No, No, No, No, NO!!!

Sorry.  I got a little emotional there.  Let me take a moment to compose myself. 

(Deep breath.)  There.  All better.   Thanks for your patience.

What got my goat was this headline from an online article: “Engage employees to drive safety performance.”

No, I’m not against improved safety performance.  It is certainly better than stagnant safety performance and far better than having people plummeting off of scaffoldings and other similar unpleasantness.

My issue is with the use of “engage” as a transitive verb, as in “As your boss, it is my job to engage you.”  Wrong.  It may be part of my job to do the things that will more likely lead to the conditions under which you will become engaged, but the verb form of engage in this context should be intransitive.

I know this sounds pedantic, but words matter.  And to the extent that the word engagement is used improperly, the people whose engagement you are seeking will be less likely to become engaged. 

Both “engagement” and “engaged” in that last sentence are hereby certified as correct and acceptable.

JG