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Plethoric myriad obfuscations

October 11, 2007

There’s a pethora of myriad obfuscations around the web lately.  Ha, how’s that?  Seriously.  What’s it about?  Is it that bloggers have a hope that their posts will get more hits if they use big words like myriad and obfuscate?  Why make readers stumble over obfuscate, when it’s just as easy to write “confusing.”  I’m certainly not a grammar and usage expert, but I do think it’s silly to use words just because “everyone else is doing it.”

This is especially true when one doesn’t even know the proper usage for an appropriated word.  If I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen “a myriad of” I would be worth more than a Blackwater no-bid defense contract!

Example:  There’s a myriad of sand at the beach.

Doesn’t that sound awkward?  It’s better to say “a ton of.”  One can’t have “a myriad of” anything.  Also, when people use myriad, I have no doubt that they really mean to say “a bunch of,” “multitudes,” or even “many,  many, many.”  These myriad users surely don’t intend to write “uncountable.”  Really, when’s the last time you read a “myriad” statement from which you understood that the writer meant an indefinite, or infinite number?

Example:  The myriad grains of sand at the beach.

Ah, that’s better.  Are you less obfuscated now?

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