Argue this

Avril Dell vents accordingly

I just spent way too much billable time looking for ARGUABLY on your Banned for Life list — and it ain’t there! Kindly add ARGUABLY, for those who believe it means conclusively. It don’t. An issue only remains arguable when there are enough legitimate differences to prevent conclusion. That’s what makes something arguable, ya gomers! Where did the arguable blitherers get the idea they could point to one side of an argument as its conclusion?

I think what they mean to say is that they hope or believe their readers or
listeners agree with their conclusion; or that they’re asserting a fact in
a wussy way, so they can withdraw it if someone objects. Something like that.
but the “arguable” habit is just too goofy. Slippery and illogical.

    Runners up:

  • METEORIC RISE. Huh? As in “blaze briefly on the way down”?
  • NOT UN-whatever. I find this one not unstupid.
  • GOING FORWARD. Used by homo corporatus everywhere, to mean “next”
    or “in the future” or “from now on”. It can always be lopped off the statement,
    with no change in meaning. “This is what we’ll be doing, going forward” can
    become “This is what we’ll be doing”– as the statement has “future” built
    into it. When did anything ever occur “going backward”?
  • ADDRESS THE ISSUE .Ttell ya what: just deal with it, ok? Just
    do it, fix it, trash it, move it, buy it, sell it, fire it, change it, TAKE
    THE ACTION. don’t bother addressing the issue; say what you’re going to do
    and then do it. Period.
  • TOUCH BASE. Do NOT touch my base, EVER. I’m serious.

What’s at stake

David M. Fishlow declares:

In the jargon of the day, a “stakeholder” is anyone with even a remote interest in some matter. Such interests, however speculative or supposititious, are usually described as “vested.”

But if I know you will cheat, and you know I will cheat, we will seek out a neutral, disinterested, presumably honest party to hold the stakes in our wager. Hence a stakeholder is a disinterested party, not an interested one. Stakeholders with a vested interest in something, when they in fact are doing nothing even remotely analogous to holding the stakes, and whose interest, dependent on innumerable contingencies, is anything but vested, make me postal.

‘Nother one

From Gina Shatney:

I nominate the verbal phrase, “a whole nother,” as in “That’s a whole nother ball game.” Its stupidity is clear the second you try to write it down. What the heck is a “nother”?


Silas Prophet returns with this annoyance:

As a retired Federal employee I’ve been subjected to endless variations of Gov-speak, but one that I now see often in other milieus is “buy into“. Whenever new processes or production strategies were introduced, managers were instructed to get the workers to “buy into” the new concepts. I’ve always felt the phrase was a bit condescending, as if the workers were pieces on a game board to be surreptitiously manipulated.

Oftimes that phrase is heard in reference to sports, as in “Phil Jackson had to get Shaq and Kobe to buy into his ‘triangle offense'”.

I would be pleased to see us buy out of that cliche.

(previous Silas contribution here)

How sad

Sue Burnett in Wales shares these nominations:

  • Hero — apparently everyone who dies in a Ă«disaster’ is a Ă«hero’ – no, no, no! Most of the people who died in 9/11 were victims; relatively few (eg, firefighters) were heroes.
  • Tragedy — all deaths, according to the media, are “tragedies” – again, no, no, no! Most deaths are natural causes (illness, old age) or accidents. A death may cause sadness and may be regretted but that doesn’t make it a tragedy.

How clever

Ben Hunter shares these irksome UK expressions:

  • It’s not big, and it’s not clever,” so goes the cliche, but it doesn’t bother me quite so much as its mutations do:
  • “It is big, and it is clever,” is often heard during TV show about cars.
  • It’s not big, but it’s certainly clever,” is often found in reviews about pocket-sized, Japanese gadgets.
  • It may be big, but it’s certainly not clever,” is often used to describe school bullies, gorillas and anything else that is large and never graduated high school.