It’s become a sort of meme to complain about words people love to loathe, the ones that send a shudder up your spine: words like “moist”, “slacks”, “irregardless” and “awesomesauce” (shudder shudder). I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring all of these, but there is one word that inevitably makes my jaw clench, the crease between eyebrows deepen and the knot between my shoulders kick into high gear. Yep, you guessed it, it’s “chat.”
I will chat with my relatives, I will chat with the grocery store clerk, I will chat with just about anyone outside of work. I will chat with other scientists and students and visitors while we are waiting for the bus or before a meeting starts. I will chat about family life, the weather, movies, books, football and celebrity gossip. Chat sounds like a nice word. One online definition reads “talk in a friendly and informal way.” What could be wrong with that?