Words and Phrases I have come to Loathe

A quick list of discursive items that, in my philistinic opinion, have been stripped of meaning, wildly misused, and transformed into excruciating cliches that induce something akin to nausea when heard, read, or otherwise encountered.

efficiency – what the hell does this even mean? The most efficient economy on earth would be slave labor or robot replacement for every worker, so is that efficient? Its not exactly a best practice to destroy the livelihoods of the people who will ultimately use whatever widget or service being made and sold. So no, I don’t believe the contemporary culture regarding business is efficient, I think its inefficient. No, I think its anti-efficient, not just inefficient.

sustainable growth – oh yes! sustainable growth, of course. Because perpetual growth is possible and even healthy, as long as its sustainable! If you’re not growing, you must be dying, right?

client facing – Jesus christ, just say “for the customer”, or “stuff the customer will use or interact with”.

socialized – bubble. Thats all I have to say.

ideology – Means nothing really! Can exist without the slightest, most tenuous relationship to reality. Not only can it exist, people can use it to gain power and influence, even (especially) if that ideology is destructive. Sweet.

the title of every World Bank report ever released – they are a mess, just go check em’ out.

Weinergate – Kind of over now, but goddamn, shut up about Anthony Weiner’s junk.

value-added – just some more of the sound and fury that is economic newspeak. It can mean anything, it can mean nothing, no value has to even be added as long as you convince people it was added. It can be merely a shift in perception with no tangible increase in ‘value’.

value – value, in our society, now means money. It has nothing to do with utility and everything to do with how fast whatever it is can be turned into a generous, and exclusive, revenue stream. Privatize those gains and socialize (damn, see how insidious these words are?) those losses, all while creating huge amounts of value. Spare me.

consumer demand – I’m not exactly sure why we keep using this as an index for the health of our economy. Americans need to quit consuming as much, fairly immediately, or we’re going to consume ourselves, and may already have.



  1. devin howard

    hahaha, not really, but it does sound kind of angry. I was going more for chagrin, I think….either way, you’ve got to give me Weinergate, that got horrendous.

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