Buzzwords, Jargon, and Life

The 1950s was not a Utopia by any means, Homophobia was rampant. Xenophobia was rampant, and Black folks were reserved to the back of the bus, and civil rights for people of color were almost nonexistent. It was an era built, and maintained by middle class white people. I was a slightly lower class person financially, so, instead of the Yellow Brick Road, we had the woods and fields…but, with a superhuman amount of hard work, my folks made sure I got an education. They made sure I got an education because, in the sublime ignorance of the 1950s, an education meant you could get a decent job and have a decent life. To be honest, in retrospect, it had a sort of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER facade, though, the grinning enthusiasm of the Cleaver family, was merely a facade, and people lived lives of quiet desperation as they always have.

But, thankfully, one thing we were not plagued with (much) was the buzz words that have infested our world to the point of eternal nausea.

In the tech field, software companies are perhaps some of the worst, inundating potential customers with their promise that they offer “solutions” (in my time, a solution was mixing sugar in your iced tea). Then they ladle on heavy amounts of words like “architecture”, multi-tasking, and well, you know the rest.

The PURPOSE of course, is to do exactly what George Carlin the comedian said, whose father as I understand, was an advertising executive (ala the MADMEN TV series), so George understood the advertising business. George even created the “Advertising lullaby”  


This piece that George did is TRULY a genius piece because, it is true….its all about lulling you into a dreamlike confused state to miss the fact that its all about giving you a proctological exam with a barbed wire corncob.

The IT / computer industry introduced a plethora of these buzzwords. Before the computer, the auto mechanic or any mechanic, was the master of the buzzword…and could create item names on the spot, like “your car’s reverse ion distributing transmutating system has developed a low point in the bore and now, its causing an aberrant motion in your pistons, with a resultant “wobble” that is robbing power and if left unattended, will ruin your motor”. And the customer would sigh, nod, reach for their wallet and ask what the damage was gonna be.

But, it’s unfair to single out or castigate mechanics, because the allopathic system has been engaging in this shit, but in a slightly different way, for centuries. First off, they use another language, often a “dead language” like Latin, to name things that if they translated them into English, you would understand immediately. They also are guilty of using Greek as well…Latin and Greek being the “classical” languages that even the Catholic church uses to conjure up terms so you don’t understand them.

For example, the socket in your pelvis, that the ball end of your femur fits into, is called the “acetabulum”…if you understand that acetic acid is associated with vinegar….you might start understanding that the word acetabulum is Latin for a bowl that contained vinegar. The bone in the front of your chest called the “sternum” originates from the Greek στέρνον, meaning chest. The little tip of the sternum  called the “xiphoid process”.

Both the Latin and Greek versions of the word xiphoid mean “sword like”. If you take any good course in medical terminology, you soon learn that most of these fancy medical terms are simply using another language’s words that, if they used our English term, you wouldn’t be so impressed by them, as if one had to be a genius to understand.

The end of your tailbone, the coccyx comes from the Greek word “kokkyx” meaning “cuckoo’s beak”and it goes on and on ad nauseum ( meaning, until it makes you sick).

And the legal profession, HOLY MOLY , that’s the mine field of jargon. It’s simple a mish mash of Latin words, some old English words, but mostly, like the special words in medicine and computer field, meant to make the layperson think that it takes some sort of frigging genius to understand this shit.

“Res ipsa loquitur” is merely Latin meaning “the thing speaks for itself”. Stare decisis is Latin meaning literally  “to stand by things decided” and is a legal theory meaning something has already come before a court and been decided.

But,let’s not forget allopathic medicine…ever hear the four indicia of inflammation, i.e., “rubor, calor, tumor, dolor” ? All those are , are Latin words for redness, heat, swelling, and pain, and those were observati0ns that ancient Latin dude named Celsus made.

The point is something that people have known for centuries. You use either Latin, Greek or some other language’s common terms for things, OR you make special SOUNDING words OR you take words that previously meant ONE thing and give them a new spin…the ultimate objective of ALL jargon, is to make good, common folks think that you are some kind of fucking genius and know shit they don’t know, when, the truth is, you are just using (often), especially in medicine and law, a dead language’s name for something or something that looked like something. The bony top of your skull, the “calvarium” if you go to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/calvaria you find that again, Latin rears its dead head and that in late Latin it meant skull, and in earlier Latin, it came from “calvus” meaning bald.

So, we aren’t talking genius shit…we are talking simple substitution of dead language shit. Your muscle called the “biceps”…simply means “two heads” and triceps brachii, means “three heads of the arm”.  One of my personal faves is “coronary”…and when you search that one down, you find http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coronary?s=t the “coron” part referring to a crown, and the ārius or ary part, referring to the heart.

So, the “professions”, law and medicine, basically have been using jargon as their weapon for centuries, to make the layperson think this is some high level, hard to understand shit. Think about hypertension (or “essential hypertension”) meaning high blood pressure. Shit, you know what the word “hyper” means, and you know what “tension” is….no need to pull out the Dorland’s medical dictionary for that one now is there ?

I suppose you can see my anger. I know a bit about law, medicine, AND technology, and I know that they use their jargon to confuse you, and / or make you think this is some kind of complex shit that only the smartest of the smart could understand. Now, I am not TOTALLY dissing the medical, legal, nor computer tech fields. There ARE difficult aspects to the disciplines….anyone who has taken the MCAT (medical college admission test) or in olden times, the MCSE exam (computer shit), unless they truly ARE some fucking genius, can tell you, both of those can be challenging, each in their own way.

But, what angers me is the haughty aspect . especially of law and medicine, that carries this arrogance over from the feudal times, that the customers that pay for their services, are somehow beneath them (like serfs) and they have a special knowledge that puts them in a class above.

Excuse me while I empty the slop bucket because with those ideas floating around, the slop bucket will fill up soon…overflow.

Of ALL the jargon, buzzwords, etc., perhaps the one that irritates me the most is the use of the word “solutions” and you find people in IT, software, hardware, “application services” using this the most and the worst. What’s wrong with the word “answers”….oh, that couldn’t be used because people would understand that one. No, you have to say you are “offering solutions”….Hmmm….you mean like “The Final Solution” that Hitler was so proud of….a word that just meant killing a hell of a lot of people… THAT kind of “solution” ?

My “solution” is to cut the bullshit jargon and speak plainly. If you have a decent product or service and people can afford it and want it, they will pay for it…you DON’T have to grease or lube it up with bullshit jargon to make us think you are some g0dlike geniuses sent from heaven to be a “deus ex machina”, more Latin, a plot used in the theatre meaning “G0d from the machine”…a plot device in which the hero had got in such a mess, that only divine intervention could get his ass out of it.

So, that’s my rant. Beware of bullshit jargon in the courts, in hospitals, in IT departments, in short, everywhere.

Thanks for reading this.

`Anon99

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