The Great Sociology Charbroiled Words List

Posted on Wed 19 Oct 2011 @ 12.15pm UTC



Essay time (Postmodern Feminism): My Floor

Image by Tim Riley via Flickr

YOU CANNOT READ anything in sociology (and, extension, the perverse field of linguistics) without constantly bumping into a plethora of pretentious, meaningless words.

Those words are what we normal people call padding.

The more offensive term is gratuitous padding.

Both terms come under the general heading of soloing techniques (see Glossary).

If you’re in sociology (or actually doing something in it, like studying or being employed), you ought to think about what LEOS is about to tell you.

The main trouble

The main trouble with sociology is this:

Everyone in sociology writes sociology ‘like sociology.’

Corollary:

Everyone in sociology writes about sociology in a state of selective amnesia about the ultimate subject of the field of study: society and the people in it.

It comes from a sense of superiority combined with insecurity that are readily encountered within the various specialisation factions within that ‘discipline’ (field of study).

On average, sociologists are often so wrapped up in words (and, tragically, also mesmerised in their own words) that they don’t necessarily realise how (a) unintelligible, (b) comical, (c) tragic and (d) apologetical they seem to the rest of us. Sociology (and, by extension, also linguistics) is shit tier anyway (see chart below).

But (a), (b), (c) and (d) become even funnier when we consider that the ‘discipline’ per se (‘itself’) is ultimately about people and society.

And sociologists — as scholars of people and society — cannot even do THAT properly through that simple means of using words.

You (as a sociologist or something akin to that) may laugh and snigger at those who you don’t [care to] consider to be within the ambit of your ‘discipline.’ Yet you have no inkling of how comical (not to mention arrogant) you seem to the rest of us.

* * *

The List

(This could be YOUR ‘words to avoid’ list — if you’re not faint of heart, sociologically speaking, that is.)

The prime reasons for cutting down on buzzwords can be summed up in just one sentence:

Are you guilty of sabotaging your own job search along with
the opportunity to earn more money?

You shouldn’t need to ask why now.

(In alphabetical order: for those who can ALMOST figure out things on their own)

“actor”

Do us a favour: remain in the world of reality. A good historian is someone who is good in history. An actor (fem. actress) is someone in the thespian profession. You’re using actor to mean a person who does something — a participant — and clearly you don’t think a participant does anything.

“backdrop”

As in a backdrop against which — which is probably one of the hackneyest phrases you can get in sociology, word for word.

“comparative analysis”

So comparison (which involves analysis) and analysis (which involves comparison) just don’t cut enough ice for you anymore, it seems. Think!

“in its conceptual phase”

Learn the bloody difference between conceptual phase and concept phase, please.

“concrete”

If you’re going to lay it on in a concrete way, don’t fly off the handle at a tangent and prattle on with fuzzy, convoluted, abstractionistic verbiage. Whenever and however you [claim to, try to] present something in a concrete way, do so by using smaller, shorter words. It’s a technique called staging the audience — giving the reader or listener those all-important cues that you are about to ‘talk concrete’ and the discussion is going to ‘concretise’ things in a concrete way based on concrete ideas with concrete usefulness. Don’t gable it with retronautical prognosticatory pronouncements derived from asymmetrically referential proto-comparativistic deconstructionist ideations. See also LATIN below.

“in context”

How thoughtful we might have thought of you if you had actually bothered to tell us what the context was when you use the words in context? The are countless reams of sociological writing in which the context had been mentioned once or twice early on, but never to be mentioned again — whilst in context gets plastered all over the place. Verily, the words in context should really, always, invariably be used in context.

“contextual”

As in geographically contextual, globally contextual, etc. Have you tried the word related at all? No?

“creators and joiners”

“critical-practical perspectives”

“crucial”

It is clear enough from even a cursory reading of sociological writings that sociologists are, by and large, an illiterate lot. They have yet to learn that crucial means involving an extremely important result or decision. A crucial experiment is one whose result is highly important for some purpose. Otherwise, stop being so melodramatic.

