Mentee: a Reprehensible Neologism

Standard

“Mentee,” used to mean someone who receives mentoring, is a horrible word. Please don’t use it. It makes no sense. You can’t “ment” a person. No one is “mented.”

It is also pretentious. I know how weird it is for me to accuse something of pretension given what I am about to say, but it makes the speaker or writer look like something even worse than a pedant, which is an ignorant pedant. The use of “-or” or “-er” to mean “one who does something” comes from Latin. And using “-er” to mean “from a place,” as in “New Yorker” is a Germanic construction. But “mentor” comes from Greek, which is neither Latinate nor Germanic. And “mentor” is not even a verb in Greek; it’s a proper noun. Mentor was a guy in the Odyssey. If you really insist on using “mentor” as a verb (and I’m not entirely opposed to that) then it would probably be better to refer to “mentorers and mentorees.” Please don’t do that either, as they are both ugly.

In place of “mentee” use protégé, student, disciple, acolyte, padawan, grasshopper, or anything else really, as appropriate. I’m not saying we should have extradjudicial executions, but if we did, then anyone caught using the word “mentee” should be summarily executed.

Advertisements

One thought on “Mentee: a Reprehensible Neologism

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Mountweazel: Esquivalence | NoTrueScotsman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s