No more calling things weird

Feb 28, 2015

I tend to use the word “weird” to describe anything that I find somewhat strange or atypical. Is it raining at an odd time of the year? “Hey, that’s weird!”. Is that apple unusually big? “Wow, that’s weird!”. Is your name something I haven’t heard before? “That’s a weird name!”.

However, it looks like the people I hang out believe that the word has some really negative connotations. I commented to my manager that one of my teammates’ names was “weird” because it’s one I haven’t heard so far, and he burst out laughing. Not a “heh” or a chuckle or even a guffaw, he straight-up laughed for several seconds. Then yesterday I found during a conversation with the same teammate that her husband’s name is Krishan. Now, “Krishna” is a name I’m used to hearing, so the last two syllables being reversed seemed “weird” to me, and I said so. She immediately gave me a strange look and started defending her husband’s name.

I guess I should stop using that word altogether. Maybe I can start saying “unusual” instead. It probably has fewer negative connotations and is less likely to evoke feelings of defensiveness.