An important experiment is an important experiment. It’s a crucial experiment because the data obtained will be used by [x] in policymaking for [y] and [z].

You just can’t describe something as ‘crucial’ without mentioning the ultimate reason or purpose that makes it so crucial.

See also DECISIVE.

“cultural consciousness”

“cultural sociology”

This is the sociology of culture — Pierre Bourdieu’s stuff, you idiot. Avoiding the word ‘of’ to save a word or two here and there is pointless. It doesn’t make for easier reading.

“curate”

To cut a long story short, you cannot curate your own stuff. You can only curate someone else’s stuff. Read the LEOS feature article about this word | Link.

“decisive”

Decisive means having the power or quality to put an end to controversy. Sociologists use decisive to mean indisputable or definite — highly brain-damaged. I’ve actually had the misfortune to read (and hear) “a decisive theory” — how can a theory be indisputable or definite? What theory (even in sociology) is so good that it can be indisputable and able to end controversy?

“dehumanisation”

“depth interviews”

You mean in-depth interviews. Try probing interviews for a change. Be bold, and use penetrating interviews once a while. You might become famous once in a while for using them.

“discourse”

It’s not what you think it means.

“draw(s) on”

As in the overused phrase the article draws on classical resources like [x].

“empirical”

Please get this word right, above all else. Empirical is a highly abused and misued word. It doesn’t mean objective, if that’s what you’re thinking. The actual meaning of the word empirical is that which depends upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory.

The word is historically and pre-eminently a word of medicine. In the world of medicine, that which is empirical is something that is provable or verifiable by experience or observation.

Many (if not most) sociologists tend to argue that empiricism is (or has to) equal to objectivity — and this pattern of response comes through time and time again. (This observation is empirical for it is based on careful observation of recurring behaviour for a known set of subjects and known variables.)

Empiricism is not objectivity, although it does [sometimes] provide one or several objective foundations for designing a hypothesis. Learn your philosophy of science, please.

“empirical examples [that] discuss”

No, you dumbarse, examples (of any kind) are supposed to show something. *facepalm*

“examining [x] from a more [constructivist] perspective”

“explained in rational terms”

O rly? You’re the only one capable of doing that, are you? Do you realise just how ARROGANT you sound saying this? Do you even know the concept of REPHRASING? Do you know what ‘offensive’ mean?

“foster”

An abomination, especially as in to help foster: see LEOS’ article here.

“garner”

Often in the stock phrase garnering success. With all due disrespect, stop using journalistic words like garner — especially when you’re not speaking or writing journalism.

Protip: Be very specific when you talk about success, especially your own.

Which of the sentences below sound more pleasing and forthright to you?

Academics usually use garner like this:

John has garnered success from the four corners of academia
for his seminal work on social class structures.
(1)

Correct way (at a pinch):

The seminal work on social class structures by John
has garnered success from the four corners of academia.
(2)

Both (1) and (2) are unbearable and illiterate, but at least (2) doesn’t come across comical.

A person doesn’t garner success — it’s the thing that a person did that garners success for that person, idiot. Some ‘thing’ garners success FOR you.

Much better to recast the whole thing:

John has achieved important success in the academic world
for his seminal work on social class structures.
(3)

John has received important recognition in the academic world
for his seminal work on social class structures. (4)

The academic world recognises John’s research on social class structures
as a seminal sociological work.
(5)

If you ask me, (5) is a helluva winner. The active voice makes it highly memorable because it is so close to being normal speech — people are highly likely to circulate this sentence word for word to others. It homes in up front and early who is doing what to John for why — scoring a perfect bull’s eye. All in all, it’s the power of advertising without appearing as advertising. (Unfortunately, most people are not very good at focusing on the real point of importance in their writing.)

“gender”

Gender isn’t the same as sex (as in male or female). The word comes from genre, ultimately from genus, meaning kind. An ultra-correct example (not one exactly favoured in real life):

John is male but it’s obvious he belongs to
the feminine gender because of this psychological makeup
.
(6)

“gender-sensitive”

“globalisation”

You’d be surprised at how many academics (not just sociologists, but the whole shebang of academia) are still using this 1980s-vintage buzzword/idea like it’s still something new.

