The Problem with “Share”
People can have different tastes in a lot of things, including books, music, movies, and even taste (as in food). I guess we can even have different tastes in words. A couple days ago I admitted that I couldn’t read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone because of the name “Dumbledore.” “Dumbledore” annoyed me so much (and I was even reading silently) that I had to put the book down and never continue. I also admitted that I didn’t like the word share.
Dumbledore might have been a decent character. Dumbledore might have had redeeming qualities. I have no problem with Dumbledore, except for the sound of it.
But the word share? Share has no redeeming qualities. Everything about share sucks.
Over the years, I’ve come to hate the word share. In school it meant giving up something I owned for somebody else who probably didn’t deserve it. In my professional life, it means giving my coworkers the chance to get credit for my ideas.
I once had a boss who used to say share by extending the sound over two syllables (shay-air) in a nasally tone at brainstorming sessions. I cringed whenever she said “Shay-air,” and it didn’t help that I was usually the first person she called upon. I think she enjoyed watching me say “Uh…. Errr….,” with my face turning red whenever she asked me to “shay-air” what I was thinking.
I felt bad when this boss got demoted (or laterally moved), but I didn’t “shay-air” my sentiment with anybody else because she was unpopular and had added a bunch of unnecessary and counterproductive procedures to our jobs.
Now whenever I hear the word share, I hear shay-air, no matter how the word is uttered. It’s like the fingernails on the chalkboard (which might be a bad example because that has never bugged me).
Now that I think about it, I don’t even like the concept of sharing. I’d rather just tell somebody my idea than share it. I’d rather just let somebody borrow my stuff than share it. In some cases, I’d even give my stuff away before I share it. At the very least, I’d buy somebody the same thing that I have instead of sharing mine.
One of the very worst expressions ever is “Sharing is caring.” In my mind, all I hear is “Shay-air-ing is cay-air-ing.” Not only is this annoying, but the message is misleading, at least it is from my point of view. When I’ve shared stuff in the past, it wasn’t because I cared; it was because I wanted other people to quit bothering me. Now when I give my stuff away or I lend it out to others, that’s when I care.
Very few words have both an annoying concept AND an annoying sound. Because of this, the word share is in an annoying league of its own. Maybe it’s just me.
The only time share doesn’t bug me is if it’s somebody’s name. I have no problem with Cher. For some reason, I don’t hear it the same way when it’s used as a name. Even growing up in the 1970s listening to (or watching) Sonny and Cher, the name doesn’t bother me. Sonny doesn’t bother me either, and Sonny bothered a lot of people.
If some of the previous few paragraphs look familiar, it’s because I plagiarized them… from myself. I just wanted to admit where I got my ideas so that I don’t get accused of plagiarism and get fired from my own blog and have all my posts yanked from Dysfunctional Literacy. I almost got myself fired from my own blog once (that stupid idea called “Dysfunctional Grammar”) and I don’t want it to happen again. It’s kind of embarrassing to almost get fired from your own blog, even when nobody else knows about it. So if you’re going to plagiarize on your blog, plagiarize from yourself and just admit it.