let's kick both dogfooding and icecreaming out the door!
    Ok, that's done.
    What's next?! :)

    1. I'm not sure, Jingles. We could have a lot of fun with completely random words. Lipsticking (to make an unattractive product look glamorous) perhaps. Or turniping (to make someone appear unsophisticted and stupid).

      Actually, I quite like those two.

  2. Not bad!
    There is definitely fun to be had, just has as long as they stayed in the 'fun' corner.
    I still prefer using old words like 'venustate' (to make beautiful).
    Maybe I've been looking in old dictionaries for too many years! :)

    1. Venustate has class, but I bet it had people frothing at the mouth when it was first coined.