“hegemony”

For chris’ sake, stop using this word. Hegemony merely means predominance or supremacy. Why inflict this highly charged word of communist/socialist politics on us?

Had you just tried to use something more readable or speakable like:

aggression or expanisionism by [large nations] in
an effort to achieve dominance
(7)

— which, for a change, makes you sound as if you actually know something the rest of us didn’t — you might have become famous once in a while.

Alas! Whilst you so hunger for fame and fortune, you are too gormless to break out of your herd mentality. In other words, academia has succeeded in exercising hegemony over your ability to think for yourself.

“innovative”

See POTENTIALLY INNOVATIVE below.

“interdisciplinary”

Scroll down to where this article talks about INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING.

intersection between collective memory and autobiographical memory”

“intersectionality”

*Facepalm* Try reading this: Kathy Davis, ‘Intersectionality as buzzword: A sociology of science perspective on what makes a femnist theory successful,’ Feminist Theory, April 2008, volume 9, number 1, pages 67-85 | Link)

“judgmental”

Stop being so prejudiced all the time. Make no threatening statements that describes something as ‘judgmental.’

The word judgmental is considered defamatory in law, and you could be sued for using it. No kidding. (Be safe: have your writeup lawyered before publication — or be sorry.)

If you’re in Oklahoma, USA, you might scrape through and get away with calling something or someone ‘judgmental’ (per the Oklahoma case of Allred vs. Rabon 572 P.2d 979 [1977]). For the rest of the world, it’s professional malpractice. You have been warned.

See also OBJECTIVE vs SUBJECTIVE.

Latin or latinate expressions, latinate prose style

This entry so totally deserves its own extended article (forthcoming). To cut to the chase, as it were, Latin and latinate stuff are basically

“the desire to sound grand but which often merely creates jargon.”
(Scitext Cambridge, A Short History of Science Writing, 2000)

John Dryden (often called the father of modern English prose) 300 years ago condemned the overuse of latinate phraseology in English.

Some Latin words are well-established in English and are as English as pork pie, guinea fowl, roast potatoes and lentil soup: a.m., e.g., et al. (only for citations: try using an others in the body text), etc, i.e.N.B., p.m.P.S., pro bonopro forma and q.v. (‘see’).

Best avoid anything Latiny or Greeky, such as per se (‘itself’), ipso facto (‘by the fact itself’), a priori, a posteriori, viz. (‘namely’) and stuff like that.

Side note: An a posteriori argument derives theory from evidence collected because a posteriori means from the particular (experimental data) to the general (theory). So don’t get overly smart that a theory must come before data. In the hard sciences (i.e. physics, chemistry, biology), it’s often data first, theory second.

It seems commonsensical (to say nothing of defensibility) that, if you have never taken Latin or Greek in school, or less than two years of them if you did, then avoid Latin or Grecian words and phrases or sentence structures having the character of those languages, or suggestive of them.

(The paragraph above is longwinded [49 words] and hard-to-read [multiple intrasentential clauses]. That is latinate (Latinate) prose style. No less a person than English poet Samuel Coleridge (1772-1834) has characterised the latinate prose style as having:

  • mock antithesis (i.e. opposition of mere sounds)
  • a rage of personification (i.e. personifying abstract things)
  • the abstract made animate
  • farfetched metaphors (“a virgin field pregnant with possibilities”)
  • strange phrases (“thing with which we cannot put up”)
  • metrical scraps and heavy rhythms
  • elaborate subclauses
  • sweeping pronouncements and/or generalisations
  • latinate diction (i.e. English words that are overtly Latin in character, sound or meaning)
  • high register, low-frequency, polysyllabic latinate terms

The latinate prose style in itself is not buzz. (How could it possibly be?) However, its use becomes a fad when we write in this style on purpose to flaunt our learning on others. (Our ‘learning’ should have told us not to treat others in this way.)

