This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday Rest: exurbs. Word Not To Use Today.





Sometimes you have no alternative but to use a thoroughly nasty word. One horror from a short time ago, ethmoid,  is sadly unavoidable if you need to talk about the sponge-like bit of skull that sits at the top of your nose.

Some revolting words, though, have plenty of alternatives. So why do people use them? Tin-ears? A distressingly small vocabulary? Sadism?

In the case of (brace yourselves) exurb, I wonder if snobbery might be a factor. Exurb is rather obviously a word with classical roots, and there's nothing a certain sort of person likes more than extruding a few classical roots for other people to fall over.

But never mind why. The simple fact is that anyone who uses the word exurb should be...I won't say shot, but certainly sniffed at, and probably shunned.

Why not say commuter town? Dormitory town? Bedroom Community (which is nearly as horrid as exurb, I admit, though it does sound a lot more fun)? Bedroom Town?

So, look, there's reason at all for using exurb, is there, now you have so many alternatives.

Unless it really is sadism.

Word Not To Use Today. Exurb is short for extra-urban, which is sort-of Latin and means out-of-town.


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