The Center

No one wants to be “extreme.”

It feels icky and will get you disinvited from all the cool kids’ parties. Besides, these days reasonable conversation about important issues seems impossible.

One of the biggest problems is the logical fallacy that supporting X’s right to do something equals support for X and opposition to Y.

 

This is how unintelligent people see things. Unintelligent people, or dishonest ones.

You can see the left/right polarities in politics, philosophy, economics, and in many, many other field–even the arts.

Reaction against constant politicization is completely rational. Jamming politics down everyone’s throats is tiring and it prevents any meaningful solutions from being formed.

Someone has to be right, right? Someone has proposals that’ll work better than others, don’t they?

Enter the centrists.

A new trend is to describe oneself as centrist, meaning–according to what I call the nü-centrists–“one who looks at things from both sides.”

“Centrism is NOT agreement with parts of both sides!” I’ve been told.

“Centrism isn’t being a moderate!” they say.

Except…it kind of is.

You see, as with most things, it doesn’t matter what YOU wish a word meant, it matters what the word actually means and how the society views the term.

In other words, the term “centrist” is horrible branding. It has way too much baggage and means in the majority of people’s minds exactly the opposite of what the nü-centrists want it to mean. Continue reading “The Center”

Business B.S.: Terms That Need to Die

I’ve been to business school as well as law school, so yes, I’m on b.s. overload, but here’s a dirty little secret:

BUSINESS LINGO IS WORSE. 

Contrary to popular belief, “legalese” really refers to strict definitions more than an entirely different language. The word “indemnify,” for example, really has one meaning, it’s just that “indemnify” is a word that isn’t used much in common parlance.

The law is also big on identifying things to (don’t laugh) avoid confusion and ambiguity. A contract has specific elements everyone needs to know and agree upon before the thing can become legally binding. A similar phenomenon is seen in the definitions of crimes, such as murder and robbery. 

The business world though…the business world is where the b.s. meets the road. Which is a pretty gross visual, but I digress.

Dig, if you will, the following abuses of the English language: 

Capture. As in, “Did we capture your concerns?” “Have we captured what we discussed?” It’s like you’re inprisoning words and ideas or something. I picture a cowboy wrangling a thesaurus or something, which would be a pretty hilarious visual, but I digress. 

Why not say, “Did we get that?” “Did we understand?” “Capture” sounds stilted and lame. 

Energy. Not as a physical or scientific phenomenon, but as in, “There’s a lot of energy around this.” “There was productive energy around this issue.” Nails on a chalkboard, my friends, nails on a chalkboard. 

Can one not just say “excitement”? “That was a productive conversation”? “We’re happy with the results”? 

“There’s a lot of energy around this” is trying to create vivid imagery where none is needed. Maybe it’s just me. But it’s not.  Continue reading “Business B.S.: Terms That Need to Die”