Saturday, October 20, 2007

Words of the Weasel Part 3

Change the dynamic

A vague phrase indicating a desire for change without any indication of what the change will be. It would more honest to describe the desired change and give some reasons for making same. Allowing politicians to “change the dynamic” is a free pass to do just about anything they want. This fraught with peril.

Think outside the box

Irritating and overworked cliché meaning to find a new idea. It implies that people less intelligent than the writer have their thoughts limited to a “box”. The writers are usually journalists who are less than intelligent themselves.

Paradigm Shift

A phrase suggesting a profound change in ways of thinking with no indication as to what the change might be. It sounds good, and has been used to describe a great many trivial or vacuous ideas.

Put in Place

Vague phrase suggesting the proposed action is easy or trivial and as easy as packing items into a suitcase. For example: “Hostilities between Irael and Hamas will cease as soon as an agreement is put in place”. This sounds much easier to do than “Negotiate a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.”

Speak truth to power

An offensive phrase that suggests most people don’t speak the truth from cowardice and suggests that “power” is mean spirited and vindictive. One is expected to speak the truth all the time, whether speaking to the president of the United States, or a McDonald’s counter person. No American citizen is too timid to speak his or her mind to anyone, at any time. Public officials and business executives don’t engage in personal reprisals against citizens whether said citizen has spoken out against them or remained quiet.


Fancy word that means “use”. Why not write “use” instead?

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