First of all, it’s always been Bearenstain, not stein. I remember being a kid and figuring out that I was wrong about it being stein. I think every kid at first thinks its stein for a w hile, and if you don’t eventually figure out that it’s actually stain as a kid then you will probably end up being a weird adult who insists it used to be stein. But what gets me is the collective ignorance surrounding definitions of certain words. The most widely misused is the word ‘moot’. Besides the fact that some people think it’s ‘mute’, the people who refer to ‘moot points’ are referring to points that are no longer relevant because the subject has either already been decided or no longer matters due to other factors. But the actual definition of the word ‘moot’ is exactly the opposite. Moot actually means, “subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision.” So a moot point is a point that hasn’t been decided yet, but everyone uses it to mean a point that has been decided. Isn’t that weird? And there are others, like the word ‘peruse’. Most people think that if you’re ‘perusing’ a document it means you’re skimming over it, but ‘peruse’ actually means a thorough reading of a document, rather than a casual one.
This English-Spanish Wordbank of Social Security Terminology contains everyday words and expressions as well as technical Social Security terminology. It is intended to promote uniformity in language usage and avoid misinterpretation of Spanish language materials issued by the Social Security Administration. It is designed to be used by Social Security personnel who meet and interview the Spanish speaking public, and who prepare correspondence and other Spanish language documents as well as public information materials. The Wordbank was initially composed by a group of Social Security employees in our Central Office and has been updated though the years with the cooperation and review of many Social Security Field Office employees from all regions. Also, each Regional Office was given opportunities to review the Wordbank and submit ideas and suggestions. The group members were chosen to represent various Hispanic origins and backgrounds. This Wordbank will continue to be updated as new terms appear in the various SSA administered programs. Users of the Wordbank are encouraged to submit ideas and suggestions for improvement through the Regional Public Affairs Officers.