I remember the rage around paradigm. Once I learned how to spell it, it seemed to drop off the face of the earth. In graduate school, we had an exciting lecture on paradigm shift, and then, bang, a television commercial with the word paradigm, big time, right in the middle of it. That was the beginning of a useful word’s death.
Today, a new presidential administration means a whole new set of buzz words. They sprouted on the early campaign trail, grew like weeds in the summer months and blossomed in full regalia in the fall. Harvesting them now would be a good idea.
Transparency. Now that’s a word that sounds good. Looking through something, seeing everything behind the veil, examining the hidden. The US government has been using that word in nuclear non-proliferation for years. We look into Russian silos, they look into ours. Like playing a megaton version of doctor.
But now, transparency has become transparent. I use here the meaning listed third in the Oxford dictionaryâ€¦open to public scrutiny. C’mon. It’s time to place it along side other grave diggers like, â€œgoing postal,â€ â€œballisticâ€ and â€œparse.â€
I like the word â€œchange,â€ and even better â€œhope.â€ You cannot beat these timeless gems of our English language. And they are getting a workout on the national stage. Besides going aerobic, they have staying power and a strong image. Sort of like, Jane Fonda.
However, it may well be time to do something about crisis. It’s up there with chaos and my favorite, â€œtrain wreck.â€ Crisis been thrust into the limelight as an almost unwilling participant in explaining our national economic [pick one] (1) Disaster (2) Downturn (3) Catastrophe.
Actually, we need to spice up crisis a bit. I suggest cataclysm, debacle and fiasco. But they are a lot harder to spell. So, maybe paradigm is sounding good again.