Banning the Word “Play”

One of my pet peeves is the trendy overuse (and misuse) of certain words.  I’ve railed in the past on the endless use of traction and space by my VC and entrepreneurial brethren.  “World class” no longer means anything to me and I wish more people would use the word “fuck” in casual conversation since it’s so versatile.

When I received the following email from Richard Matthias today, all I could do was smile.

“Since you were banning words a while back I’m wondering if could ban the word ‘play’ as in “the China play”, “the energy play”, “the tech play”, etc. I don’t think I read you use it, but anyway, I’m fed up with hearing investors talking like they’re football coaches. You’re not football coaches, you’re not even talking about football!”

Right on Richard.  It’s too bad I don’t have the power to ban words – I would if I could.

  • It’s too bad you�re not the President of Turkmenistan where you probably would have the power to ban words. President Saparmurat Niyazov just banned another dreadful scourge: lip synching.

    “Unfortunately, one can see on television old voiceless singers lip-synching their old songs,” Niyazov told a Cabinet meeting in comments broadcast on state TV on Tuesday. “Don’t kill talents by using lip synching… Create our new culture.”

  • David Cowan

    Agreed! I always count two strikes against any entrepeneur who pitches me on a “play”–building a company takes a lot more time, money and hard work than what that word implies.

    (Hmmm, maybe then I shouldn’t employ the pitch/strike metaphor? Fuck.)

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