words to eliminate ( one )

There are some words ( I’m limiting this to American words for now ) that should be eliminated , done away with ,  jettisoned , flung out into oblivion , that should be forgotten , not used , allowed to softly and silently  sink into eternal obsolescence , to be mercifully put down .

The word in mind today is  raze .   

From the Merriam Webster online  dictionary :

RAZE     transitive verb

razed    raz-ing

Definition of raze


a. archaic   ERASE

b. to scrape , cut , or shave off


to destroy to the ground  : demolish

razer   noun

Are you with me on this ?  Why do we need such a word ?  Have you ever , ever , ever heard anyone use the noun form ?

Oh , yeah , one or two of you think :  ” Yeah . Hell Razer .”

Wrong . No , no , no .  Think about it .  A hell razer would be a good person , someone trying to destroy hell . You mean to say Hell Raiser . cropped-polish-mardi-gras-pirate.jpg

We begin to smell my main objection to the word  raze .  I was listening to the radio today , NPR .  The discussers ( discussors ? ) were jabbering on about ( as far as I could tell )  the architectural aspects of the L.A County Art Museum down on Wilshire .  I listened only a short car journey’s worth to the profundity . My education , I admit ,  arrives  only haltingly in  serendipitous short snippets  of profound NPR discussions .

In this one , there seemed to be a plan, apparently ,  to open up art warehouses to the public so that people could see more art than they can when art works  have to be hung and lighted because that lighting and tasteful display limits exposure ( pun ?  If so , pardon the pun ;  irony ? ) . It seemed to be a bit of well-intentioned stupidity to me . But , what do I know about art ? Nothing . I waited for a diligent presentation of pros and cons on the idea , waiting to have my mind changed , but callers-in to the program meandered tangentially , and , it seemed to me ,from the driving moments during which  I was listening,  ( I were  listening ? ) , that it kind of got away from them .

That being as it may ( is that the expression ? )  , some one of the deeper radio voices mentioned the benefit of  razing  one of the museum’s many buildings . The other radio voices spoke of the well-known architect who had designed the structure ( raised it , I think ) . In the 1970s ?  The moderator said , ” No one’s  saying that it was his best work “, and they wiggled verbosely on along the airwaved path . I had to leave them at my driveway .

Well , I wondered , should we , as a proud metropolitan city , raise  a new building on the huge museum grounds ? Something impressive . Something monumental . Something following the Disney Concert Hall — Our Lady Queen of Angels Cathedral trend ?  Tower of Babylon , anyone ?

But did they mean raze  or  raise  ?  

Can we agree to use the term demolish if and when we get that  peculiarly itchy  feeling in our gurglingly  emerging vocabularies, within our idiosyncratically  ever-fermenting private word soups ,  the feeling which sneaks up , perhaps , on the best of us , which  emerges once in awhile at weaker moments and prods us  to use a term such as raze ………can we agree to not ? 

Excuse me . I have to go out and raze the flag . It’s in very bad shape . Might have to be burned . Or else buried . Perhaps in a flag cemetery . I’ll check it out on Google . I’ll make a bet that I’ll find a flag cemetery  . Take my bet and raze me , if you like .

I’ve razed several cats . Indirectly . Coyotes in the neighborhood are the actual razers .

Do I want to raze funds ? I think not . They’re in short supply as is .

I want to buy some razers . Disposable razers . Razers with double blades . We’ll all go out and raze vegetables . It won’t be hell razing —- not at all .

I need a raze .

Special today : Hair razing . [ clarification for non-native English speakers : not  hare racing — that’s for another post ]illustration 14

I think that I’ve razed several logical arguments for dispensing with raze . (But you may continue to use razor if you so choose . That’s okey with me .) 


Filed under humor

4 responses to “words to eliminate ( one )

  1. Pat

    I like the word raze. More powerful than demolish.

  2. I’d like to razz you you about your reason for raising such a raucous and ranting about raze…but I ran out of alliteration. I agree, in a confused sort of way.

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