Performant is not a word (that you should use)

by scotslawstudent

Admittedly it is a word. I just think it’s a very bad word. Teeth on edge sort of thing.

I use a modified version of the Strike Out system when I’m reading things online – if it’s something that’s interesting or important I’ll keep going but if it’s just for fun I will make a quick value judgement and if it’s badly spelt or poorly written in some other way I’m liable to get bored and go read something else. I also have a fairly short trigger for words which were spawned in the bleak hell of the corporate report/presentation.

Blue-sky-thinking-out-of-the-box has me physically wrestling the mouse towards the close box. Performant’s another word that gets a wince out of me. I think it’s a word you use to sound clever, like the egregious user of French. Which can be me sometimes but that’s because French is more beautiful as language than I am skilled in its performance. Remember I’m not here to say I’m perfect, just that using it to my hypocritical self is dicey.

The biggest problem with performant is that it’s a waste of a word, it’s entirely reliant on context to reveal what particular facet of performance you’re actually referring to.  The next is the smugness which fair drips off the word, it’s a masonic handshake of a buzz-word clique, you either get it or you’re not cool.  Thirdly is the fact that other words actually suit the situations where it gets rolled out entirely better.

This is due to me reading a review on the new Ubuntu Netbook Remix (9.04) release which said that the reviewer’s system was “more performant” with the new interface turned off.  The reviewer means his computer was quicker after he disabled the newly added parts and that’s obvious.  It’s still entirely valid though and there’s no shame in saying it was more responsive or merely just “faster”, which conveys more information while being half as many words.  There’s simply no need to dive into corporate speak.

Edit (ugly, rant of a paragraph deleted): In hindsight does every post need a sharp non sequitr about law?  Probably not, I don’t like the word, that’s all I’m actually saying.