Incentivize replacements?


Continuing the discussion from Why GNU License?:

[quote=“binaryphile, post:9, topic:2531”]Total sidebar: “incentivize” is one of those clearly made up words where somebody couldn’t think of a way to verb a noun and so clumsily grafted an ending onto it. It always rubbed me wrong but I couldn’t think of the right word either until I did some digging here, there and elsewhere. I was surprised to find that the closest proper verb that shares etymology with incentive is actually “to incite”. But after a bit of trying it on for size, I find it works perfectly and doesn’t carry that mild managerial odor with it. :slight_smile:

The more you know ===★


See, I would never use incite because of its negative connotations, ie “to incite a riot”. Maybe just “to reward users”?

(Nick Sahler) #2

Maybe inspire is a bit “too much”. Dunno, they all work in a sense.

(Adam Davis) #4

Incentivize is a weird word, but it has a very specific meaning that is different than to incite or several other words.

Essentially it means using a carrot to motivate someone.

You can use persuasion instead, or inspire them in some way, but incentivizing someone specifically indicats that you provided something they should want in order to get them to do the action you desire them to accomplish.

While some might not like the word, it’s just a word which can be useful to convey a particular thought without using half a sentence to explain something.

I think whoever came up with it should be shot, though, because its a terrible choice. When you think about its roots and the subject it is usually attached to, it doesn’t really make sense. However when people who haven’t seen it before hear it, they do understand what it is intended to mean, so it’s also quietly brilliant.

(Jeff Atwood) #5

What if a riot is what we had in mind?


This post just made my day :smiley:

(EDIT: a riot of “Forum Admins” perhaps? You seem to have incited a one-man one there… :P)

(Ted Lilley) #7

You’re all correct, the word incite does have overwhelmingly chaotic and/or negative connotations. For some reason it was slightly more neutral in my mind, or perhaps I just like my half-fitting solution better than someone else’s. :slight_smile:

Tis a silly word still.

On a side note, this tangent is an excellent validation of the “reply in new topic” concept. It totally improves the signal in the original thread by diverting this noise into somewhere it’s considered signal again.