Why I hate the word “Problematic”

I can get pretty passionate about words, but I admit, it’s not always for a good reason. For example, I hated the snot out of the word proactive for years, but in retrospect, it’s not such a bad word. It means that you’re in favor of being active, and well, that serves a purpose, right? I think I really just hated it because it was so often used in job listings, where it would always be part of the phrase Successful candidates must be proactive and prepared to work in a dynamic, success-oriented environment— presumably as opposed to all of those stagnant, failure-oriented environments. Those are no fun.

So in the end, I think I just had a bad association with good ol’ proactive. It was used as part of a lot of really pompous, disingenuous language, but that wasn’t proactive’s fault. My bad, word.

With problematic though, that’s a different kettle of fish. I hate it for actual reasons and I seem to hate it more with every passing day, which shouldn’t even be possible because I thought I was at my maximum hatred level for it about six months ago, but no. I hate problematic because it is actively making our conversations worse, and in some cases, stopping them from happening at all.

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