Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Actionable Information

If you use the word actionable, you suck. First off, it's not even a word, it's a nominalization. Normally, a nominalization is what you get when you take a verb or an adjective, and use it as a noun. However, it works the other way around too. If you use a noun as an adjective or a verb, that is also considered a nominalization.

action: noun
actionable: adjective

Actionable is actually a legal term. If you're not a lawyer, you should know that you especially are misusing the term actionable. It is a term used to describe something that can be legally acted upon. If you're not a lawyer, see if one of these other words is actually the adjective you're looking for: usable, useful, helpful, worthwhile, important, valuable, urgent, interesting.

This is usable information.

This is actionable information.

Egh, it makes my stomach turn. I can just imagine the nincompoops wagging their slobbery tongues at the sound of such an important-sounding word. Its prestige brightens the room, and they all feel a bit smarter, even though they've just thrust another witless, rusty spike into the side of our modern language.

Please stay away from the term
actionable. It does not make you sound smarter. It does make you sound like you're trying to sound smarter.

This picture demonstrates what may be an actionable wedgie. According to this legal blog, Bino's Blogoroni, some wedgies may be actionable, depending on their severity.

I found this photo by searching Google for the term "actionable", and then checking the image results. I think it's perfect for this blog entry, because not only does it provide an awesome visual reminder of what actionable really means, but it also shows exactly what I want to do to people who use the term actionable.

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