A few for the guillotine

Calvin Cahan unloaded these with an eloquence
born of bile (editor’s note: “tumbrel” is the cart the French
used to haul people off to the guillotine; I know because I had to look
it up): I’m strongly opposed to capital punishment, but in the case of the
following terms, I say, “Make haste! Load them on the tumbrel!”

  • “Give back to the community“: Give what back to
    the community? What did the “community” ever actually give
    that is subject to being returned? What, in fact, is the “community”?
    How broadly should it be defined? This is a desiccated cliche that
    signifies nothing, although it does serve to point out that one of
    the chief characteristics of contemporary life is that there is precious
    little sense of community.
  • Empowered; empowerment“: A term that has been so overused and applied so indiscriminately that its initial meaning
    has been diluted to the point of extinction. For example, a politician
    who promises to “empower” a particular group just about
    ensures that the group will remain powerless.
  • Closure“: If Diogenes were alive today, he no
    doubt would be searching for closure instead of for an honest man.
    This mind-numbing, reductionist piece of psychobabble trivializes
    the richly variegated range of human feelings and emotions. Oh, how
    I fervently desire to closure the door on this noxious example of
    lexical pestilence!
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