Wednesday Wordplay: Work Hard, Complain Harder

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I have a confession to make: I am incredibly self-conscious about my limited vocabulary. I actually never really worried about it until about half-way through my 3-year career as a software implementer (being an English major in college didn't phase me.) Until my job, I had never met so many people with such expansive vocabularies. Sure, there were a few co-workers who "word dropped" aka intentionally used a bigger word than necessary to flaunt (or somehow prove) their alleged intelligence. But not most people. Most of my co-workers just naturally spoke at a much higher reading level than I do.

Someone saying "I made an ostensibly innocuous change in the system that ended up corrupting thousands of records" was commonplace.*

These sentences had me scrambling to google words that I didn't know how spell. I do the same thing when I read - constantly googling words to get definitions. I then screenshot the words. My phone (out of storage!) is filled with words I don't know, that I'm trying to learn. I have to choose which screenshot to delete every time I want to take a cat picture.

Life truly is full of difficult choices, you guys.

When Tywin hears the vacuum in the hallway. All business.
But I haven't really been retaining much, and I want to prove that even though I'm now on the wrong side of 25 I'm still capable of learning words. (Especially since I'm aspiring to be a writer - my vocabulary bothers me a lot!) I know if I blog about words I'll remember them. I essentially remember every sentence I've ever typed on this website. I can quote blog posts I wrote nearly 4 years ago.**

So, this Wednesday Wordplay series is for me to learn, but if you want to follow along, you may learn something too! Just don't make fun of me if my words are SO easy that you can't believe I need to learn them. Baby steps! We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I'm really good at getting lost in cities and complaining about business travel, for example.

This week's theme: words to improve your complaints about work. We all know part of having a job is complaining about said job. These five words will help you relish in complaining (just remember to complain out loud amongst friends not online in writing amongst potential employers.)

1. Insufferable: adjective. Not to be endured; intolerable; unbearable.

Don't say "That meeting sucked" say "That meeting was insufferable." Your co-worker who is so rude you can't stand being around him isn't a moron. He's an insufferable moron.

2. Inveterate: adjective. 1. Settled or confirmed in a habit, practice, feeling, or the like. 2. Firmly established by long continuance, as a disease, habit, practice, feeling, etc.; chronic.

Is your boss a misogynist? No, he's an inveterate misogynist. (I've never had a misogynistic boss who was stuck in his ways, but if I did, he would deserve this powerful adjective.) Timmy has the inveterate habit of oversleeping and coming in late to work.

3. Screed: noun. 1. A long discourse or essay, especially a diatribe.

Google says "a long speech or piece of writing, typically one regarded as tedious." ( and Google don't exactly matched up.)

(Note: this word also has many alternate definitions regarding Building/Construction, but I don't care about those ones.)

Did anyone read that screed the boss emailed us yesterday? The meeting only got worse when Tony launched into a political screed that was totally off-topic.

4. Milquetoast: noun. 1. A very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated.

If John wasn't such a milquetoast he wouldn't get so much work dumped on him.

5. Defenestrate: verb (used with an object). 1. To throw (a person or thing) out of a window.

Susan's presentation made me want to defenestrate my laptop. Alex's presentation made me want to defenestrate him.

That's all for today! I hope complaining about the work week just got a little more enjoyable. :)


p.s. Since complaining about work is a universal bond (like smiling), I wrote this piece for Thought Catalog: The 5 Types of Annoying People in Meetings

p.p.s. "Complain Harder" Image above from unspirational instagram - follow along for a good laugh. Cat pic from my instagram - follow along for a good cat picture!

p.p.p.s. I can't believe how worried I am about using a word incorrectly in those sentences :) Just let me know, I'm obviously just trying to learn!

*For legal reasons, I should say that just the large, impressively spoken words are common place, not the record corruption.
**But I don't because I get that no one cares. :)

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