Skip to main content

Information Status

We are currently revising content on, including the federal guidelines, training materials, and other online resources. We’ve temporarily paused accepting training requests until after this update is complete. We hope to resume training later in the fall 2023.

Made-up Words

By Nick Wright

Don’t make up your own language. If a word doesn’t exist in a dictionary, how can other people understand its meaning?

Have you ever heard of:

  • autoised
  • billocked
  • bloatware
  • custodied
  • impactful
  • incentivizing
  • jointery
  • mentee
  • rebranding
  • subjectlets
  • trilemma
  • vaporware

Such coined words are the sign of a poor writer trying to impress the reader. Most readers just dismiss the message unless you write in familiar words they understand.

Use your spell-checker to find non-existent words. Add only proper nouns to your dictionary and you’ll find it becomes a useful tool to pick up the worst examples of bad language.