A “Word” From Nikki Haley’s Advisor


© Judi Birnberg 2020

I put “word” in quotation marks because I was struck by how unwordlike Ms. Haley’s advisor’s “word” was. See if you can spot it:

“She wants to stay out of politics for the next several years and make some money while maintaining optionality for ’24.”

I knew you’d spot it. It wasn’t difficult, was it? “Optionality.” I suppose it could be a word, but why bother? Why not say that she wants to maintain her options for ’24? Does “optionality” convey any information that “options” doesn’t?

Keep it simple. If a good word already exists, don’t try to impress your audience with a bunch of extra la-de-dah syllables that add nothing.


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Filed under All things having to do with the English language

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