I’ve had a long hate affair with the brutalization of English that takes place daily in our corporate environs.

Today was an extreme.  It started innocently enough, with the word breakthrough showing up in a presentation as a verb.  Folks, when two words are combined into one like that, it’s never a verb — it’s either a noun or an adjective.  But hey, that’s a pretty common mistake, even if it is fingernails on the blackboard to the likes of me.

Then the same presentation took a more serious turn, with “mandatories” showing up as a noun.  Mmmm-hmmm…  People, “mandatories” isn’t a word at all.  Mandatory, meanwhile, is an adjective, and nothing but.  Good grief.  (Though I will say in the offender’s defense that I saw the presentation later and the offending word had been changed to mandates.  Hooray for small victories!)

In a seeming final insult, however, I later heard a guy use nuance as a verb:  “Let me nuance that for you.”  Umm… no.  That’s a noun.  Do not pass GO, do not collect $100.  (I haven’t played Monopoly in years, so for all I know it’s $1000 dollars now, what with the printing presses running full-speed 24/7 over at Ben Bernanke’s place.)