Example: “Because he read her book, he thinks he’s woke.”
Why Retire It: The concept is so amorphous that it’s meaningless. Originally it had a “the scales fell from his eyes” meaning but most of the time today it just means “agrees with my general conception of secular morality.”
Example (Boston Accent): “She was wicked re-taad-ed.”
Why Retire It: Nobody in Boston has used the word “wicked” as a replacement for the word “very” since the 1990s. Give it a rest.
8. “My Truth”
Example: “I have the right to speak my truth.”
Why Retire It: This concept of “our truth” versus “your truth” comes out of a peculiar academic philosophy that there are multiple ways of “knowing,” all of which are equally valid. However, while opinions about and interpretations of facts may vary, the facts themselves do not. Once you conclude that “truth” (i.e. facts) are subjective (“you have your truth and I have my truth”), you’re opening the floodgates of pseudoscience like climate change denial and the anti-vax movement.
Example: “We are a leading small business insurance provider.”
Why Retire It: Leading what? Leading where? And “leading” in what sense? Maybe like a “leading question?” And even if the term actually meant something, it’s been used so universally to describe companies and products that it fades into the textual woodwork.
Example: “Our system uses hyper-electronics.”
Why Retire It: The word “hyper” comes from the Greek word for “beyond.” In the mid 20th century, futurists started attaching the word as prefix to designate something that goes beyond its standard capabilities as in “hypertext” (documents that link together.) Today, however, people stick the prefix on anything they want to seem futuristic. It’s so over-used it’s starting to sound a bit like the prefix “Atomic” in the 1950.
5. “Fake News”
Example: “The mainstream media is mostly fake news.”
Why Retire It: The term originally referred to hoaxes spread via social media that only gullible blockheads would believe. The term’s now been hijacked to refer to fact-based news stories that only gullible blockheads don’t believe. Since the two definitions are exact opposites, they cancel each other out.
Example: “We are selling a sales enablement platform.”
Why Retire It: In addition to the general taint of biz-blab-iness, the term “enablement” smacks of pop psychology. More important, the concept of “enabling” something to happen adds a layer of unnecessary abstraction to the usage of software without adding additional meaning. The terminology is so vague that it’s meaningless.
Example: “That song is so dope.”
Why Retire It: If you’re not a rapper or heavily immersed in rap culture, using the word “dope” to mean “excellent” sounds both presumptuous and condescending.
Example: “We’re going to win bigly.”
Why Retire It: Contrary to popular belief, Donald Trump did not suddenly revive the archaic adverb “bigly.” While Trump was reported to have said “I’m going to cut taxes bigly” (thereby coining the meme) what he actually said was “I’m going to cut taxes big league.” It’s a misquote.
1. “An AI”
Example: That company uses an AI to analyze data.”
Why Retire It: Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology or, more precisely, a set of technologies (neural nets, pattern recognition, rule-based programming, etc.) that appear to mimic a well-defined human behavior, as long as it remains inside a carefully delimited environment. Using the term in the form “an AI” implies that it’s an “intelligence” or “singularity” that mimics general human intelligence, rather being merely a program that’s implemented using programming techniques that fall under the AI rubric. Since that’s not the case, this usage of the term is misleading and a bit silly.
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Categories: Money Matters