Not a Word

Incentivize, time-wise, and finalize.

Three words that I believe are not, truly, words.

As I mentioned in a previous post (Pet Peeves), adding the -ize or -wise suffix doesn’t always create a word. Time-wise, for example, is among the top “words” I hear that annoys me. It is not a word. Instead of saying, “How are we managing, time-wise?, say, “How are we managing time (or “how are we doing with time?) Just because a word ends with the -ize or -wise suffix does not equal it is a word.

In the book, “Elements of Style,” William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White outlines common misused words and expressions. The -ize suffix is among them. They observe, “Usually, you will discover that a useful verb already exists. Why say “moisturize” when there is the simple, unpretentious word moisten?” Good point. The last chapter has the authors present a list of guidelines in forming excellent writing. Among them is to prefer the standard to the offbeat.  “Finalize” is one such word the authors attack. “Finalize, for instance, is not standard; it is special, and it is a peculiarly fuzzy and silly word,” they note. They question its definition. by asking,”Does it mean ‘terminate,” or does it mean “put in final form?”

I read on a WordPress blog post, a person denouncing the pseudo-word “incentivize.” He says it is not a word–I agree. He favors its noun form “incentive” and encourages to use the noun properly in sentences.

Here’s another WordPress blog entry that addresses this pseudo-word:






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s