Posted by R. Berg on January 19, 2005
In Reply to: InPhiltration posted by SR on January 19, 2005
: : : : : On television this morning, Dr. Phil, one of America's television advice gurus, said, "If you enter a relationship with too many expectancies..." It sounded strange to me as I thought 'expectations' would be preferred. He went on to use 'expectancy' where I thought it should be 'expectation.' Any help here on preference or which is more correct? Thank you.
: : : : : SR
: : : : Strictly speaking, it is gibberish, at least, it's not in the dictionary yet. A similar word I've heard is "dependencies" meaning a number of factors that something depends upon. It's used in project management. Are these words jargon? Are they malapropisms? Are they expressing something it wasn't possible to express in quite the same way using standard English? I'm not sure but I hear these all the time and sometimes I'm oblidged to use them to be understood by others who use them.
: : : I think Dr. Phil, astute marketer that he is, is deliberately dumbing down his vocabulary so as not to alienate his customers.
: : I have never watched Dr. Phil or any of his ilk. I consider it a badge of honor.
: Nor have I actually, but some mornings our local newscast injects a 'Dr. Phil Moment' (there's another example for a previous post)which is usually my cue to take a shower and get out of the house.
"Expectancies" used that way sounds like social-science jargon or educators' jargon. But it ain't easy to choose the right word the first time, every time, when the camera's on you.