Today’s prompt reminded me of a piece I wrote a couple of years back. I decided to dust it off and re-post since the word’s overuse still makes me cringe. Please excuse my lack of creativity on this lazy day of rest.
The P Word
Word abuse, or misuse, annoys me. When a particular word becomes part of our modern cultural lexicon, its meaning or significance is often lost. One such word is passion. In fact, the word remains at the top of my cringe-worthy list.
Passionate is a perfectly good word; yet, its reference was once reserved to convey only the most fervent degree of emotion. It was hijacked a decade or so ago by corporate sales and marketing gurus. The unimaginative clones and followers of these corporate snake oil sales-folk were taught that they had to have “passion” in order to become successful in their chosen career path. Well, let’s revisit the actual meaning of this poor little word:
- strong and barely controllable emotion.
“a man of impetuous passion”
- the suffering and death of Jesus
Ok, I think we can ignore the Jesus part and focus on numero uno. “A strong and barely controllable emotion” is most commonly associated with such extreme emotions as…..you guessed it….love and hate. For those that remember traditional English, you may remember statements such as:
“I hate that motherf******r with a passion”….or…. “They made passionate love”.
Obviously, both statements can clearly be interpreted within the bounds of the definition above. They are describing an extraordinary level of emotion.
Now, let us fast forward to “passion’s” current position in present-day lexicon. TV ads will tell you whatever you are passionate about, their product will make it better. Every less than creative job applicant will tout the passion that drives their desire to do whatever mundane job they are applying for. For example:
“I’m qualified for this job because I’m like über passionate about accounting.”
Geez, I swear if everyone had the passion they claim to have these days, folks would be running around in the street either killing each other or humping people’s legs like horny dogs.
I have a suggestion. The next time you catch yourself speaking about your passion for something, ask yourself a simple question.
Is passion the correct word to describe my level of interest? Is it really the appropriate word to use?
For example, is your hobby something that interests you greatly, or does the mere thought of it fill your heart with intense desire? If it ain’t the latter, you might not be passionate about it. There are other words to use. Let’s give the “P” word a little break, huh?
Peace and Love,
Daily Post Keyword: Passionate