Issue 184, page 3

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curmdgeon.GIF (1254 bytes) Curmudgeons' Corner

Barb Dwyer

Recently I've had to make several telephone calls to customer service representatives. All the calls went something like this one:

Service rep: First, I have your social security number here. Would you mind validating it for me?

Ms. Dwyer: Not at all.

[long pause]

Service rep: Hello? Ma'am?

Ms. Dwyer: Yes?

Service rep: Your social security number... what is it?

Ms. Dwyer: I'm sorry, I thought I was supposed to validate it.

Service rep: [puzzled] So did I.

Ms. Dwyer: Well if you don't tell me what it is, how can I validate it?

Eventually, after the meaning of the word validate had been duly explained, communication was established and the correctness of my SSN confirmed. Then:

Service rep: Now, would you mind validating your date of birth?

Grrr!

According to our dictionaries to validate means "to confirm the correctness of" so we guess Barb has a point. [Ouch!]

Have you heard or read similar or equally distressing usages?

Do tell us. 

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