Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wellness—word bloat

"Health and Wellness" programs, websites, books, TV shows, etc.  It's word bloat, and although "wellness" had bounced around in the 50s and 60s, it really took off in the 1990s. "In 1988, a survey of the Usage Panel for the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language found that a whopping 68 percent of panelists disapproved of the word when used to refer to employee benefit plans." (Language column, NYT magazine) But that's the beautiful thing about the English language, you're free to invent words or bloat your sentences. I see someplace in California they want to remove the words "husband" and "wife," so I guess it swings both ways (no pun intended).

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