In other words, latinate sentences are constructed in a grandiose style and to sound authoritative. Problem is, unless you’re into oratory and rhetoric, that latinate prose style gives the opposite effect. You just end up sounding vacillating, insecure and insincere. In writing, it makes your piece read like an polemical apologetic.

Some of us actually have to make a living by writing or also to read other people’s stuff (like yours truly here), so this leads to the protip:

“A rough test for concreteness is your vocabulary: if your words are mostly Anglo-Saxon you will usually be talking about concrete things; if it is Latinate and polysyllabic it is probably abstract and general.”
(J.H. Gardiner, The Making of Arguments (2004), via Project Gutenberg | Link)

This is like using relinquish (Latin) vs. leave (Anglo-Saxon) or allegiance (A.S.) vs. fidelity (Latin). Of course, it’s impossible to do away with latinate words entirely, since 70% of English words are related in one way or another to Latin. Which one would you chose, reverence or piety (both latinate)? Filial or obedient (ditto)?

This quote should spell things out for you:

“There are Latinate terms that are liable to confuse anyone who is not a Roman scholar, so to make sure that you have a fair grasp of what you are formalizing, …”
(Heather Edgar, Will Terminology, Law Community, 10 May 2009 | Link)

“literature”

In the meaning of the body of written work and research of an academic discipline or subject matter. The problem with many sociologists in doing their Literature Review is that they don’t specify which literature they have read and are reviewing. Either we just assume the ‘lit’ is entirely within sociology, or the author never bothered to read outside of field. Either way, it’s bad call to not describe something about your literature.

Ages ago, when I was writing my own undergrad ‘dissertation,’ I specified in my lit review that,

“The literature in psychology on the behaviour of triggering mechanisms in the neuron under distressed metabolic conditions is … However, the medical literature under the general heading of endocrinology is more up to date and has extensive coverage of this topic but … The literature in biology is … and together with that in chemistry …”

Notwithstanding the grandiose ‘dissertation’ label, it was nothing to write home about. But the professors sure were impressed that I had bothered to check outside of field.

“mainstream”

“meaningful”

Your desperation in looking for meaningful patterns might just wound up being meaningless if you start using meaningless words like meaningful.

“mélange of different activities”

Are you even conscious that you’re not actually writing literature? In fact, mélange is a word from the textile industry, retard.

“narrative”

I appreciate that sociology cannot dispense with this word — it’s become part and parcel of this whole industry discipline. However, it is also highly noticeable that the word narrative is being used in sociology as though it had a technical meaning. To have or not have a technical meaning is not crucial, really. More important: be specific. Describe what your narrative is in actual fact. Sociology isn’t poetry or literature, faggot — get to the point! See also STORYTELLING.

“objective” vs. “subjective”

This is another entry that deserves its own featured article (forthcoming?).

Objective and subjective are as highly abused and misused as empirical (q.v.) is.

The actual meaning of objective is not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations or prejudice, and often based mainly on facts. The old-fashioned English word disinterested completely covers the meaning of objective.

Meanwhile, subjective means belonging to the mind of the thinking subject (person) rather than the object of the thought (i.e. the thing being thought about). In other words, it relates to the nature of a thing as it is known in the mind as distinct from the actual thing itself.

That’s all these two words actually mean. There’s nothing grand or logical or super scholarly about them! Holy mackerel in sardine tins…

So why are these two words nearly always disgracefully put together as opposites?

Objective was originally (in the 1610s) used in the philosophical sense of ‘considered in relation to its object’ — thereby automatically making subjective its opposite. The meaning of impersonal or unbiased (a.k.a. disinterested) only started appearing in 1855.

That’s why in matters of vocabulary, objective and subjective are paired.

Yet in matters of ideas, philosophy and knowledge, the ‘real’ opposite of objective isn’t subjective — it’s empirical. The ‘enlightened’ medicine-men like Grey, Jenner, Priestley, etc, who first started using empirical weren’t stupid — they were in fact unique and brilliant. They realised very quickly that he who is disinterested (objective) cannot properly be experiencing that which is under investigation (empirical). That’s why the medicos chose to use the word empirical.

