There are very few words that I hate. There are some grammatically incorrect words I dislike (irregardless, a whole nother, etc.), but I don’t mind using them when I’m writing speech since people actually use those “words” in everyday life. I’m not one of those authors who won’t have a character say “ain’t” when that character probably would.
But there is a word I cannot stand. It’s like nails on a blackboard to me. That word…is noodle.
No, not that sort of noodle. Nor am I speaking of the cute Gorillaz character Noodle. Nope, I mean people who use the word “noodle” as a verb.
I never ran into this until my current job. People here, those in management anyway, like this word. “Let’s get together next week an noodle on that,” they say, or “take some time to noodle on the presentation.” Just writing that made my teeth grind. I get what they are saying – they want to brainstorm. But look! There’s a great word right there! Brainstorm! Why the fuck use “noodle” when brainstorm means what you are trying to say, and is a word specifically designed for that purpose?
Using noodle as a verb makes me feel like I’m talking to someone with the maturity of a kindergartner, which I’ll admit many management level people are, but still… Noodle should be used to talk about Pad Thai or linguine or macaroni. It’s childish and stupid to use the word noodle for “brain” in the first place. I have to assume it was some sort of Disney propaganda that proliferated that use, but I have no proof.
Regardless of its origin, the word noodle being used for “brain” isn’t nearly as upsetting to me as it then being conscripted as a verb. Look, I get that it’s trendy to make verbs from nouns. I’ve heard people say, “cell me later” when they mean call, or you hear about “dialoguing”. But it has to stop somewhere, and I’m putting my foot down when it comes to noodle.
Now…isn’t it lunch time?