Other Stuff – Words I Hate – “Kudos”

I hate the word “kudos”.

Kudos means “fame” or “renown” resulting from an achievement. (You invented a glass fly-swatter? Kudos to you!).

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “kudos?”

That’s right! You think of The Game of Cootie. An old game where the goal was to assemble the plastic bug called the Cootie (see picture below).

(Of course, no one has ever actually played the game. Parents would buy it for the kids. Since children have an attention span so short that scientists have not yet invented a unit of measure to adequately describe it, the kids would immediately start putting the Cooties together and start playing Battle of the Funky-Colored Cooties. The rules of the game were never actually used).

But I digress. Since “kudos” is a word used as a praise of some achievement, can you imagine rewarding someone’s achievement by handing them a Cootie bug? What would be the point? Why would you do that?

Also, Kudos comes from the Greek  κῦδος, which means “that which is heard of“, not to be confused with the Greek κύδος, which means “taunt”. Now you might be wondering, “How did this discussion turn from etymology to Cootie Bugs? Interestingly enough, the word “etymology” (the study of words) is often confused with the word “entomology” (the study of bugs). Etymology. Entomology. Kudos. Cootie. κῦδος. κύδος. Freaky, isn’t it?

Now if justice was achieved and the word kudos disappeared from the known universe, what would happen? What word could we possibly use in it’s place? Hmmm. That’s a tough one. Let’s see . . . I got it! How about the word . . . GOOD! As in “Good job!”, or “That was good!”. If we use the word “good”, then we will always know a compliment was intended, and not a Cootie bug.

I like the word “good”. But I also like Cootie Bugs. Go figure.

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2 thoughts on “Other Stuff – Words I Hate – “Kudos”

  1. Very interesting, as usual.

    You mention the short attention span of young children, and the lack of a unit of measurement.

    I submit GFU as a unit of measurement.

    This derives from the ‘fact’ that goldfish have an attention span of 3 seconds. [I must add that there are numerous web sites run by folks that seem to be highly offended by this claim. They are very defensive about this subject and offer ‘scientific’ evidence that purportedly refutes the 3-second claim. Our submission here is nonetheless based on the 3-second unit as this has become firmly ensconced in public awareness and, as any urban legend, deserves to be propagated]

    A GFU (Gold Fish Unit) would represent an attention span of 3 seconds.

    That would be the easy part. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to accurately assign a GFU to small children as a class. That’s because the span varies so wildly from one child to another, or for the same child from one moment to the next.

    Certain external influences dramatically decrease the GFU for a child: Mountain Dew, video games, TV of any kind, candy, and a host of other influences may potentially, in my opinion and observation, bring the GFU down 1 or even less.

    Compare that to a well adjusted child at a meeting at the Kingdom Hall who may sit there for 10-15 minutes without a major distraction. That’s a whopping 200-300 GFUs. Now whether you agree with this line of logic or not, you must agree that that is a huge variation.

    At any rate, I here submit GFU as a unit for measuring attention span for folks of any age.

    Wishing you greater GFUs, keep up the kudo work.

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