Browse Definitions :

Expedite or expediate?

Writing for Business

Which is correct?

To prevent a crippling worm attack, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urged that all users _______ application of the patch.

a. expedite

b. expediate

Answer: a.

Explanation:

Expedite is by far the better choice here.

Although I hate to have to report this, expediate is gaining acceptance as a word — although I’m happy to report that it’s not in very many dictionaries. It means expedite, which means to do something promptly or to speed up a process. I expect this is another word created because it was being used. People probably made it up as a verb form of expedient. What next — expediation instead of expedition? I’m too scared to look.

Expediate comes to me via my husband, who works at an IT firm (which shall remain nameless to prevent me from having drinks tossed in my face at the summer mixer). A coworker used it in a construction similar to the one I used above. The hub’s workplace is a fruitful source of blog fodder — his boss inspired the mute point post.

Expediate was featured in the Worthless Word for the Day list.

What horrific grammatical errors are you hearing in the wilds of  IT and business? Let me know!

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Language is fluid. It flows and changes. There is no true English standard, unlike some other languages like French or Italian, where actual language academies have formed. I disagree with your being some kind or language police here, and just accept "expediate" as a new word. Flowing changing speech and language adds color to our thoughts and our expressions of the world and to art in general. I am a computer scientist and developer by the way, so I can appreciate developing concrete concepts and words for technical ends, but in the register of art and even great literature, just leave it be! Please!
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