service (adj., n., v.)

As three parts of speech and with many senses in each function, this word having to do with routine maintenance of equipment and, more generally, with providing assistance, is often badly overused, and some of its senses have pejorated as well.  To serve still means "to aid or assist" and is laudable, but frequently today those senses can sound ironic and cynical instead: too often your service representative seems only self-serving. As a verb service is best limited to the maintaining of vehicles and the breeding of livestock; better serve than service a customer. The transitive verb is so heavily used today that experience may add irony to its meaning even when none was intended. In some uses the noun is a euphemism, a once-powerful noun that now requires adjectives in order to distinguish good service (once a pleonasm) from bad service (once an oxymoron).

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