Misuses of language have a way of spreading like viruses. For years now sportscasters have been using the term “reactionary” instead of “reactive.” Reactionary, of course, means politically ultra-conservative, not “characterized by athletic reaction.” The same guys also like to analyze the “enormity” of the situation, when in fact “enormity” means excessive wickedness, not a big important moment.
Lately you may have noticed the prevalence in the clothing industry of using the terms “shirting” and “suiting” to refer to shirts and suits. Even our beloved brethren have caught the bug:
As most of us here know, “shirtings” and “suitings” are most definitely actual words, but they refer to swatches of fabric, not to actual shirts and suits. I’m guessing that in these cases (that’s J. Crew at the top), there’s a young and quite possibly female copywriter or social media manager spreading this linguistic misstep, and there’s no gray-haired old gentleman anywhere near their department to correct them. Not only are the terms just flat-out wrong, there’s a faux-fanciness about it that’s so very, very middle class.
At least when the Japanese used botched English we just roll our eyes and chuckle because they’re such darned nice people and their mistakes are kind of cute.
So in order to stop the spread of this disease, let’s all correct people who use “shirtings and suitings” as pompously and relentlessly as possible.
“Blazer,” for sportcoat, alas, I fear is a lost cause. — CC