Whenever someone says “that idea really resonates with me,” I wish I could manifest* that idea and twang them on the head with it, like some kind of tuning fork for the brain.
The bad thing is that I use it myself sometimes; it just slips out, to my utter horror. What’s worse is that no one bats an eyelid. I don’t see people lifting pens to play bullshit bingo in meetings any more (now there’s a game we should revive), which makes it so easy to leave the corporate butchery of words like this unchecked.
Resonate comes from resound – it means to produce a deep, reverberating sound or vibration. These days it’s used to mean something is appealing on a fundamental level: “that really resonates with me.”
Yuk. Maybe it’s my aversion to the idea that we’re all ruled by some kind of mystical vibration (again, see *) or maybe I’m clinging to proper usage too tightly and should let the world’s chief storytelling officers run wild without complaining.
Either way, I’m setting myself a challenge on #ShitWordSaturday: for the coming week, I will not use the word ‘resonate’ (unless I’m talking about sound or some kind of physics-related wave). Are you up for the challenge too? Or is there another word you need to ban from your textual toolkit?
* Not really. Manifest is a worrying trend in self-help books (my guilty pleasure) – even more worryingly, the ones written by and aimed at women.
“We just need to want something badly enough and it will manifest,” they say. “Hey girl, just connect to the higher power and manifest yourself that money you deserve.”
What?! Don’t be sucked in by the industry’s latest butchery of the English language. What they’re implying is that these things will materialize. But that’s not how life – or physics – works. (If it did, I would be sitting here cradling a first edition of The Count of Monte Cristo, not You are a Badass.)
Here’s my take: if you want that Ferrari/house/holiday you need to (*shock horror*) WORK FOR IT. Of course some ways of working are smarter than others, but just wishing something will appear from thin air and happy thoughts is not a good strategy. (It does remind me of that episode of Bagpuss when the mice make chocolate biscuits out of butter beans and breadcrumbs, though. Classic.)