Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Musing About Jargon and Lies

The Interwebs are a wonderful place.  I get to write this blog and read The Madville Times or Front Porch Republic or learn that I should have retired last year because "all teachers and staff [in the Yankton School District over age 52, when they retire they get a bonus of 75 percent of their annual salary"

Of course the Web does have some limitations.  For example the The Madville Times and Front Porch Republic are blogs written by reliable individuals who give opinions and use facts to buttress their arguments.  That statement about retirement bonuses is at best a factual error; at worst, it's a blatant lie designed to inflame public opinion.  Because evidence suggests that person who wrote the non-factual statement won't accept the truth, I won't go into details unless commenters ask for them

What the Web needs is a BS detector that automatically corrects errors. I haven't found an app for that, but I did find two sites to help me deal with jargon.  The first, Unsuck-it gives common definitions for business jargon.  For example, "realize negative gains" means "accept losses," and a "dog's breakfast" is "a mess."

Although jargon frequently hinders communication, but inside organizations, jargon may "help coordinate activities efficiently."  I was, therefore, extremely excited to discover the Educational Jargon Generator.  Now I can fill out my lesson plans with phrases like "extend outcome-based infrastructures" or "morph mastery-focused synergies" or evolve literature-based networks."  I can hardly wait to write my lesson plans next week.

The Jargon Generator also helped me find a term for the lie that I linked to above.  The statement is an effort to "iterate impactful manipulatives."

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