My friend, Kate Sandhoff, just emailed me with a great site that follows up on the issues of late. Check it: http://www.plainenglish.co.uk
Kate is a manager at Accenture who is currently frustrated by the repetition involved in performance reviews, citing the characteristic phrase of "pro-actively seek out" as an example of this language virus at work in the corporate world. She writes, "doesn't pro-active and seek out mean the same thing? Yet, all the PFFs (Performance Feedback Forms) I read say this. It's like you feel you have to write it in a certain way because that's how other people have written yours. It becomes almost a competition of who can out-do the next, to confuse everyone!"
I respond to this with the email I sent to Tyler last night in reaction to the fusebox press release:
quoted from the press release:
"In his paintings Whitmore employs the aesthetic vocabulary and improvisational working methods of cathartic abstraction, tempered with glimpses of effete subject matter; fairy tale illustration, rococo decoration, and Victoriana. The result are potent works in which formal issues challenge content for supremacy."
"I'll take OBSCURITY for six hundred."
"And the answer: Another Daily Double.
"Well, I am indoctrinated with postmodernity by my graduate program, Alex. I'll wager one thousand dollars, the approximate cost of one credit at Georgetown University."
"Okay, and here is the clue. This word has not been used to describe art since its addition to the Webster Dictionary."
"What is 'effete,' Alex?"
"That is correct!"
"No, really. Alex. Tell me, what is 'effete'? I must have been skipping class for happy hour at the Tombs that day!."