An Ode to Stupid Jargon

blahMy extreme dislike of stupid words began around the time I noticed the first few car dealers replacing their used cars signs with ones that said pre-owned cars.  Put a new word on something, and instantly convince the masses that it’s something different.  The fact that it apparently works doesn’t help.  It just makes me mad at humanity for being as dumb and gullible as they think we are.

Since then, there has been a steady stream of invented words, designed to fool us into all manner of beliefs and action.  Web 2.0, semantic web, thought leader (by far, my most hated), etc.  In real life, when people start talking at me in this language, I belittle them by saying “I don’t understand all these made-up words you’re using.  Can you just talk regular?”  The look on the person’s face and the laughter from anyone who overhears this (some of whom, by now, know it’s coming) almost make it worth it.

It’s harder to stop this semantic madness when you’re reading stuff online or (if you enjoy day old information) in those quaint newspapers.  Over time, you become less sensitive to it, but it remains a mild irritant.  Like shirts with starch in them.  And ties.  I don’t need a neck tie, because I have buttons.  I don’t need to reach out to someone, because I can email them.

I’ve always been a Weird Al fan.  Now, I have another reason to be one.  This is my favorite of the recent Weird Al videos.

weirdal

NOTE: Some stupid deal made by somebody seems to be preventing people from embedding the video, which means we all get forced to the WSJ page to see it.  I just love the way old media tries to apply the old media rules to the web.  It doesn’t make us love you, folks.  It makes us as annoyed as some of the words in the clever music video you are holding hostage.

Regardless, the video is worth the trip.  Good stuff.

Pre-Owned Cars, Unrequested Fission Surplus and Digital Consumer Enablement

They started calling used cars pre-owned cars as a marketing ploy to make people feel better about buying a used vehicle.  I’m not sure why people needed to feel better about it, but apparently they did.

And I just know I’ll feel a lot better about DRM infested songs if we start calling it Digital Consumer Enablement, or DCE.  I had to check to make sure I wasn’t at The Onion, when I read this nugget:

Speaking at a panel session at the NCTA show in Las Vegas Tuesday, Zitter [HBO’s Chief Technology Officer] suggested that “DCE,” or Digital Consumer Enablement, would more accurately describe technology that allows consumers “to use content in ways they haven’t before,” such as enjoying TV shows and movies on portable video players like  iPods.

No need to worry about all the problems, technological and philosophical, that DRM causes.  Let’s just give it a pretty name and everything will be all right.

As Joey deVilla points out, Mr. Burns would be proud.

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