I have written before – nay, I have complained bitterly before – about our penchant to reduce beautiful and meaningful words into cursed acronyms.
If you think about it, you have to admit you love words. How could you not?
I have a friend who has taken to sending me wonderful words. Yes, she just sends words. What do your friends send you? Hand lotion? Books about sports?
Anyway, the last word she sent was bafflegab. Ha! I love it. Bafflegab is defined as “incomprehensive or pretentious language, especially bureaucratic jargon.”
You can listen online to WTOP, the radio station in Washington, DC. It would be worth your while to do this in the early morning. An enormous percentage of the ads are directed at government contracting personnel. In other words, the consulting firms and defense contractors who buy the ads want the government bureaucrats’ attention. I assure you, none of the rest of us have a vague idea what their jargon and acronyms mean. It is truly a trip to another world. It is bafflegab!
So the point is that words are beautiful and jargon and acronyms are horribly corrupting influences. You are worried about drugs and alcohol corrupting the youth of today? Worry instead, my friends, about bafflegab and acronyms like WTF!
Last week I was at a meeting where a program was discussed that targeted at-risk children C2C. Now isn’t that cute. C2C. In fact, they were talking about a very promising program that works with children from cradle (through school) to career. If we say cradle to career, we get the idea that this is a comprehensive program that would offer intensive support throughout the child’s life and that might, therefore, have positive results. If we say C2C, we have another bureaucratic flash in the pan that does, what again?
I am so grateful to beautiful wordsmiths like Martin Luther King whose prose has moved us for decades. And I thank everyone for repeating I Have a Dream, and not, God-forbid, saying “Don’t you just love that IHAD speech?” OMG!
©2015 Margery Leveen Sher
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