There are times when, for no apparent reason, our brains will just mesh two (or three) words together and make a whole new word to suit what we are doing. It makes sense to us at the time and we laugh it off this bit of dyslexia and keep going.
But what do you do when a business colleague is repeatedly using a nonexistent word?Interprelate….nope – Mr. Webster does not approve. I get it – it’s a combination of interpret and extrapolate, and he’s using it in context when referring to the plans and documents he’s reviewing for a project. But it’s not an actual term! At first I thought he misspoke, a little brain to mouth confusion which happens to us all. Did he mean interpolate? Judging by the conversation and context, no. He used his fabricated term multiple times in the conversation, with no skips, apologies or laughter for his faux pas. He was oblivious to the mistake.
So to answer my own question…unless he uses that term in a direct conversation with me, I’ll leave him to his verbal faults. He’s a grown man, a degreed professional, and I don’t report to him (translation: he’s not my problem to correct).
It’s a hard piece of advice to take – not correcting other adults, especially when you see them heading for embarrassment, pain, heartache, or just plain public humiliation. You can and should caution your children, best friends, or young interns at work who have no idea how the real business world operates. But other adults? Unfortunately, unless they seek your advice or are headed for potential death, you just have to zip your lip and pray for them.
Dear Lord…I ask that you watch over _____, for he/she is a moron and oblivious to the pile of poo they are about to step in. I ask that you send them a sign – a big neon, flashing, horns-blaring sign – that can leave no doubt for interpretation. If that doesn’t work, then bless their heart and have mercy on them, and forgive me for the hysterical laughter that will ensue. Amen.