Shame on your lame faggotry for not knowing something as basic as this. You need to go back to your books and relearn your language, science, history, politics, economics and philosophy.

The ‘real’ polar opposites are in fact these:

  • objective (measurable) vs. empirical (experienceable)
  • objective (observable) vs. empirical (experienceable)
  • objective (existing) vs. constructive (inferred)
  • objective (physically existing) vs. illusory (existing only in the mind)
  • empirical vs. logical
  • logical vs. analytical
  • subjective vs. rational
  • rational vs. intuitive
  • intuitive vs. judgmental
  • judgmental vs. sensory

Are you confused enough yet? If you’re not confused, YOU DON’T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE MATTER. You are so pwned…

“outreach”

“perceived to be symbolic [x] of society”

Whenever you use the word perceive, be sure to tell us who actually perceives it. This is technically called an asymmetric non-referential referencing verb.

“prevalent”

Just use widespread instead (which is what most sociologists mean when they use prevalent). But prevalent actually means widespread whilst having superiority or ascendancy (and it’s got to have these two aspects to make it ‘prevalent’). Show your learning, not your ignorance.

“portals”

As in the stock sociological phrase provide portals into an aesthetic dimension of [x] culture — which is a seriously stupid phrase found in nearly every nook and cranny in sociology (and also sociolinguistics). You are writing about sociology, not the fine arts (where this word properly belongs).

“potentially innovative”

I don’t know about you, but I find potentially innovative a little more than potentially brain-damaged. It’s like pregnancy — it’s an either/or thing. She’s either pregnant or not, so it’s either innovative or not. You cannot have something that starts off not being innovative, and then becomes innovative later on (for whatever conceivable reason). The word potentially introduces the idea of future time — if it isn’t innovative now, it for sure is going to be even LESS innovative in future. Derp.

“poverty”

“project”

In the meaning of a large or major undertaking or endeavour or task of investigation, usually in the abstract sense of (for example):

the ultimate project of the new middle class is to surpass its
nascent social class configurations and entrench itself into
the mainstream social stratification structure
(8)

As if that middle class is constituted like a person or a team of people in carrying out a proper project (a set of time-delimited tasks). Why turn something big into chickenfeed?

“refer”

This word is often (mis)used by many people in the humanities (not just sociology) to mean describe or explain. It’s astonishing how these humanities types get such simple things so wrong. It is really, really annoying when they do that. Refer actually means:

  • (1) to direct a thing for information or anything required, or
  • (2) to direct attention or thoughts of something.

He referred me to books on the sociology of cultures. (8A) (Sense 1)

The asterisk refers the reader to a footnote. (8B) (Sense 2)

Be we get this illiteracy all the time in the humanities:

The theory refers to how the effects of institutional obstacles on…  (8C)

It would be better to say/write: “The theory describes/explains how the effects of …”

“remain”

Especially in gut-wretching phrases that remain valuable and remain unexplored. Get straight to the mechanics of your reasoning with something like:

… that is still valuable in the minds of [x] because of [y]. (9)

… still uninvestigated by the majority of researchers because of [x]. (10)

“search for meaning”

This isn’t some Chronicles of Narnia thing or Beowolf or the Iceland Saga or The Epic of Gilgamesh. This is a phrase from religion, not sociology.

If you value your continued employment as a sociologist, you don’t LOOK (not ‘search’) for meaning — you’re supposed to “explain the meanings behind [x] to make them more readily understandable.” If you want to write ‘search for meaning,’ become a priest or work as a comedian.

“socialism with [x] characteristics under the dual influence of globalisation and marketisation”

We all know where that came from … and we’re tired to hearing it time and time again.

“storytelling” (“telling stories”)

This is a real favourite of those sociologists who do qualitative research on social stratification (lower, middle or upper classes) and feminist issues by the use of depth interviews (q.v.), narratives (q.v.) and various other observer-as-participant methodologies. Just be careful that storytelling and telling stories in English also mean telling lies.  Oh, do tell stories!

