Speaking the Same Language

Dear Dr. Sekeres:

I greatly enjoyed reading your clever and humorous article on gender-neutral pronouns and other language usage [from the February 2016 Editor’s Corner]. I write a fair amount, but lately much of my writing consists of editing and modifying what others have written. I invariably strike out modifiers of “unique” and replace “utilize” and “utilization” with “use” (yooz) or “use” (yoos) – unless changing it will harm the ego of the person being edited more than leaving it in will annoy me.

While we are on the topic of the use of “currently” when writing or speaking in the present tense, why not address the excessive use of “going forward” or “moving forward” when speaking in the future tense? Or, more generally, why not address the impact of what can lovingly be called “corporate bull” on the language of medicine and academics?

Thank you for caring about words and usage. Keep up the good work.

—José A. López, MD
Chief Scientific Officer
Bloodworks Northwest
Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

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