Accuracy is one of the cornerstones of solid journalism.
And with that accuracy comes the stalwart, resolute fact that you absolutely know something. You have concrete evidence to justify your statement. You have expert testimony that underscores your report.
You have gospel.
Me? I have Merriam-Webster.
The misuse of words and phrases absolutely drives me batty. I especially hate it when I notice "official" messaging like mission statements and brand messaging littered with made up words.
It sounds oh, so, believable. To tag on an -ism is a reasonable assumption, right? That's how so many other English-language words operate.
But in this case, we would be fatally wrong to make that assumption. Okay, Grammar Girl isn't going to slay you with her red pen, but to go with volunteerism is a bad, bad choice.
When we talk about the act of volunteering (read: when we turn the verb into a noun), the word gets converted into voluntarism. Yes, this sounds totally funny, and was foreign to me, too, until I joined a non-profit organization with a heavy concentration on... voluntarism.
Granted, volunteerism may be listed in your copy of the dictionary; it's in mine. But this collegiate dictionary clearly defers to voluntarism in its first reference.
Since I learned the correct usage, I see the proper choice in more respected publications... and I see volunteerism in places it doesn't belong.
Including official mission statements.
Bonus anal comment: Friends, it is not SITC. It is SATC. HBO created a program that celebrated Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte's amorous antics AND the lovely city of New York. The series/movie is not about them having sex *in* NYC... they were quite successful at gettin' it on no matter the location. Keep that in mind as you exclaim your excitement leading up to the May 27 release.
Whew. Who put a nickel in me today?
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.