Words I Find Annoying (1)

COHORT:  A word that I’m hearing and reading more and more, especially on ABC radio interviews; a word that seems to be used to describe a group of friends and acquaintances.

When did the increasing use of this word start to become so (annoyingly) prevalent?

6 thoughts on “Words I Find Annoying (1)

  1. This probably isn’t very helpful, but I looked up a variety of uses.
    Maybe in pop culture it has to do with a lot of marketing?
    Kind of a popularization of studies and research?
    But then I think people use the word more casually.
    [By the way, pop articles based on statistics or studies are
    often misleading or about as casual as common observation]









    This one is a “disambiguation” with links.

    There’s a normal definition set here near the top…
    then farther down, this paragraph:

    In ancient times, a cohort was a military unit, one of ten divisions in a Roman legion. The term passed into English via French in the 15th century, when it was used in translations and writings about Roman history. Once cohort became established in our language, its meaning was extended, first to refer to any body of troops, then to any group of individuals with something in common, and later to a single companion. Some usage commentators have objected to this last sense because it can be hard to tell whether the plural refers to different individuals or different groups. The companion sense is well established in standard use, however, and its meaning is clear enough in such sentences as her cohorts came along with her to the game.

    1. Hi Marleen, in the cases I’ve come across, it seems like the word “cohort” is being used in a similar way that a different cultural group uses (used?) the word “posse”. I’ve recently come across MANY cases of the word “cohort” being used in that way, something I’d never come across in “common speech” before. It’s usage seems to have attained a degree of trendiness among the Australian “intelligentsia”.

  2. Intelligentsia… ha, ha, ha, usually a funny word. Another word people use the way you’re saying they use cohort is entourage. That’s something I looked up when I was looking into cohort, but it’s not quite the same as cohort. Enterage is technically a bit more like posse. I think. I didn’t look up posse. I have my immediate senses of these words.

  3. On second thought, the original meaning of cohort makes it more like posse in that they have to do with enforcement or law or fighting. But posse and entourage have a leader or main focus. In the original (only… or mainly), I guess a cohort does too.

    Do you think people are using it with a dry humor, like they see themselves as the center of their universe (even though friends are equals)? Then, of course, other people lose that part and use it without the original connotation.

    1. I haven’t seen any hint of humour in the usage, but neither have I heard it used in a context of someone being a leader.

      However, I have heard it used again just this morning – although it was in a recording of a radio show from a week or so ago.

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