In this latest in my series of poor, abused words, I move onto spend. In particular, things like this:

How to reduce your marketing spend
What’s our spend on this?

In these sadly all too common examples, spend is used, for some inexplicable reason, as a noun. The stupidity of this is thrown into even starker relief when I rewrite the above expressions as follows:

How to reduce your marketing costs
What will this cost us?

See how easy it is to use words properly, instead of going to the effort of converting a verb into a noun? Yet the use of spend as a noun pales into insignificance beside the following, which someone actually said to me in a meeting a few years ago:

What’s our capex on this?

I had to ask the guy what capex meant and, looking at me as one would at a small child, he replied “capital expenditure”. “Ah!” I said, “you mean cost.” “Yes, if you like” he grudgingly replied, as if the word cost had somehow gone out of fashion and was only used by the Amish community these days.

Capex does not exist. Using it makes you sound like an imbecile. Spend is a verb, not a noun. Use it properly.