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Thread: Use of the word "issue"

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    Smart Canuck Minou's Avatar
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    The use of this word is driving me absolutely crazy lately. It's a problem. It's a concern. It's even a pet peeve!

    People seem to be using the word "issue" instead of "problem", and they seem to love using it! I don't know if they think they're using it in a "psychological" way, or if they think that using "issue" rather than "problem" sounds smarter. The irony is that I've noticed that people who are less educated or of lower socio-economic status are the ones using the word most often!

    Using the word to describe "current issues" or "controversial issues" is fine; using it to describe a cashier who has a problem with coupon use is not. It's fine to use it to talk about the "issue at hand", but not to discuss people's criticisms of your parenting or your SIL's inability to get along with you. It's becoming such a catch-all of a word, and I think the worst use of it is someone asking another person, "What's your issue?" *cringe*

    Please carefully consider your use of the word "issue"! The word is becoming an absolute scourge.

    Rant over. Thanks for listening.
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    CaToonie lghend's Avatar
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    I think issue sounds less daunting. When I tell my supervisor that we have an issue (quick fix maybe), it sounds better than saying we have a problem (it's gonna be a long day).

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    Sith Lady and Cool Kid Darth Penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lghend View Post
    I think issue sounds less daunting. When I tell my supervisor that we have an issue (quick fix maybe), it sounds better than saying we have a problem (it's gonna be a long day).
    That's how I use the word "issue" as well.


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    Roman Empress salady's Avatar
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    Well, you clearly seem to have an issue with the word "issue".
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    Canadian Guru DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salady View Post
    Well, you clearly seem to have an issue with the word "issue".
    Lol, I was going to post that!
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    Mastermind Natalka's Avatar
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    I can understand how you are feeling.

    My current word pet peeve is 'narrative' becoming overused or used incorrectly.
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    Canadian Guru DaveP's Avatar
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    Mine is 'outcomes'.
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    For me it's "best practices"

    Nails down a blackboard lol
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    Canadian Guru DaveP's Avatar
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    I have issues with the narrative being changed when it comes to best practices being used to achieve outcomes.
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    I have an ESL fiancé who says "literally" when he means "seriously". Drives me crazy, but I can forgive him since he speaks more languages than I do, and I tried learning his native language and gave up after about 5 words
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    Senior Canuck GatineauGirl's Avatar
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    When did the phrase, "Excuse me," change from a polite expression to a rude expression?

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    Senior Canuck dizzyb's Avatar
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    Maybe I have misinterpreted the original post, but I understand that particular usage of the word to be legitimate.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/issue (see item 6b(2)...holy sets and subsets, Batman!)
    Have I misunderstood?

    sun_shine, I completely agree. Using "literally" to mean "almost" or "seriously" irritates me, too. (I've heard people say "I literally died laughing!" Ah, but you're back! It's a miracle! LOL)
    And the (non)word irregardless. Like fingernails on a chalkboard.
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    Senior Canuck dizzyb's Avatar
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    I guess I should follow that post with something of a disclaimer: languages are constantly evolving, including words taking on new meanings. I think this is one of those cases. As an example, "gay" doesn't have the same connotation now that it did years ago. I once heard a program on CBC that toyed with the concept of doing away with punctuation...AAAAAAAACK
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    Mastermind Natalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sun_shine View Post
    I have an ESL fiancé who says "literally" when he means "seriously". Drives me crazy, but I can forgive him since he speaks more languages than I do, and I tried learning his native language and gave up after about 5 words
    sun_shine, I sure can relate! Over the years, I've run into lots of similar instances with my husband, for whom English is his hmm... maybe sixth language? - so I gently correct if appropriate - otherwise like you, I am thrilled he is as fluent as he is!

    I've also tutored and taught ESL - nipping things in the bud is always the best thing to do, to catch incorrect usages early.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natalka View Post
    sun_shine, I sure can relate! Over the years, I've run into lots of similar instances with my husband, for whom English is his hmm... maybe sixth language? - so I gently correct if appropriate - otherwise like you, I am thrilled he is as fluent as he is!

    I've also tutored and taught ESL - nipping things in the bud is always the best thing to do, to catch incorrect usages early.
    There are certain words that he mispronounces (often, he KNOWS he is mispronouncing them, but can't seem to produce the correct pronunciation at the moment. It's cute how frustrated he gets by this ) which I have just adjusted to and don't "correct" him on. I just worry that when we have children, they will start to say things the way he does instead of the "right" way!

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