Posted by Rob Walker on September 11, 2009
Posted Under: "Social" studies

I’m curious if anybody else has concluded that “share” has become the most annoying euphemism of the moment.

As in, “Hi, I thought I’d share with you this article — it’s all about me!”

Or, “Hi, I wanted to share with you this announcement about my new project, which I think you should share with your readers!”

Or, “Hi, I just had to share with you my blog post about how social-network marketing replaces trad-media interruption tactics with sharing. Please share my post with everyone in your social network!”

I find that the word share has basically come to mean tell, announce, blurt, broadcast, impose up on you, etc.

I just wanted to share that thought.

If you have thoughts, you are more than welcome to tell me.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

I agree, thanks for telling the world.

I’d say it’s a close second to closing blog posts/tweets with “Thoughts?” Always tempted just to respond, “no, no thoughts” or “yes, but not about that.”

Written By whet moser on September 11th, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

I like how the zeitgeist now includes “overshare”

[and to tell you this I have to a click a button that says “Submit” so….]

Written By Steve Portigal on September 11th, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

Below postings in Google reader I have a number of icons, including “Share” and “Share with Comments”. I can also declare that I “Like” it. So easy to give the thumbs up on things with a click!

Is using “share” as a euphemism for “tell” actually new though? I’ve been hearing it for a long time, maybe 25 years. (Welcome to the Deep South, maybe?) It may have seeped from personal discourse to business/email use, and across the country, but I first encountered it in church culture in the South.

Written By ChipG on September 11th, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

Agreed, though “reach out” is running close behind. As in, “Can you reach out to Chad for a status check?” Unless of course you would like your listener to take hold of Chad’s arm instead of merely calling or emailing him.

Written By Chapin on September 11th, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

I couldn’t agree with this more —

Written By Rob on September 11th, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

My first thought was how Facebook’s “sharing” a part of its interface. But what Chip G says is undeniably true… As in: “Would you like to share that with the whole class?” or “Thank you for sharing.” I guess it was always creepy.

The button below, on the other hand says “Submit Comment” (as in “Thank you for submitting.”)

Written By Randy Ludacer on September 11th, 2009 @ 9:49 pm

I most hate these friends that know that you read their blog, but every time they have a new post they send it to you. They want you to share it with you, but since they know that you already their reader I suspect that they have some crazy idea that this will motivate you to share.
Well, the motivation to share comes from a good post, because someone gives you a hint.

Written By Omer Rosenbaum on September 11th, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

Hey Rob,

Loved Buying In! It made me alot more aware, and I am being a sucker for Levi’s latest advertising campaign. The Walt Whitman recordings with artsy short films being coupled with them. Whats your take on this, because it makes me want to go buy levi’s.

Written By SeanB on September 14th, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

Thanks SeanB. I’ve only see one Levi’s ad. It’s an interesting spot — and if it makes you want to go buy Levi’s then it must be working!

All others: The sharing comments are all great and I do intend to follow up/reply, it’s just been a busy week. Sorry.

Written By Rob Walker on September 18th, 2009 @ 3:45 pm
Previous Post: