I write a lot of trip reports; I read a lot of trip reports. And one of the words that makes me cringe every time I read it is “intuitive”.
I blame Lucky for it, as I’m pretty sure his was the first blog where I read someone saying that the seat controls were “intuitive”. I remember reading it and thinking, “that’s a really odd word to use, and it doesn’t really make sense, but whatevs”. But then I kept seeing it again and again and again, both in his blog and in other blogs.
If something is “intuitive”, it should be instinctual or true without regards to conscious thought, reasoning, or past experience. Really, when people are using the word “intuitive”, they mean that something is familiar or easy to use. For example, “the seat controls resembled seat controls that I have used in the past, so I didn’t have to think too hard about how to use them”. They probably don’t mean, “if I took someone who has never been in a car/bus/train/plane before and put him in an airplane seat, he would intuit that the seat controls would move the seat in these ways”.
I think a large reason why the word “intuitive” now pops up in so many trip reports is because it’s
intuitive familiar to the writers and so they don’t have to think about what they actually mean to say. Again, people need to stop and think for themselves. It’s so much easier to regurgitate phrases and memes than it is to think deliberately about what you’re writing, but that contributes to the lack of originality in blogs today.