I despite the word “conversationalist.”
According to the internet–and the internet is never wrong–the word “conversational” means appropriate to informal conversation. Thus, a conversationalist must be someone who “practices appropriateness to informal conversation.”
No, that doesn’t make a bit of sense, which is the reason I despise the word.
“Conversation,” on the other hand, means the exchange of ideas by spoken words. A conversationist, therefore, is someone who exchanges ideas by spoken words, which is crystal in its clarity and explains why I have been using the term for years. Which, in turn, explains why people frequently correct me and say, “You mean ‘conversationalist’?”
No, I bloody don’t mean “conversationalist.” I meant what I said, which was “conversationist.”
No one can make a logical case, on a semantic level, justifying “conversationalist” as a legitimate term. I bite my thumb at this abomination masquerading as a dictionary entry. All that badass stuff Ricardo Montalban said to Captain Kirk at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? That’s what I’m saying right now (go watch it if you haven’t. It’s a lovely bit of acting).
Remember well this day, my friends, because it will be looked upon by history as The Day the World Changed. It is the day a new word is born, courtesy of Eric John Baker: