Home > General Comments > I Will Kill the Next Person That Says “Incentivize”

I Will Kill the Next Person That Says “Incentivize”

First it was “softwares”, “ERPs”, and “CRMs”, the ignorantly used plural forms of the group nouns “software”, “ERP” and “CRM”. Now, they’ve done it again.

Folks, “Incentivize” is not a word. I know you can find it in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary (also known as the Dictionary for the Lazy and Stupid) but, much like Chechen mail order brides or Viagra without a prescription, just because you find it online doesn’t make it right.

The noun is “incentive”. That means “something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action”. If you want to make that a verb, you either use “incite” (which I admit sounds really awkward) or you use it properly like “We can use a good incentive to help the sales team increase revenue” as opposed to “Let’s incentivize the sales team”. Don’t ever use “incent” – that’s just a degraded from of “incentivize”.

I didn’t “inventize” a new hiring process at IBIS. I didn’t “wifeicize” Kerri when I married here. Kerri didn’t “birthicize” our two daughters and, on the 15th and 30th your employer doesn’t “payicize” you.

Remember, the guys that started this crap are the investment bankers and MBA’s that cratered the economy from Wall Street. Don’t buy into the madness and stop using it. In fact, next time I hear someone use this I will reach across the board table, smack them with my laptop, then stand over their prostrate body and pour a hot cup of coffee into their ears so the last thing they hear is my voice screaming “Incentivize is not a word you ignorant corporate drone!”.

And I will be applauded.

Join my rebellion!

Categories: General Comments Tags: ,
  1. August 16, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Phew! I’m glad I’ve moved on to “Incentification” as in, “Our new employee incentification program should significantly drive out of the box thinking related to our industry’s ongoing paradigm shift.”

  2. August 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve actually heard “incentivization” in a meeting. All in attendance groaned.

  3. August 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I get it and I’ve even used the word….but one thing that really gets my ire is a person that uses the word “pretty” in front of everything they say, like it’s a pretty nice day, it was a pretty nice deal, it was a pretty darned hard thing, it was a pretty nice event. An even more ridiculous word combination is “those ones”. When I hear somebody say these words, my immediate thought is they are “un-educated”, but as I’ve heard even heard doctors and other professionals say “those ones” that’s not the case. Maybe it’s ju st they aren’t enlightended. Maybe we should start an irritating words blog.

  4. August 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Resistance is Futile. You are no more likely to get people to not use incentivize as you are likely to get them to use awesome and terrific in their original meaning.

  5. bstrom
    August 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    You have identifized a dangerous trend

  6. Tracey
    May 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I’m in. I even heard that non-word used on NPR today. Gag me…..

  1. August 20, 2012 at 11:18 am
  2. August 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

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