This morning I overheard a rather heated cellphone conversation, where a woman loudly requested:
"I was wondering if you could facilitate me by sending over those photos...I'm not denying anything Patrick! I just..."
I retreated with haste as the f-word clunked around the hallway. The invasion of corporate jargon - and words such as "facilitate" - into our daily language is something I'm not too keen on. Words such as these can actually be quite unhelpful in getting a message across, and are often used inaccurately. While admittedly sounding more formal, their main purpose seems to be to cultivate an air of superiority and specialisation where, quite frankly, it often doesn't exist.
I rushed back to the office to consult Roget's New Millennium Thesaurus and found that, although technically the word was correct, there were several much simpler, less jargon-y ways, she could have used to ask Patrick for the photographs.
Main Entry: facilitate
Part of Speech: verb
Synonyms: aid, ease, expedite, forward, further, hand-carry, help, make easy, open doors*, promote, simplify, smooth, speed, speed up, walk through
Antonyms: block, burden, complicate, delay, hamper, hinder
Perhaps she just could have said:
"Patrick, would you be able to help me by sending over those photos as soon as possible? Thank you."
Less abrasive, clearer and kinder towards the great English language.