Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jargonwatch: Clubbed (together)

Example: "If we wait till next week, we could just club these three changes together, in one update". "I clubbed all the complaints under the category 'poor communication'. "

The first time I heard this usage was 6 years ago. I have heard it intermittently since then, mostly at my employer. I found it very strange. "Clubbed" didn't seem to convey anything that "combined" did not already accomplish. And the denotation was unclear to me.

Although I still do not care for the term, some quick research suggests it is not simply a modern invention. Many sources give secondary definitions of "unite or combine". I think the usage goes back to the root: "1175–1225; Middle English clubbe  < Old Norse klubba  club; akin to clump".

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