I always wanted Wednesday to be a day to explore new words. Sharing words that I have learned or encountered was a part of it. I also wanted to explore the idea that language is a universe in itself. The universe of language evolves over time. Every word and sentence is a species in the ecosystem of a text and how these species interact with each other is ever changing. The world of language develops and grows as it always has, but now, in this century of technology, language grows in fast forward. Every day brings new words. Every day changes the meaning of words. Language is so much more flexible than it has been in the past. When a word is changed or played with the result is shared across the world within the day. So, when a word might have made such a journey over years; now it takes mere hours.
Today, I share two words with you. Then I will go on a bit of a rant, but I will try to keep it short.
According to Dictionary.com…..
men·tor[men-tawr, -ter] Show IPA
a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
an influential senior sponsor or supporter.
men·tee[men-tee] Show IPA
a person who is guided by a mentor.
The word mentor is probably well known to most. It seemed to be a bit of a buzz word during the late 1990’s and has recently come back to buzz again. Apparently, everyone needs a mentor and if we ever come alongside a colleague and a friend we are then their mentor. I have many reasons for scoffing at this, but I will spare you. My main issue with words today is the new buzz word… MENTEE.
This word is the stupidest word I have ever heard. May I add, that as a teacher of teenagers, I have heard some very stupid words!!! This is one word that I wish would evolve to become something a little more sensible. Mentee! Mentee… tell me this doesn’t sound like a chewable mint. Really people, we have come up with words that describe our state when driving and texting (an illegal act). We have altered words and joined words and morphed words into brand new entities that become delicious descriptions and vivacious verbs in our new world. Why can’t we create a new word to describe the one who is be mentored?
Who on earth came up with Mentee? What were they thinking? I hope they are happy. A person who was probably quite obscure on the world stage is now thought of as a great big stupid head because they chose to create such a ridiculous noun.
So, I propose that this Wednesday we create a new word. It needs to mean the same thing as mentee (or at least have a basis in this meaning) and not sound like a candy brand name, a new age baby name or a difficult tongue twister. The challenge is out there people. What word can we use instead?
Quite frankly, if my Boss uses the word MENTEE in a meeting again, I don’t think I will be able to contain myself.
That's That Then! Rant over. Now I leave you with a poem I have written because I can't sleep and it just came to me.
Words of wisdom to fare thee well
I have none that I can tell.
Take my hope that you will be,
Always well and friends with me.