“sustainable” anything

“theoretical framework”

Highly overused, but meaningless. As if there is any other kind of framework. For anything outside of engineering and the pure sciences, any framework can only be theoretical. Derp.

“transnational”

As in the sociological stock phrase transnational public spaces created within public social spaces. Why not make it exciting and dynamic by saying something like:

public social spaces that extend across national borders
forming a cross-cultural space (11)

The reason why you couldn’t write that is because your sociological mindset is stuck in seeing something has to be inside something, rather than something blossoming out. A ‘transnational public space’ surely has to be bigger than a mere ‘public social space,’ dammit.

“transnational corporation”

Instead of showing your learning, you have shown only your ignorance. There’s no such thing as a ‘transnational’ corporation in the business world.

A corporation (company) that does business across different countries is simply a company that does business internationally. A company owned by several companies belonging to different countries is a multinational or an international company/corporation. Speak proper business, please — ‘Business spoken here.’

The term transnational corporation comes from socialist countries (principally the People’s Republic of China) that have realigned their economies to operate partly along market forces. The term was invented as a business registration classification to deal with that category of companies that are not strictly multinationally owned but not completely domestically owned. Such types of companies are still described as multinationals in the business world, regardless.

Only a nitwit like a sociologist would nitpick at transnational vs. multinational vs. international.

“transparency”

One of the hottest buzzwords in global circles: our dictionary defines it as ‘easy to see through.’

“underclass”

“unexplored”

If something is uninvestigated or not investigated fully, say it! Don’t fudge by describing it as unexplored. Some faraway land may be still unexplored. In sociology, things are uninvestigated or not fully investigated according to [x] methodology. Know your own field.

“the West”

Perversely, often written lowercase (‘the west’) by Chinese writers. What if we should write about ‘the east’ — how galling and judgmental would that sound to you? Be specific, or do away with ‘the west’ altogether. Just an [informed] opinion for your consideration:

“Firstly as most readers probably recognize, ‘the west’ is not actually that cohesive of a unit. Attitudes towards religion, politics, economics, and dozens of other issues vary dramatically within each of these countries, let alone between them. The only thing that is generally agreed on in ‘the west’ is that citizens should have a voice in their gov’t, and that human rights (as agreed upon by the UN) should be enjoyed by all people.”
(‘Two more arguments I’m tired of hearing,’ Seeing Red in China, 18 October 2011 | Link)

* * *

If there are these many rogue usages in one discipline, you can be forgiven to suspect that:

  1. there must have been quite a fair bit of soft-power plagiarism going on,
  2. the people in that field have to invent things to discuss or write about, and
  3. said field really is shit-tiered because of 1 and 2.

* * *

Addendum

Attitudinal Phraseology

An attitude adjustment is in order when you encounter something like these:

“Hardly any data has been collected and even fewer have looked for theoretical means.”
(Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University | Link)

You get A LOT of this execrable attitude among sociologists. Nearly everything is summarily pronounced as not enough, insufficient, inadequate, incomplete or un-whatever in data collection.

Similarly, nearly every topic is similarly dismissed out of hand as not having been looked at enough or not by enough people.

It is as though the writer himself/herself is the first and only person to have noticed this ostensible anomaly — and then proceed to present this ‘fact’ to you as a fait accompli.

Here are two other sentences that nearly all humanities dissertations and theses are gorged with:

Therefore, the development of a theoretical framework that
incorporates these manifold activities is essential. (12)

… help clarify several key themes that inform political and public debate. (13)

… the article [thesis, etc] draws on classical resources like … (14)

Our search for meaning involves two theoretical approaches. (15)

Is that plagiarism or just herd mentality?

* * *

Why do they do things like that?

If you’re into psychopathic homicide, you’re not going to admit you’re a psychopathic killer. Likewise, you won’t admit to bribery or influence-peddling, will you? If you’re into buzzwords, you’re not likely to own up to liking buzzwords, are you? It’s just human nature, isn’t it?

