Kill This Word – ‘Gazump/Gazumped/Gazumping’
1. (Business / Commerce) to raise the price of something, esp a house, after agreeing a price verbally with (an intending buyer)
I don’t care how many points you get on a Scrabble board for the use of ‘gazump’, it’s not worth it to have a word that sounds like a prototype for Play-Doh that was rejected for being radioactive and containing used syringes in the dictionary. The word itself sounds like a sneeze stifled by throwing yourself face-first into a leather couch. It sounds alien, but not like in an off-shore way, more off-Earth, though I imagine our future extraterrestrial overlords have already expunged any such word, as to gazump on their planet carries the death penalty, a crime only outdone by the mere utterance of the word ‘gazump’.
The problem with the word ‘gazump’ lies not in the ugliness of its construction but in its ineffectiveness in conveying the unequivocal act of scumbaggery that it’s meant to describe. It doesn’t sound like you’ve been subjected to financial blackmail so much as you’ve been playing a game ‘hide the sausage’ with a house elf. ‘Dobby gazumped me last night!’ wailed Ron, smugly. ‘It was splendiferous!’
Gazumping happens all the time in most of the United States, when prices on display are before sales tax. Fancy that triple macademia, coconut and stracciatella ice cream cone for just $4? Nice try, customer – that’ll be another 32 cents or so. Oh yeah, you just got monetarily pwned by the gazumping sales tax demon! This is an act that should reserve the committer a hectare divided across the nine circles of Hell. Fuck it, just make a fresh hell for them right now. No expense should be spared in this act of ethical cleansing.
Last year, Stanford University conducted an experiment where they wrote ‘gazump’ on the end of ten baseball bats and smashed them against the faces of ten rich, tantrum-prone, spoiled children over and over and over. The scientists stated in their findings that ‘although hugely satisfying to the deliverer, the children seemed most upset when on the receiving end of the word, proving that, both mentally and physically, the word is most upsetting to the recipient. There is strong evidence that, even if you speak it just once, there is a high probability that someone in another country will, at that very moment, drop dead.’
As a result of these academic findings, this writer beseeches you to strike down upon this word and all its derivatives with great vengeance and furious anger. It shall be typed no more here. To do so and then try to justify the consequences of another iteration could be potentially disastrous for poor Pedro in Andorra, and morally devastating for the rest of us.
Kill it, dear reader. Kill it good.