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Don't say "academician," Do say "academic"

Don't say that: 

academician

Do say this: 

academic

Why?: 

Academics have a long history of using long words for short purposes.

But when someone decided that the word "academic" was too short for the purpose of describing a person who is on the teaching staff of a university, for example, the problem was that everyone, all over the world, was happy with the word in use.

So, adopting the American approach of simply adding pointless letters at the end of a perfectly good word and, if possible, increasing the number of syllables, "academician" was born.

As a word, it should have been drowned at birth. It adds nothing to the original, it's difficult to say and to spell correctly and, worse, it's an ugly word to hear.

There is an argument that "academician" differentiates the person from the function of being "academic." That it's a noun and "academic" is rightly an adjective. Well, maybe. But in the real world of effective communication context is everything. And everyone with any common sense can tell how the word "academic" is being used without a pompous alternative being employed.

So, call those who work in academe "academics." The pretentious won't thank you but do you really care? Sensible people won't cringe when you are speaking to them or when they read what you write. That's a much better way to communicate.

 


 

hahagotcha