Normally, people are not averse to padding (which includes buzzwords): they are what they are, and have their uses. This person explains it well:

“I am perplexed by the ever present sensitivity and negativity to ‘buzzwords.’ I think it is cowardly to dismiss or discount something new or something that represents change without reason. On the other hand, I acknowledge that new words are often misused or abused for impact or simply to be catchy.”
(Dawna Maclean | Link)

Here’s from the horse’s mouth:

“The discipline of sociology, to cite just one familiar discipline, also makes extensive use of buzzwords — terms that excite a hum of discussion and debate. […]

“These ‘new’ buzzwords, gathered under the banner of post-modernism (with and without the hyphen) (Hansard, 1994) include terms such as Foucault, narrative and discourse, and have ushered in the ‘linguistic turn’ in sociology, and the development of ‘litero-philosophy’ (Merquior, 1985, p. 13). […]

“The linguistic turn in social theorizing has led to many changes in the conduct of social scientific theorizing (Hansard, 1994). However, these changes do not amount to a volte face. Indeed, the ‘linguistic turn’ in sociology has been contested to some degree. Herbamas (1984, see also Best and Kellner, 1991) has argued against post-modernism and has protested that the ‘modernist project‘ so maligned by the post-modernists has not, yet, run its full course. Best and Kellner (1991) have argued that the post-modern critique is: ‘excessive, abstract and subversive of theoretical and political projects that remain valuable‘ (Best and Kellner, 1991, p. 257).”

(David Collins, Management Fads and Buzzwords: Critical-Practical Perspectives, p. 115. London: Routledge, 2000, ISBN 0-415-20640-5)

That’s the complicated, learned, scholarly reason. Here’s the down-to-earth, everyday, man-in-the-street reason:

“Interdisciplinary Learning … I can almost see all of your eyes rolling at just the thought of these words together. This term represents perhaps the most overused buzzword in higher education today. For more than a century, the ‘modern’ social science disciplines like Sociology, Economics, Psychology, and Anthropology have battled each other professionally and intellectually. In a very literal sense, college and university faculty argue with each other and with administrations to justify expanding their particular departments. More generally, debates continue about which discipline best prepares students to study and understand the world around them. In fact, traditional higher education in Americais based on these debates.”
(Tim Campos, ‘Beyond Buzzwords, Part 3,’ in Admission Unpeeled, 16 November 2009)

For the sake of everyone sitting or standing or loitering on the sidelines, we would appreciate it more (certainly LEOS would) if:

  • you stop the transparent act of a concerned scholar of society and of human behaviour
  • concentrate on being fast, direct and accurate.

* * *

Sources:

Atkins, Robert (1993). Artspoke: a guide to modern ideas, movements, and buzzwords, 1848-1944. Abbeville Press (New York; London).

Berenbaum, May (2000). Buzzwords: a scientist muses on sex, bugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Joseph Henry Press (Washington, D.C.).

Byrne, John A. (1996). “Never mind the buzzwords, roll up your sleeves: the Feigenbaum brothers advise pragmatism,” in Business Week, International Edition, 22 January 1996, pp. 50-51.

Campillo, Véronique (translator) (2003). No more darn buzzwords: keys to successful organized change by David Chaudron into French (“Organiser le changement: les clés de la réussite”). AFNOR (Saint-Denis-la-Plaine).

Chaudron, David (2003). No more darn buzzwords: keys to successful organized change; translated into French, titled “Organiser le changement: les clés de la réussite” (translator: Véronique Campillo). AFNOR (Saint-Denis-la-Plaine).

Coll, Eric (2004). Understanding Voice over IP 1: flavors of VoIP; protocols, buzzwords, jargon; voice quality, LAN and WAN infrastructure, VPNs and call centers. Teracom Training Institute (Champlain, NY).

Collins, David (2000). Management fads and buzzwords: critical-practical perspectives. Routledge (London; New York).

* * *

© Learn English or Starve, 2011.

Images: Tiers via c4c ♦ Girl and desk via 3 A.M. Magazine ♦ “People degrade themselves…” via Tagbanger ♦ Shredding machine via iGrad ♦

N.B. The citations are not real. Tee-hee-hee. Gotcha, citationfag.

Advertisements
Posted in: Colour Section