Some words can only best be understood when written, and not when said. One such word is stakeholder which, to the average man in the street, or meat-eating village idiot, may sound like steak holder. Not many years ago, when one heard the words steak holder, or stake holder their minds immediately drifted to butchers, meat packers, cooks, gamblers, and vampire slayers such as Buffy, and even Blade. In modern times, everyone is now a stakeholder, and not by choice. Most of us are even holders of many stakes and sometimes even steaks, depending on our fetish.
Imagine stakeholder, a Johnny-come-lately to the glossary pages, is a fused word, but the ice cube, and Ice Cube the very popular rapper-turned-actor, are a more useful duo of words, and still two, not one. How could that be right? How could that be just? If that is not word discrimination at its most blatant and scandalous, I don’t know what is.
Instead of saying “everyone affected,” “all concerned,” or “having an interest in,” someone with a thing for word fusion, and probably a malfunctioning spacebar (space bar), came up with the word stakeholder. I have nothing against stakeholders, but why stakeholder and not the rest? Apparently, this biased fusion went unnoticed and without protest, since we now live in the age of the dot com where word fusion is now a way of life. Not necessarily a good life, but a life nevertheless (never the less).
I am sure by now you must be at the edge of your seat, biting your nails and shaking your head or heads in disbelief with this revelation. I am sure you may also want to know the way forward and what you, as an average model inhabitant of a country where the legal language is now English, could do to help. But all I have to say to you is Perro que no camina, no encuentra hueso. Also, I say, ask not what you can do for your language, but what your language can do for you.
Being a lone crusader in this battle for the unified and equal treatment of words, I suggest steakholder also becomes a word. The word steakholder will mean someone who is holding a steak. Simple and precise is the way of The English Language, and clearly, steakholder is a step in that elusive, but right direction.
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Here are but a few examples of the correct use of both words, stakeholder, and steakholder:
- Buffy was not simply a stake holder, she was also a stakeholder in the vampire slaying business.
- The cook, having caused last Friday’s scandalous food poisoning fiasco, never wanted to touch meat again, so he employed Gargoyle, who was a professional steakholder.
- I am a stakeholder and I am proud.
- I am a steakholder and I am proud.
Clearly, without seeing the words written, you can tell which word is which, and in every example. I rest my case.
Stakeholders can be people, but so to can steakholders.