Common Catachresis - "Full time employment" (was RE: Tips for Second Interview)

Subject: Common Catachresis - "Full time employment" (was RE: Tips for Second Interview)
From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 09:23:00 -0400

James Barrow wrote,

"...they wanted full time employment.
Again, another disappointment since I explained that the contract was for
3-4 months."


I'm sure that Jim didn't mean any insult to the thousands of "temporary" and "contract" workers who put in a full 40 hours or more every week.

As a former contractor who regularly worked 40-60 hours per week, I really do wish that everybody in the world would stop using "full time" as a synonym for "permanent". I know that you know that I know that there's really no such thing as a "permanent" job any more, and I know that you know that I know that you didn't mean to be insulting but darn it, it is, and there it is.

This is a great example of "catachresis", in case anybody was looking for one.

<OT -- Or if you were looking for a good name for a cat after you've decided to include "cat" or "kitty" in their name, such as "Serious Catachresis Otherwise Known As Phred". Lin, is your monitor still clean or did I just make you spit coffee on it? I knew you'd get the language-junkie joke built into that name. Which is how I discovered "catachresis" in the first place. And now we return you to your regular on-topic post.>

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source cat·a·chre·sis (k?t'?-kr?'s?s) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. cat·a·chre·ses (-s?z)

The misapplication of a word or phrase, as the use of blatant to mean "flagrant."
The use of a strained figure of speech, such as a mixed metaphor.

[Latin catachr?sis, improper use of a word, from Greek katakhr?sis, excessive use, from katakhr?sthai, to misuse : kata-, completely; see cata- + khr?sthai, to use; see gher-2 in Indo-European roots.]

Dori Green

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