Mar 16, 2008

Cutting It Out of My Vocabulary

I had a thought today whilst playing Wii Golf that I'm surprised I haven't had before. It will change my life, in it's own small way, and I am forever a different person. The thought is this: "Subpar" is a really stupid word. I've used it many times to describe restaurants, albums, coworkers, etc. But really, in the game of golf (which I believe is the origin of the word "par", though I could be completely wrong on that) isn't it a good thing to be below par?

I thought for a moment that using my own version, "surpar", would be a good idea, but a) it would get weird looks, and b) it sounds like a good thing even though it should be a bad thing.

Last thought on the word "subpar" before I erase it from my mind: is it actually it's own word? My spellcheck tells me it should be "sub par", but after some quick research, it's written as "subpar" on several reputable sites. A google battle shows that "subpar" gets 3 million-something hits and "sub par" gets 2 million-something hits, so maybe both are correct?


Allison said...

If you are looking for an adequate replacement for 'subpar', I would recommend 'substandard'. It carries the same prefix, denotes that the speaker has a sophisticated vocabulary, and is quite logical. Best wishes in your vocab adjustment.

Andrea said...

Excellent suggestion. I was searching for something just like that. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the word "par" has a much broader and older scope of usage than golf alone. Please see one definition here:

If we are to take the word at its broader meaning, then the derivative word "subpar" makes a lot more sense.