[Every week I’ll highlight a word that catches my attention. As a marketing and communications professional, I stress simple, straightforward language in my work, however I’m always watching for the evolving lexicon of the market. For growing vocabulary, I recommend these sites: FreeRice.com, UrbanDictionary.com, InvestorWords.com, BusinessDictionary.com, Merriam-Webster Online]
In fact, there’s even a blog titled “conflate”.
It describes the mashup of words, phrases or ideas into a new composite expression. A quick scan of Google and Google Blog Search results shows the usage of conflate seems to fall into roughly three camps: religion, politics and the economy. It’s an aggressive, jarring word most often used to unfavorably, even confrontationally, highlight the pairing of ideas with which the user takes issue.
From a marketing and communications perspective, I think it works best in op-ed pieces, speeches and blogs. And sparingly.