The Challenges of Moving Forward with Passion

3 November 2010

I used to write posts here that I called “I’m not very fond of …..” where I talking about words that I really HATE (but I wasn’t allowed to say that I hated anything as a child, so it became “I’m not very fond of that”).

This is one of those posts.

Firstly, challenges.  When did we stop having problems that need to be solved and start having challenges that have to be overcome?   And why?

Secondly, I would have thought that Julia Gillard’s adoption of the phrase “moving forward”, for which she was widely pilloried, would have dissuaded anyone else from using the phrase but I hear it constantly – and the phrase never stands alone.  You can bet your bottom dollar that if someone says they, or we, are moving forward, they will use the words again within a minute or so. 

And thirdly, passion and passionate.  I’m all for passion in its proper place but as much as I like my work, I’m not passionate about it.  As much as I love knitting, passion doesn’t really enter into it.  But the marketing boys (and girls) are adamant that their clients are all desperately passionate.

If I have a leaking tap, I look for an experienced and capable plumber.  I don’t need someone who’s passionate about plumbing.  In fact I’d have serious concerns about inviting into my home someone who declares a passion for plumbing.  But they’re all at it.  The estate agents are passionate about selling houses, the gardener is passionate about landscaping and the marketing boys (and girls) are passionate about marketing.  What a waste of all that passion.

So that’s my challenge, moving forward.

I’ve become passionate about getting this rubbish off our airwaves and out of our advertising. 


  1. I loathe “passionate”, too. It’s used completely inapropriately and sometimes in ways which have me in hysterics. “Passionate about happy chickens” was one – call in Kraft-Ebing!

    The other expression that’s come into use in the last few months is “really, really…” in place of “very”. As in “I’m really, really pleased to be here” or “He’s really, really sad he didn’t get the job”. I think it sounds really, really childish.

  2. Sometimes words are a complete joy. A couple of weeks ago I was following a large truck which was conveying crates of hens. The name of the company? “Poultry in Motion”.

  3. One of my favourite blogs is ‘Language Log’ http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/

    Forgive me for saying it, but it’s a blog for people who are passionate about language. Interestingly, reading it over some years has made me (reluctantly) much less prescriptivist about language usage, but also more engaged and informed.


  4. Thank you for pointing me to the Language Log – it’s fascinating!

  5. As a child I was not allowed to “hate” either – we “intensely disliked”!

    Maybe passionate has replace “love” – as in “I love knitting”? (“love” has definitely been overworked too and, unfortunately, I find myself falling into the trap!)

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